Australia sinks $6.7 million into replica Endeavour circumnavigation

The replica of Captain Cook's ship Endeavour at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney. Source: Getty

The 250th anniversary of Captain James Cook's first voyage to Australia and the Pacific will be marked by a series of events and a retracing of the route.

The government will spend $6.7 million to sail the replica of the Endeavour around the country next year to mark the anniversary of Captain James Cook's first voyage to Australia and the Pacific.

Arts Minister Mitch Fifield says the circumnavigation would be managed sensitively, and will present both the view from the ship and the view from the shore of Cook's historic voyage.

The circumnavigation is being funded from the existing nearly $50 million set aside to mark the anniversary, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the events would offer new generations an insight into Captain Cook, the Endeavour and the experiences of Indigenous Australians.

"As the 250th anniversary nears we want to help Australians better understand Captain Cook's historic voyage and its legacy for exploration, science and reconciliation," Mr Morrison said in a statement on Tuesday.

Repairs being carried out on  Cook's ship the Endeavour.         Date: circa 1770
Repairs being carried out on Captain Cook's ship the Endeavour.

"From Far North Queensland and the Cooktown 2020 Festival across to Bunbury and down to Hobart, our government will ensure Australians young and old can see first-hand the legacy of Captain Cook and the voyage of the Endeavour."

Projects for the Cooktown 2020 Festival will receive $5.45 million for the development and upgrade of sites but also to celebrate local Indigenous culture as the region becomes the focal point of the anniversary.

"Our region has an incredible connection to Captain Cook's voyage and we want the rest of Australia to hear our stories," LNP Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch said.

The Endeavour will depart Sydney in March 2020, heading south to Hobart before turning north and sailing right around the country's coastline.

It will call in at some ports, anchor at others or sail by specific locations, with 39 stops proposed where it will host a series of events and activities.

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