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Gateway to Cape York officially opens ahead of the Cape’s tourism season

Lakeland’s Gateway to Cape York and sculpture park was officially opened this morning by Cook Shire Mayor, Peter Scott at a ceremony that was attended by more than 60 stakeholders, Cook Shire Councillors, community members, artists and representatives from neighbouring Aboriginal Shire Councils and local government agencies.

Pictured left-right above: Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott; Rosie Harrigan; Damien Harrigan and former Cook Shire Councillor, Alan Wilson officially open the Gateway to Cape York in Lakeland ahead of the tourist season. 

Featuring an iconic “gateway,” a purpose-built traveller information centre, a rest stop area and an interactive sculpture park that showcases communities from Cape York, the $1.2 million project at Lakeland on Mulligan Highway welcomes visitors to Cape York Peninsula and was delivered with $998,000 from the Queensland Government’s Building our Regions program. Cook Shire Council contributed $290,000 and managed delivery of the project.

“Lakeland marks the beginning of many Cape York adventures and is a significant tourist junction for the tourism drive market and 4WD adventurers,” said Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott.

An important aspect of the project was to highlight what makes the Cape so historically, culturally and ecologically unique and educate visitors as to what they can do to help us preserve and conserve this spectacular part of the world.

“The Gateway to Cape York gives vital tourism infrastructure to Lakeland that has been designed to be iconic, interactive, artistic, educational and inspirational,” added Mayor Peter Scott.

The information centre showcases the history and unique ecology of Cape York, while addressing environmental challenges including littering, fire, invasive plants and animals and the importance of respecting land owner’s rights. 

The sculpture park features 16 artworks designed and developed by communities across the Cape. The park has been designed in the shape of a map of Cape York, with the park’s footpaths symbolising the region’s iconic roads, and each sculpture reflecting the spirit of the community who designed it as well as the community’s geographic location on the map.

“With international travel restrictions easing, today’s official opening of the Gateway to Cape York heralds the beginning of what we know will be a sensational tourism season for the whole region,” said Cook Shire’s Manager Tourism, Arts and Events, Sally Eales.

“Iconic and very Instagram-able, the Gateway to Cape York makes Lakeland a must-see itinerary stop for everyone visiting or setting off to explore Cooktown and Cape York.”

Member for Cook Cynthia Lui said the Palaszczuk Government’s Building our Regions (BoR) program supported the delivery of essential infrastructure across regional Queensland.

“The Gateway to Cape York is a great way to welcome tourists to the Cape, it’s beauty and adventure. I can’t wait to see many tourists travel through here and learn about these communities.

“BoR has a long and successful track record of supporting local governments to deliver projects bringing jobs and economic opportunities to communities across Queensland, including those in our most remote locations. 

“BoR has approved funding of over $348 million for 271 projects in 67 regional council areas, attracting additional investment of over $539 million and supporting an estimated 2770 construction jobs and many flow-on jobs and opportunities.”

For more information on the Gateway to Cape York please visit 

The Gateway to Cape York project is proudly funded by the Queensland Government in association with Cook Shire Council.

For more information contact Council’s Media and Communications Coordinator via email at or phone on 4082 0500.

More images available to download here. 

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