Endeavour River

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Endeavour River
Endeavour River 2004.jpg
Endeavour River viewed from Starcke Street, Marton, 2004
Origin Henderson Range, Audaer Range, Hopevale
Mouth Coral Sea at Cooktown, Queensland
Basin countries Australia
Avg. discharge 1,193 GL
Basin area 2,054 km²
Location map

The Endeavour River (Guugu Yimithirr: Wabalumbaal) Coordinates: 15°27′30″S 145°14′00″E / 15.45833°S 145.23333°E / -15.45833; 145.23333 on Cape York Peninsula in Far North Queensland, Australia, was named in 1770 by Lt. James Cook, R.N., after he was forced to beach his ship, HM Bark Endeavour,[1] for repairs in the river mouth, after damaging it on Endeavour Reef. Joseph Banks named it the Endeavours River[2] but the form Cook used, Endeavour River, has stuck.

Cook and his crew remained for almost seven weeks and made contact with the local Guugu Yimithirr Aborigines, while the naturalists Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander made extensive collections of native flora, while Sydney Parkinson illustrated much of the flora and fauna of the region. Botanical specimens were also collected by Alan Cunningham after he arrived on the HMS Mermaid, captained by Philip Parker King on 28 June 1819.

"Natives of Endeavour River in a canoe, fishing." From Phillip Parker King's Survey. 1818.

Modern Cooktown which has a population of about 2,000, is located at the mouth of the Endeavour River. It is one of the northernmost towns on the East Coast of Australia and was founded in 1873, around the site of Cook's landing, as a port to service the newly discovered Palmer River Goldfields. Some of the relatively undisturbed natural features near the mouth of the river have been reserved as a Queensland National Park, the Endeavour River National Park.

In recent years, tilapia fish, which are considered a "noxious species" in Australia, have infested the river, causing concern that the stocks of native fish will suffer.

The river basin remains largely unmodified and the water quality is rated as good.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Endeavour at the Endeavour: Cook's and Bank's journals from 11 June to 4 August 1770. (Undated) Compiled by John & Bev Shay. Cooktown and District Historical Society.
  2. ^ The Endeavour Journal of Sir Joseph Banks
  3. ^ "Assessment of River Condition - Endeavour River". Australian Natural Resources Atlas. Department of Sustainabililty, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2011.