Cooktown, in its heyday, was a gold-mining port town, with 64 pubs lining the 3-km-long (2-mile-long) main street; a significant slice of this colorful history is preserved here at the National Trust–run James Cook Museum. The former convent houses relics of the Palmer gold-mining and pastoral eras, including a Chinese joss house, along with Aboriginal artifacts, canoes, and mementos of Cook's voyage—notably, the anchor and one of six cannons jettisoned when the HMS
Endeavour ran aground. The surprisingly nice shop sells books and souvenirs. It's recommended that you allow at least an hour to pore over the exhibits.