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Nature's Powerhouse

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Address: Finch Bay Road, Cooktown, Queensland 4895, Australia
Phone Number:
+61 7 4069 6004

Nature's PowerHouse, a large interpretive centre stunningly situated within...

Nature's PowerHouse, a large interpretive centre stunningly situated within Cooktown's historic Botanic Gardens, houses the nationally significant Vera Scarth-Johnson botanical illustrations, a natural history display, gift store, and café, as well as being the Cook Shire Visitor Information Centre.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 71 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 29
  • 26
    Very good
  • 13
  • 2
  • 1
Beautiful setting

This is a stunning newish building set in the Botanical Gardens and which houses beautiful prints of botanical drawings from Cook's expedition and also superb pastels in the Vera... read more

Reviewed 21 August 2016
Barbara B
Gympie, Australia
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71 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 71: English reviews
Mackay, Australia
Level Contributor
109 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

This building is situated in the Cooktown Botanic Gardens, and usually features a very good coffee shop operated by the locals - very friendly staff. The building features some good prints of botanical drawings from Cook's expedition and also the superb botanical works of the Vera Scath-Johnson gallery.

Thank Ian S
Level Contributor
2 reviews
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

Staff didn't seem to care. Coffee was terrible & so called Fruit Soda was soda water with a drop of syrup for $5 each. Tried getting some info on what to do locally, woman doing info centre and coffee shop walked away. Very badly run and it wasn't even busy!!

Thank myaella11
Management response:

Hi Myaella11, We are very sorry that you did not enjoy your experience. Feedback like yours is vitally important to us in identifying areas of improvement, and we appreciate you taking the time to do so. If you wish to discuss this or any other matter any further I would be more than happy to speak to you in person... More 

Level Contributor
76 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 November 2016 via mobile

A nice spot to have a cool break. With a small friendly cafe and gallery of local artists, it's a good place to chill out, especially after a stroll through the Botanic Gardens. You don't have to love plants to enjoy this spot.

Thank Wendy0704
Gungahlin, Australia
Level Contributor
65 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 October 2016 via mobile

Great place to visit well maintained, lovely walk, just be wary of the day you visit sadly we wen on a Monday and the centre was not open

Thank LynneSusanne
Level Contributor
59 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 September 2016 via mobile

Really enjoyed our peaceful visit to the gardens today. Enjoyed a cuppa with home made cakes on the lovely deck. The gardens are beautiful, would love to see them in full flower!!

Thank ILT_NQ
Level Contributor
25 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 September 2016 via mobile

This place was not open at 9.45am and it was the 2nd time that happend. The older lady doesn't seem to know the place should be open at that time. When we left she was still lookinh for a remote of something.. I have been there before, a few years ago and it was really worth while... Can not say... More 

1 Thank roundofoz
Gympie, Australia
Level Contributor
226 reviews
83 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 August 2016

This is a stunning newish building set in the Botanical Gardens and which houses beautiful prints of botanical drawings from Cook's expedition and also superb pastels in the Vera Scath-Johnson gallery. Her botanical art is superb.

1 Thank Barbara B
Albury, Australia
Level Contributor
234 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 August 2016

Here as part of a group and the new community owners did a lovely light meal for us and then we were able to look at the wonderful botanical exhibition highlighting some of the work of Joseph Banks. We were particularly excited by the botanical art works of Vera Scarth-Johnson sitting side by side with the same specimens done by... More 

Thank Shirley D
Level Contributor
44 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 August 2016 via mobile

This place is sensational. Reasonably priced, good food for lunch and a range of good leaf teas to drink. The art is challenging and helps to subvert the triumphalist white exploration tropes which can become a bit tiresome. And it's all in the confines of the wonderful Botanic Gardens. An absolute highlight of Cooktown.

Thank billw945
Gold Coast Australia
Level Contributor
129 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2016

A very pleasant walk amongst mature trees with information and well kept gardens. Take time to sit on a bench and look around and just listen to nature at its best. An information centre with a short history of the area relating to Joseph Banks. A cafe that wasn't open because the workers wouldn't come in. Loss of income.

Thank Gary M

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?