Given how vast Western Australia is, but full of beautiful places to visit around almost every corner, there are always towns and villages along the way that eventually fall into this category. “passing”. Places like Busselton and Bunbury to the southwest, and to the northwest, Geraldton.

However, we’re here today to lovingly illuminate this gateway to the northwest, a town working hard to shake off the ‘pitstop’ tag with an array of great reasons to make sure you stay a little longer. long time. From their unrivaled seafood, thriving history, arts and culture scene, beautiful foreshore and esplanade and more, here are 10 reasons why you should allow yourself some generous time in Geraldton the next time you’re there:

It has its own island paradise, the Houtman Abrolhos Islands

We asked the question a year or two ago, and we think it’s fair to say that the Houtman Abrolhos Islands are becoming the second best in WA. island playground. The 122-island archipelago contains some of the bluest waters in the country, steeped in biodiversity and declared a national park; you can get there easily by boat from Geraldton or book an overflight with local operators.

Crayfish, fishing, diving, snorkeling and exploring await you, you will find huge colonies of marine mammals like sea lions, bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales from July to October. Drop a line and if you’re halfway down you’ll be shooting white-headed groper, dhufish, sampson fish, snapper and coral trout, as well as octopus, scallops and of course the biggest catch. popular on the Coral Coast – the Western Spiny Lobster (just be sure to check fishing regulations/exclusion zones or better yet go with a local tour operator).

Plus, there are water sports galore

You don’t need to travel to the Abrolhos Islands to get wet, Geraldton’s coastline is a watersports enthusiast’s playground. There are plenty of great surf spots around the fall when the wind and swell conditions are at their best, while windsurfing is the sport of the day during the summer months. If you really want to kick things up a notch in the adrenaline rush, Ultimate Watersports on the foreshore has it all. We are talking about jet ski rentals and excursions; flying boards; jet packs, SUPs, kayaks, tubing, wakeboard, wakefoil and more!

Ultimate water sports

Maritime history buffs will all be at sea

Geraldton’s status as a major West Coast seaport and its establishment in 1850 means it is a town steeped in history and there are many ways to explore it. Point Moore Lighthouse, Sydney’s HMAS II Memorial, St Francis Xavier’s Cathedral, Victoria District Hospital, Old Jail and Crafts Center are all significant sites worth seeing.

Meanwhile, the Geraldton Museum not only explores the region’s rich maritime heritage, but most importantly the history and culture of the Yamaji people. To go a little further on the first inhabitants of the region, the Yamaji Drive Trail offers 14 sites to visit along a 60 km route.

Geraldton Museum

And there’s plenty of art and culture to sink your brain into

Art lovers would be well advised to head to the wonderful Geraldton Regional Art Gallery and Visitor Center (pictured below), which features hundreds of spectacular pieces from the region as well as traveling exhibitions national. There is also the Yamaji Arts Center and Mullewa Aboriginal Art Workshop and Gallery, as well as a thriving public art space near the Summerstar Belair Gardens Caravan Park.

Geraldton artwork

It’s New Seafood Festival is already an iconic WA event

If you’re planning on heading to Geraldton around April, maybe make it the end of the month when Shore Leave returns after a triumphant inaugural event last year. Locals and visitors alike are treated to a spectacular array of food, community and cultural events over five days, including Abrolhos Long Table Lunch, Beach Price Markets at Fisherman’s Wharf, Midwest Paddock To Plate and more. There will be celebrity chefs and amazing seafood – check out the program here.

Shore leave, Geraldton

Geraldton’s foreshore and esplanade are world class

No coastal town is worth the salt of its seawater unless it has a family-friendly foreshore area for the community, and Geraldton has developed a pearl oyster in recent years. Boasting world-class facilities, the foreshore is lined with barbecue grills, walking/biking trails, picnic areas, playgrounds for all ages, exercise facilities and of course, the water park ! Towards the southern end you will find the Esplanade, offering great views towards the city, a fishing spot and even sea lions.

Best things to do in Geraldton
Photo: @thomas__tribe

There are tons of great trails to explore

If you prefer your pursuits more on the land, fear not, Geraldton and the surrounding area is full of wonderful hiking trails to conquer, many of which are also very informative, such as the Geraldton Heritage Trail. Head to the area during wildflower season and watch the area sparkle while exploring sites like the Greenough River Nature Walk Trail, Chapman River Regional Park, and the Mullewa Trails.

Best things to do Geraldton, Ellendale Pool
Photo: @nature_camping_kids_

You are surrounded by succulent seafood

Alright enough of the preliminaries, now we get to the seafood heart and soul of what makes Geraldton great. If you have the time to hop on a fishing charter or crawfish boat, that’s where you’ll get the freshest of charges when it comes to Geraldton’s beloved western lobster. Alternatively, you can take a tour of the Geraldton Fisherman’s Co-op or head to Fisherman’s Wharf and sample fresh fish and chips from Barnacles On The Wharf.

Seafood, Geraldton

And their restaurants and cafes are booming

It doesn’t have to be crawfish all the time (Skeetas is a local favorite for this if you haven’t had your fill yet), with an emerging restaurant, cafe and small bar culture that will keep you fed. and watered just right. Cutler & Smith and The Provincial are two great little bars in town if you’re looking to whet your whistle, while Freemasons offers the authentic country pub experience we all love.

Coming back to the start of the day, you won’t be able to explore until you’ve had your caffeine down, and Geraldton has no shortage of quirky cafes with great coffee. Quiet Life, The Jaffle Shack (pictured below), Cafe Fleur and Two Foreshore should all be on your morning radar.

Jaffle Shack, Geraldton

There is even a pink lake and the very pretty Ellendale swimming pool

Last but not least, we couldn’t end this article without mentioning the presence of a pink lake! Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake is about an hour north of Geraldton, near the small fishing town of Port Gregory, and is well worth a visit. Booking a flyover gives you the most dramatic effect of pink colliding with the vivid blues of the ocean, though it’s still awe-inspiring to walk along it.

And if inland bodies of water are more your thing, be sure to visit Ellendale Pool – a scenic waterhole 45km south-east of Geraldton near Greenough. Surrounded by eucalyptus trees and a spectacular rocky gorge, it’s ideal for picnicking with barbecues and learning a bit from interpretive panels explaining the native and European history of the area.

Hutt Lagoon Pink Lake

Aerial view of Hutt Lagoon, near Port Gregory

Start planning your trip to Geraldton via Visit Geraldton Website.


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