Cairns


Captain James Cook sailed up the North Queensland coast on his first Voyage of Discovery in June 1770, aboard his ship the HM Bark Endeavour. Captain Cook was the first to visit the site where todays City of Cairns is located.
The journey down the coast by the HM Bark Endeavour was not a pleasant one. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most difficult waterways in the world to navigate. The Bark Endeavour was only 30 metres long, a small ship indeed for the perilous journey that it had undertaken. The Bark Endeavour ran aground on a coral reef and sustained serious damage. The crew managed to limp to shore where they found a river mouth where they could beach the battered ship. This river was later name the Endeavour River and the town that grew on its banks became known as Cooktown. The ship was eventually repaired and after many attempts to find a way out of the Great Barrier Reef they managed to escape…continuing their journey northward to the coast of Papua New Guinea and Java, and then finally returning home to England. Due in no small part to the dense vegetation, severe cyclones and the associated wet season, treacherous reefs, disease and dangerous animals such as crocodiles it took a further 100 years before white settlement took a firm hold in the region. The discovery of gold by the early explorers started development, as is often the case in isolated and remote areas around the world. The areas north of Cairns, particularly Cooktown were initially established as frontier towns to support the ongoing gold rush in the area. Cairns and Smithfield (north of Cairns) were not officially founded until 1876.

Dive Locations in Cairns

HMCS Mermaid

In mid autumn 1829 the Mermaid sailed from Sydney, with goods and chattels for Port Raffles in what is now the Northern Territory. At the helm was a somewhat arrogant Master, Samuel Nolbrow.

29/01/2015 06:47 hrs
by
trimixguy

Antonio Tarabocchia

Antonio Tarabocchia by Trev Photo by Aaron Smith Position-Bougainville Reef GPS- Find visually Permit Required-No Depth- Slopes to 2000 metres Rating-*** Anyone that has ever visited Bougainville Reef can probably imagine what a rude shock it must have been to the crew of the Antonio Tarabocchia when she slammed at full speed into the top … Continue reading Antonio Tarabocchia

29/01/2015 06:47 hrs
by
trimixguy

FV Debut

FV Debut by Trev Photos by Lawrence Buckingham Position-Emily Reef GPS- 15 36 70s 145 36 25e Permit Required -No Depth-3 metres Rating-Good for a snorkel The captain of the Debut became notorious for his refusal to abandon his ship when she went aground on Emily Reef in 1987. The 200 former arctic trawler was … Continue reading FV Debut

29/01/2015 06:46 hrs
by
trimixguy

Wet Caves and Shipwrecks Australia