Cape York festivals are a 'must'

Two ‘must’ events in Tropical North Queensland are in the diary for June, one marking Australian history, the other a major Aboriginal culture festival. Both take place in Cape York, across the Daintree River, north of Cairns and Port Douglas. 

The Cooktown Discovery Festival takes place from June 11 to 13. This annual festival has been going for more than half a century and celebrates the landing in Australia by Captain James Cook.

With authentic costumes and equipment, the story of Captain Cook's fateful emergency landing on the banks of the Endeavour River in 1770 is re-enacted in full colour and glory, and attracts spectators from around the world.

The event also includes a gala ball and spectacular fireworks.

The Laura Dance Festival is staged from June 17 to 19 at Laura and show-cases the culture of the Aboriginal people of Cape York Peninsula through song, dance ceremony and performance. This Cape York extravaganza  is one of the largest gatherings of Indigenous people in the world.

A note for art lovers -- on display at the festival will be The Cape York Art Awards which is widely regarded as the most prestigious Aboriginal Art Award in Queensland.