"Natures Powerhouse and Botanical Gardens" Top 5 Page for this destination Cooktown Things to Do Tip by sirgaw

Cooktown Things to Do: 15 reviews and 42 photos


A short drive from the central area and main street of the town is an oasis of greenery ? an indoor Natures Powerhouse and the historic Botanical Gardens.

The indoor Natures Powerhouse contains a stunning collection of works of art by local artists with a very strong emphasis on plants. There are 2 galleries named after locals ? one ?The Charles Tanner Gallery? is named after a former naturalist (deceased) who spent his life time collecting Australian reptiles, including crocodiles ? almost the original Crocodile Dundee of Paul Hogan film fame, The other ?The Vera Scarth-Johnson Gallery? is named after a former resident who likewise devoted her life to nature and in her case plants. An excellent display of her works of art is displayed.

The building also contains a well-stocked book and gift shop as well as a great collection of maps. It is also a very good venue to gain information for visitors, including brochures and other information for travelers ? I needed information on the Bloomfield Track and the lady checked tide times and rang to check on the condition of the track for me. It is strongly recommended that a visitor should check on road conditions within the Cape York Peninsula area BEFORE driving away from ?civilisation.? (This advice is also strongly suggested for other remote area of Australia)

We decided to ?lash out? and enjoy a coffee and cake overlooking the gardens at ?Vera?s Café on the Veranda,? a great view looking at the best of nature while enjoying local coffee and well-made cakes. I checked the menu and saw the café has lots on offer if the internal fires need stoking with a meal.

There is a small charge to enter the galleries and the coffee etc at menu prices, which I thought to be very reasonable and I?m a skin flint ? LOL While enjoying our coffee and cake, we watched a local Scrub Hen looking for its meal.

The Botanical Gardens have a long history and were first established in 1878 ? only 5 years after Cooktown was established and include many of the plants used by the local Guugu Yimithirr people. Many of the plant species were collected by Joseph Banks and his assistant, Daniel Solander, who accompanied James Cook on The Endeavour on the first of the 3 great voyages of discovery. Check here for list of plants taken from the area to UK in 1770

The gardens have also contained walking tracks that lead to 2 popular local beaches.

If you look at the bottom left corner of the main photo, there is the head of huge iron-wood carving of a Queensland Python ready to scare kids. I?d just hate to meet the real thing.

Both Natures Powerhouse and Botanical Gardens are well-worth visiting and a credit to Cootown. Depending on level of interest, I?d suggest at least an hour to visit as a get away from the ?hustle and bustle? of the main street.

Address: Walker Street/Finch Bay Road Cooktown
Phone: (07) 4069 6004
Website: http://www.naturespowerhouse.com.au/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Sep 15, 2011
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