Cooktown Botanic Gardens and Gallop Botanic Reserve

Cooktown, Cook Area

Nature's Powerhouse Visitor Information Centre at the Cooktown Botanic Gardens provides all the information you need to explore this site. Established in 1878 as the Gallop Botanic Reserve, it comprises a formal botanic garden, and a substantial natural forest and ocean frontage.

It commemorates the work of naturalists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander on HMS Endeavour who collected and documented botanical specimens from the district in 1770. A century later Cooktown was the main port for the Palmer River gold fields. Thousands of Chinese landed here, later settling in Cooktown. The Chinese had market gardens here and produced charcoal from timber felled on site.

After the declaration of a botanical reserve, a road was built, a nursery established and trees and shrubs ordered from the Acclimatisation Society in Brisbane. During the 1890s, stone lined paths, stone pitched pools and stone-work bridges were built and the nursery supplied ornamental trees for Cooktown. The gardens suffered in the 1907 cyclone, were closed after World War One and were not rebuilt until 1979. The gardens now boast an exotic plant section, a palm garden, a native plants section and 'Solander's Garden' which is used by tourists and locals for recreational and educational purposes.

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Duaringa

Duaringa, Central Highlands Area
Duaringa is located 107 kilometres west of Rockhampton along the Capricorn Highway. The small town is the essence of a small rural community. Duaringa is the oldest township in Duaringa Shire with buildings dating back to the 1860s and a corner of the local hotel has been preserved to show how early pioneers lived.

Jambin

Jambin, Banana Area
A rural hub with a pub to service weary travellers, Jambin is on the Burnett Highway just south of Smoky Creek. Part of the Callide Valley, the town is wedged between the Callide Creek to the west and the highway to the east, making it a picturesque spot to stop.

Goovigen

Goovigen, Banana Area
Goovigen is a small rural village in the region’s northern farming heartland. A short distance north-west of Jambin off the Burnett Highway, fewer than 300 people live in the town. The streets of Goovigen are as neat as a pin and the heritage buildings have been either restored to their former glory or updated for present needs.

Wowan

Wowan, Banana Area
In its heyday, Wowan was the dairy capital of the region. With more than 600 farmers on the job, the Dawson Valley Dairy Cooperative was topped up daily with fresh supplies of full cream milk, ready to ship off to towns and cities as far away as England.

Baralaba

Baralaba, Banana Area
Old fashioned values and friendly townsfolk are the hallmarks of Baralaba. Those traits and a stubborn streak for sticking around. More than a century of economic upheaval has threatened the town on many an occasion, but Baralaba locals are a stoic lot.

Theodore

Theodore, Banana Area
Theodore is located on the Dawson River 105 kilometres south west of Biloela. From its earliest days, Theodore was a stopping point for travellers and the same is true today. A pretty place, Theodore is shaped like a point between the Dawson River and Castle Creek, its palm lined streets give a tropical feel to the place.

Dululu

Dululu, Banana Area
The northern most town in the Banana region, Dululu is a junction point that divides the two southern arterials, Burnett Highway (A3) to the east and the Leichhardt Highway (A5) to the west. Both highways reveal untold adventures and this rural village is the start of them all – a launching pad to the region and perfect place to stop, rest and make your touring plans.

Mount Morgan

Mount Morgan, Rockhampton Area
Mount Morgan is an historical mining town nestled on the Dee River a short 38 kilometre drive from Rockhampton. The town is rich in nineteenth century Queensland colonial history and has artefacts and relics from the gold rush days that visitors can experience.

Moura

Moura, Banana Area
Moura is a central point and vibrant community for the people who serve its local industries – the farmers, growers and miners and their families that help to make Queensland great. Lying in the heart of the Dawson Valley, not far from the Dawson River, its parklands and public facilities, festivals and events, river fishing and water sports attract thousands of visitors each year.

150th Meridian

Moura, Banana Area
Free Entry
Located one kilometre east of Moura on the Dawson Highway, the 150th Meridian marker shows the position of the imaginary line (150 °E) on which Queensland (Eastern Standard) time is based. At the time of the equinox, a day is exactly 12 hours long anywhere on the Meridian line.
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