The CAPTAIN COOK 1770 FESTIVAL has been an annual event for twenty years, commemorating the visit of the HMB Endeavour and the landing of Lt. James Cook and his party on May 24 in Bustard Bay at Seventeen Seventy, as it is now known. This was the first landing for Cook and his crew in Queensland.
The Festival has won the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Zonal Tourism Awards for ‘Most Significant Event”. In 2009 the Festival was also inducted into the Tourism Hall of Fame for the Rockhampton, Gladstone and Bundaberg Tourism Regional Area.
Saturday is the main festival day with live entertainment throughout the day until 10.30pm. A special feature of the evening is a spectacular 20 minute fireworks display showering over the bay, sponsored by Ergon Energy.
While the Festival concentrates on the fun aspect, the festival committee is cognisant of the fact that many Australians have no knowledge of the historical significance of Cook’s landing in Seventeen Seventy.
The Committee wishes to promote and educate visitors of the indigenous history of the area. The Gooreng Gooreng people are the traditional owners and on the morning of the main festival activities, the Gooreng Gooreng people explain the dreamtime stories of the area and perform traditional dances to the sound of didgeridoos. There is also a re-enactment of Cook’s landing with professional actors and period costumes.
Families are a major consideration and on the Sunday we host a Family Fun Day for children.
Overall, the festival committee plans to effectively promote the CAPTAIN COOK 1770 FESTIVAL to a wider audience and position the Festival as a well-known and successful annual event that continues to attract new audiences each year.
The CAPTAIN COOK 1770 FESTIVAL is well on the way to being a major event on Queensland’s tourism calendar.