Geraldton is packed with things to do – from visiting museums and art galleries to taking in the architectural landscape and cultural trails.
One of the top things to do in Geraldton is learn about the maritime history of the region, and nowhere is it more interesting and enjoyable than at the slick regional Western Australian Museum. Its Midwest Gallery has engaging displays on the area’s indigenous, pioneer, natural, social and economic history, while the wonderful Shipwreck Gallery contains relics of the area’s early shipwrecks as well as documents the tragic story of the Batavia.
You cannot visit Geraldton without visiting the HMAS Sydney Memorial. This striking monument on the hill overlooking Geraldton commemorates the 1941 loss of the ship and its 645 men after a skirmish with a German ship. Up close you’ll see the dome is made up of flying birds and the bizarre figure is that of a woman looking out to sea.
Views from the hill are spectacular as the entire Geraldton township below can be seen from here. Other lookouts such as Separation Point Lookout and Mount Tarcoola Lookout also provide panoramic views of the city and ocean.
Other Geraldton attractions worth visiting are the collection of spectacular architectural buildings scattered around town. Most noteworthy among them is the elaborate Cathedral of St Francis Xavier which is the finest example of the architectural achievements of the multi-skilled Monsignor Hawes. Built between 1916 and 1938, its most striking features include imposing twin towers with arched openings, a central dome, Romanesque columns and boldly striped walls. The Old Railway Building has exhibits on local history, wildlife and geology.
For art aficionados, the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery is worth a visit as it is one of the best galleries in the state, exhibiting the work of local artists and pieces from private and public collections, including paintings by Norman Lindsay and Elizabeth Durack, provocative contemporary work and engaging changing exhibitions.
While in Geraldton, it’s hard to miss the Point Moore Lighthouse, with its distinctive red and white stripes. It was shipped here from Britain and has been in continuous operation since 1878. The 1876 Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, the town’s first lighthouse, now houses Geraldton’s Historical Society.
Below are tours that are highly recommended to appreciate some of the other Geraldton tourist attractions on offer.
Geraldton is world famous for its rock lobster and a tour of the Fishermen’s Co-Op is an eye-opener. At Fisherman’s Wharf, you can do a tour following the lobsters’ journey from fishing boat to restaurant table and buy fresh seafood from the market.
For a cultural experience, consider embarking on the Yamatji Cultural Trails which will open your eyes to the customs, traditional practices, history and contemporary issues affecting the Mid West indigenous Yamatji people through tours to significant sites around Geraldton. You’ll get to sleep under the stars and hear Dreamtime stories on the 2 ½-day tour.