Hope Vale Accommodation, Hotels, Tours & Information

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Hope Vale

Hope Vale Aboriginal community lies 40 kilometres north of Cooktown. Originally established as a Moravian Lutheran Mission on the east coast near Cape Bedford, the community was later moved to its present location.

Go on a tour with a highly-acclaimed Aboriginal guide who can show you rock art sites and other locations on the Deed of Grant in Trust land. What's to see - the arts and craft centre is worth a visit and a private beach house accesses a coloured sands beach. You'll need a Council permit to camp and make arrangements in advance with the beach house. Useful stores include a couple of general outlets, hardware, a butcher and petrol station - but you will need to pay cash here.

Hope Vale is easily accessed from Cooktown on a good dirt road off the Battle Camp Road between Cooktown and Laura.

Hope Vale has an Alcohol Management Plan (AMP). AMPs aim to reduce alcohol-related violence.

AMPs vary from community to community. They include alcohol restrictions, home brew bans and dry place declarations which operate within a defined boundary, known as a 'restricted area'. These strategies set the quantity and type of alcohol you may possess in the restricted area.

Penalties apply for possessing or attempting to bring illegal alcohol into a restricted area.

To find out more about AMPs for each community, visit the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs web site.

Hope Vale

Hope Vale: Where To Go / Sightseeing

Mary Watson Monument Cooktown


This monument was erected in 1886 by the residents of Cooktown honouring Mrs Mary Watson. Mary, her infant son and Chinese employee Ah Sam, perished from thirst and exposure after fleeing Lizard Island in October 1881. Ironically the memorial includes a water fountain.

Mary Watson's husband Robert had worked a b?che-de-mer processing operation on the island and both lived there after their 1880 marriage. Two Chinese men, Ah Sam and Ah Leong, assisted in the house and garden. Mary gave birth to her son in mid-1881. In September there was a conflict with an Aboriginal group while Robert was away. Ah Leong was killed and Ah Sam wounded.

Mary, the baby, and Ah Sam launched a cut-down ship's tank, and left the island on 1 October. They made it to No 5 Howick Island, which unfortunately lacked fresh water. Mary's last diary entry was on 11 October 1881. Returning to find signs of an attack and his wife and child missing, Watson searched in vain. Mary Watson, her son and Ah Sam's remains were found in January 1882. Mary Watson's story saw her raised to heroic status in Queensland's history.




Charlotte Street
Cooktown, QLD, 4895

Located 24.4K from Hope Vale

James Cook Historical Museum Cooktown


The James Cook Historical Museum is housed in the former St Mary's Convent for the Sisters of Mercy, built in 1888-9.

Cooktown's economy was buoyant due to the town's role as a port for the region's mineral wealth, dominated by the Palmer River goldmines. The local Catholic Priest was appointed Bishop in 1887, and prioritised the establishment of the convent, day and boarding school for girls. Financed by his Irish relatives, the building was designed by former colonial architect FDG Stanley.

As gold production declined so did Cooktown. Businesses that were not prospering didn't rebuild after the destruction of the 1907 cyclone. St Mary's continued to operate until the 1930s. It was occupied by the US military during World War Two and then abandoned and earmarked for demolition.

The building was saved and donated to the National Trust for use as the James Cook Historical Museum. The grounds have been landscaped as the Joseph Banks Memorial Garden, planted with species identified by Banks and Dr Solander during their seven week stay at the Endeavour River in 1770. The museum holds many items related to the large Chinese population of Cooktown, including items from a temple formerly located on Charlotte Street.




Furneaux Street
Cooktown, QLD, 4895

Located 24.7K from Hope Vale

Cooktown Cemetery


The Cooktown cemetery has been in continuous use since the town was established in October 1873. The cemetery was proclaimed in 1875 with trustees representing each of the denominations in Cooktown; Church of England, Roman Catholic, Presbyterian, Hebrew and Wesleyan Methodist. Despite the large Chinese population there, no Chinese representative was appointed.

The entrance gate faces the road to the Palmer River, where gold discoveries led to Cooktown becoming a port. An internal road leads from the gate and forks in the middle of the reserve. The track to the west terminates at a Chinese Shrine with a low concrete altar. Nestled amongst the trees in the north-west of the cemetery is a brick well, evidence of the Chinese market gardeners who once worked there.

The rest of the site is divided into denominations by the unsealed paths. Significant graves within the site include that of Mary Watson who died of thirst escaping Lizard Island, 90 kilometres to the north-east; mariner Albert Ross Hovell, son of the explorer William Hovell, known for his involvement in 'blackbirding', or procuring Islanders to work as labourers; and Mother Mary De Sales Meagher, founder of the Sisters of Mercy Convent in Cooktown.




Charlotte Street
Cooktown, QLD, 4895

Located 24.7K from Hope Vale

Cooktown War Memorial


Recruitment for WWI in the Cooktown region drew men from the tin mining industries around Rossville and Shiptons Flat to the south.

After the war, the population of the town was small and early ANZAC commemorations were low key. In 1934 the citizens of Cooktown revived ANZAC Day marking the 16th anniversary of the stand at Villiers Brettoneux. A temporary cenotaph was established at the Cook Memorial. This became the location for future Anzac ceremonies for many years.

The Cook Memorial, a tall sandstone column, is located to the north of ANZAC Park, was unveiled in 1888 when Australia was celebrating its centenary.

The Cooktown RSL later built a memorial to both WWI and WWII soldiers in a park in the main street, renamed ANZAC Memorial Park. The memorials comprise two granite boulders with metal plaques, the largest of which commemorates all who served in WWI. The smaller listing for WWII service reflects the dwindling of the town in the mid-twentieth century. The second boulder is a general war memorial.




Charlotte Street
Cooktown, QLD, 4871

Located 24.8K from Hope Vale

Hope Vale: Events

Cooktown Discovery Festival


A fully costumed re-enactment of the landing of Captain James Cook and his first meeting with the Guugu Yimithirr people and celebrations all weekend throughout the town.

The 2018 Cooktown Discovery Festival will take place in beautiful and historic Cooktown. This is one of Far North Queensland's premier events with hundreds of visitors flocking to Cooktown every year to experience the unique culture of Cooktown and have a great time making history fun!


Event Dates
2018
      15th Jun
      16th Jun
      17th Jun


Charlotte Street
Cooktown, QLD, 4895

Located 24.8K from Hope Vale

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