It’s no secret we love Western Australia’s Coral Coast, and one of many highlights along the stretch is its unofficial capital city – Geraldton.
Just 4.5 hours north of Perth by car (or a 1-hour flight), the city of Geraldton’s emergence as a must-visit spot was cemented last year with a silver win at the Western Australian Top Tourism Awards.
Indeed, from a burgeoning food and bev scene to seafood festivals, island hopping, art-lined streets, historical tours and much more, there’s plenty of fun to be had:
60 kilometres off the Geraldton coast you’ll find WA’s other island playground, the Houtman Abrolhos Islands. Get out there via scenic flight with Shine Aviation/Kalbarri Scenic Flights, or stay on-board a multi-day live-aboard charter with Eco Abrolhos and enjoy fishing, diving, snorkelling and swimming on white sandy beaches.
Point Moore Lighthouse
With an iconic red and white design, Point Moore Lighthouse stands at an impressive 34m high, making it the tallest ‘metal’ lighthouse in the country! With a beam that can be seen almost 30 kilometres out to sea, it’s also the oldest surviving Commonwealth lighthouse in Australia.
St Francis Xavier Cathedral
One of WA’s most impressive churches, St Francis Xavier Cathedral took 22 years to build and looks as spectacular inside as it does outside. You can jump on a guided tour and be immersed in its fascinating history, or enjoy a meal at nearby Laian Restaurant with the cathedral as a dramatic backdrop. Pro-tip: head to Laian on Saturday nights when they open for dinner and enjoy the cathedral lighting up the night sky.
Museum of Geraldton and HMAS Sydney II Memorial
Another awesome option for history buffs, the Museum of Geraldton is your go-to for learning about the region’s rich heritage, including archaeological marvels from its four famous Dutch shipwrecks. Second pro-tip: Jump on a free guided tour of the nearby HMAS Sydney II Memorial, which kick off at 10.30am, then head to the museum and watch a 3D film about the wreckage!
Art and Culture
Along with plenty of historical significance, over the years Geraldton’s streets have become increasingly filled with colourful street art, local galleries, decorated walls and installations like the Ilgarijiri (emu eggs sculpture). You can take yourself on a self-guided art tour to find them all, before making your way to the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery and Yamaji Art. Yamaji supports and develops Aboriginal artists living the region, sustaining art practices and creating economic benefits while providing incredible insight to visitors on the Yamatji people.
The Foreshore – Horizon Ball
And speaking of art, no visit to Geraldton is complete without a visit to the Beresford Foreshore and taking in the “Horizon Ball’. This stunning sphere is filled with 1800 litres – best taken in around sunset.
Good times on (and in) the water
As with many spots along the Coral Coast, Geraldton is flush with water-based fun including swimming, surfing, stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, kitesurfing, diving, snorkelling and fishing. If you’re looking for a little more adrenaline with your coastal adventures, head to Town Beach between November and April and try your hand at flyboarding, jet skiing, wakeboarding and tubing.
Not all the water-filled fun is on the coast! A short 40 minutes from town will land you at Ellendale Pool, a wondrous waterhole formed naturally along the Greenough River. Surrounded by gorgeous gum trees and a rocky gorge, it’s a popular picnic and camping spot with plenty of amenities like toilets, gas barbies, picnic tables and more. Camping fees do apply if you plan on staying overnight, and you can bring your four-legged friends as long as they stay on the lead.
Food and Beverage fun
As Geraldton’s status as WA’s seafood capital continues to grow, so does its food and drinks scene. From fresh catches to mouthwatering Middle Eastern feasts, rooftop bars and a brand new distillery, you’ve got options galore in Geraldton. Mornings are made easy too with plenty of great cafes and baked goods to choose from around town – your best bet to make the most of what’s on offer is to check out Australia’s Coral Coast’s Geraldton food and beverage trail map.
Festivals and events
If you’re not yet sold, why not build your Geraldton journey around one of their many fantastic festivals during the year. There’s regularly art and jewellery exhibits, family-friendly music festivals, action-packed muster and rodeo events, writers workshops, comedy fests, wind sports weekenders and more, including the jewel in the crown – Shore Leave. Taking place from April 26-30, in just a few short years Shore Leave has become one of the State’s most beloved festivals, with long table lunches, seafood markets, celebrity chefs and much more.
Find out more about Geraldton and its surrounds via the Australia’s Coral Coast website.
This article is sponsored by Australia’s Coral Coast and endorsed by us. Please see our Editorial Policy for more info.