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Cooktown’s Flora Comes to Life in Unique Sound And Light Experience

An immersive sound and light experience capturing the natural beauty of Australia through the eyes of botanist Joseph Banks will make its regional debut at Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 – The Rising Tide.

An immersive sound and light experience capturing the natural beauty of Australia through the eyes of botanist Joseph Banks will make its regional debut at Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 – The Rising Tide.

The immersive 3D animation called Beauty Rich and Rare showcases the botanical illustrations Banks and his naturalists made 250 years ago, including the drawings completed while the Endeavour was being repaired in Cooktown.

Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 Creative Director Vanessa Gillen said the 20-minute digital artwork has just returned from successful screenings at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC and the National Library of Australia in Canberra.

“The digital show and narration helps the audience experience the wonder that the Endeavour’s passengers and crew felt on their historic journey in search of the Great Southern Land,” she said.

“It will be presented at Nature’s Powerhouse in Cooktown’s Botanic Gardens from 11 June to 6 July.

“The setting is especially significant as Nature’s Powerhouse was built to house the Vera Scarth-Johnson collection of 160 paintings of local flora inspired by the work of Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander when they visited Cooktown in 1770.

“Vera’s paintings hang alongside a collection of Banks’ Florilegium prints documenting some of the 325 local plant species he and his team collected during their 48 days in Cooktown.

“It is an honour for Cooktown to host such a nationally significant exhibition as part of Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021.”


Using modern digital techniques to interpret real artefacts from the collection, Beauty Rich & Rare captures the imagination of the audience; the show helps them experience the wonder that the HMB Endeavour’s passengers and crew felt on their historic journey.

Free to attend.

Daily from 11 June – 9 July 2021 at Natures Powerhouse, Cooktown.


Running from 11 to 20 June, Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 will kick off with the free Reconciliation Rocks Music Festival on 11-13 June featuring Busby Marou and Troy Cassar-Daley, followed by the Cape York Business Expo on 14-16 June and finishing with the popular Cooktown Discovery Festival weekend on 18-20 June.

Cooktown & Cape York Expo 2021 is supported by the Australian and Queensland Governments and Cook Shire Council. For more information go to cooktownexpo.com.au.


Featured Image Credit / Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History – Smithsonian Institution

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