The basis for the book is the journal, contributed to by all four members of the family (though the wife and mother was by far the most significant contributor), of a family trip to Cooktown for Christmas 1991 and supplemented by photographs taken on the trip. At the time, we did not realise that this was to be our last long holiday trip as a family.
We visited many places on the long drive up from Brisbane; many of them well-known tourist places like Cairns and Mission Beach. But we also visited Blencoe Falls, a little known part of the Herbert River Gorge National Park, and other less well-known places.
Cooktown is intrinsically interesting. Captain Cook and his crew were forced by shipwreck to spend 6 weeks there in June 1770, the longest time they spent anywhere in what was to become Australia. Incidentally, the Expedition's botanists, Banks and Solander, made a survey of the botanical community on the north shore of the river at the anchorage. Contemporary surveys show that the landscape has been substantially preserved to the present day.
Cooktown enjoyed a boisterous prosperity as the port for the prolific Palmer River goldfields. There are many traces of that period that survive to this day also.
My wife and I were both teachers and both of the children have PhD degrees in science. Both were working on their PhDs at the time