Geraldton Things to Do

  • Caves along the Chapman River
    Caves along the Chapman River
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  • Osprey Nest
    Osprey Nest
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  • St. George's Church
    St. George's Church
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Most Recent Things to Do in Geraldton

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    CANNON FROM ZEEWIJK WRECK

    by balhannah Written Dec 2, 2014

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    Sitting beside the Clock Tower is a rather unassuming Cannon that I imagine most people would walk straight past. The surface was rough, not smooth like other Cannons I had seen, lucky there was plaque with some information about.

    The name had a Dutch ring about it, sure enough it was. This cannon belonged to the Dutch East India Company ship Zeewijk, which in 1727 ran into a reef by the Abrolhos Islands just off Geraldton. The ship had a crew of 212 of which the Captain ferried 96 survivors ashore, the remaining 30 stayed with the boat. There is story you can read on the website if interested.

    In 1840, some relics were found and confirmed to belong to the Zeewijk. More items were found, but it wasn't until as recent as 1952, that it became known a rock lobster fisherman had found a cannon on the sea bed.
    Now I understand why this cannon looks like it does, as it had spent many years on the sea bed!

    Zeewijk Cannon
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    MARINE TERRACE CLOCK TOWER & MORE.....

    by balhannah Updated Dec 1, 2014

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    About half way along Marine Terrace sits the Geraldton Clock Tower. Nothing large nor impressive, just somewhere to check the time if needed!

    On the wall in this area, is a WELCOME MOSAIC. Very bright and colourful, this mosaic welcomes people from around the world in their own language.

    Some seating is here, this is where I took a break from walking. This area is where many events and street performers can be seen through-out the year

    Welcome mosaic Geraldton clock tower
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    CBD ARTWORK

    by balhannah Written Dec 1, 2014

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    The City of Greater Geraldton asked for expressions of interest from artists, entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organisations and city centre landowners to come together in a bid to make the city centre come alive.

    As a result a number of local Artists were commissioned to complete various approved artworks around the CBD. The idea is to add colour and vibrancy to the City Centre, an idea I quite like!
    I saw a few of these and have read, in the future there will be many more! The community loves them and I think the tourist would too, I know I did!

    On a building on Cathedral Avenue is a Moorish Idol Fish and an Octopus on the old Salvation Army building in Marine Terrace. The Moorish Idol Fish is a local species of fish.

    Marine Parade, Geraldton Marine Parade, Geraldton
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    THE FREEMASON'S HOTEL

    by balhannah Written Dec 1, 2014

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    It was time to follow the Heritage trail along Marine Parade in the main city centre.
    Right at the very beginning of my walk on the corner of Marine Parade and Forrest street, I found one of Geraldton's Icons, the Freemason's Hotel.

    It was built in the early 1870s in grandiose style on a block of land that cost £9 at the time, quite a lot more than the original sale, reportedly exchanged for a bottle of rum.

    The one I was viewing was built in 1895. The hotel's name is believed to have come about as it was used as a meeting place for the local Masons, in-fact, two of the Publicans were active Masons in the Geraldton district.
    When people arrived at the Geraldton train station, this was the first Hotel they saw, quite an advantage for the owners of the Hotel. Originally it had a tower where visitors could go and enjoy lovely views over the bay and town. It was from the Freemasons' tower that the earliest photographs of the township were taken. The tower was removed through severe earthquake damage in 1973. There still is a Tower where a flag pole stands.

    The Hotel is open... WEDNESDAY - FRIDAY 11am-3pm & 5.30pm-9pm
    SATURDAY 11am-10pm
    SUNDAY 11am-10pm
    MONDAY,TUESDAY,- CLOSED

    RESTAURANT MENU http://thefreemasonshotel.wix.com/home#!food/c1jo3
    LUNCH SERVICE 12-2.30PM
    DINNER SERVICE 6PM-8.30PM

    ACCOMMODATION
    http://thefreemasonshotel.wix.com/home#!accomodation/c1nq7

    Freemason's Hotel
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    HMAS SYDNEY MEMORIAL # 5 THE WAITING WOMAN

    by balhannah Updated Dec 1, 2014

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    This poignant sculpture brought back memories of how I felt when my son went away with the Australian Army as one of the first Peace Keepers in East Timor. You never know what will happen, if you will ever see them again, it is hard!

    This bronze sculpture is very well done and looks quite real. I could nearly feel what she was thinking and wondering, the look on her face was tense, her gaze on the horizon.
    Here she was, standing near the edge with the wind blowing her dress, her hand on her hat whilst looking over Geraldton and out to sea.
    Who was she? Was she a mother waiting for her son to come home or perhaps her husband, maybe it was her father or perhaps a brother, perhaps a girlfriend of one of the Sailors, it could have been any of them.
    She stands there, knowing the Ship has sunk way back in 1941, but she wants the Ship to be found, to have closure, to end the grieving process just as everybody else does to end this tragic chapter in Australian history.

    The Waiting Woman portrays well the hopelessness, the never ending waiting, the pain of loss and emptiness of the many long years before the wreck of HMAS Sydney II was found.

    Now, the Waiting Woman waits no more, instead she watches over her loved ones who are now at rest.

    I am sure when your there that you will feel what it would have been like for all those women who lost their loved ones at sea. She is so real!

    Waiting woman Waiting woman Waiting woman Waiting woman
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    HMAS SYDNEY MEMORIAL # 6 THE POOL OF REMEMBRANCE

    by balhannah Written Dec 1, 2014

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    The Pool of Remembrance was being cleaned the day I was here.

    This is the final part of the Memorial, as it was only made when the wreck of HMAS Sydney II was found.
    It is designed as a circle within a circle, symbolizing the "circle of life and death," and the concept of eternity and the Infinite. It is designed to be an area where people like you and me can come and sit, reflect and contemplate.

    The idea of this shallow pool, is to symbolize the ship resting on the sea floor in 2500 metres of deep water, the war grave of HMAS Sydney II. The floor of the pool forms a map showing the location of HMAS Sydney II. Still following the inspiration of the Sea Gulls used in earlier parts of the Memorial, there is engraved the images of 644 silver Gull shadows enclosing the pool and the ship. No 645 Gull stands 2 metres high and alone on the co-ordinates of the wreck site in the centre of the pool.

    At night, LED lighting is used to create a sombre feeling.

    Pool of Remembrance
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    HMAS SYDNEY MEMORIAL # 4 THE STELE

    by balhannah Written Dec 1, 2014

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    Wow! This WAS impressive! I really liked it!

    The striking shape is the prow of HMAS Sydney II. Its function is a towering symbolic grave marker, built to be imposing and one that can be seen for many miles in many directions. The mast can carry flags and insignia for the Memorial. Water depth markers based upon the actual Sydney II are set into the Prow.

    The Prow The Prow
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    HMAS SYDNEY MEMORIAL # 3 WALL OF REMEMBERANCE

    by balhannah Written Dec 1, 2014

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    This is the sad part, the black granite semi-circular wall made out of Western Australian black granite, which bears the names, rank and home base of the 645 men who lost their lives. Their life was cut short when they were so young.

    The idea of the semi- circular wall, is for it to represent the "encircling arms of a Nation," welcoming home its lost loved ones. It is so large that is has been split in two, allowing a walkway between the two.

    Composite images from actual photos have been photo engraved into the black granite. There is one of Sydney II in action and every day scenes of life aboard the ship, including a group photo of the full Ship's company. Other panels gave a detailed history of the Sydney II.
    On the wall in another section is a description of every element that I saw at the Memorial.

    Lastly, on the final panel are the words. "THE REST IS SILENCE" engraved into the stone.

    Wall of Remembrance Wall of Remembrance
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    HMAS SYDNEY MEMORIAL # 2 PODIUM & ALTAR

    by balhannah Written Dec 1, 2014

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    The Podium is the area underneath the Dome of Souls. Once again, this has been well thought out!
    As the Sailors came from all over Australia, the Podium has been composed of cut stone from all the 7 States and Territories of Australia. The design is based on the nautical compass and incorporates symbolic elements based on the Sea gull and Stele motifs.

    On a sunny day, filtered light was flowing through and shadows of Sea Gulls were showing on the floor. These shadows are meant to represent a sense of movement, either of clouds or the flight of the Gull.

    An inscription set into the black granite reads...

    "IN MEMORY OF THE MEN LOST ON HMAS SYDNEY II 19TH NOVERMBER 1941.
    LEST WE FORGET."

    In the centre is a propeller set in bronze which is used as an Altar. It is here, wreaths are laid during ceremonial occasions. Above the Altar is the Eternal Flame which was lit in King's Park, Perth and then brought to here. Beautiful!

    Podium & Altar
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    HISTORIC CEMETERY

    by balhannah Written Nov 30, 2014

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    Also on the Heritage Walking trail is Apex Park. The historical park is the site of one of Geraldton's first cemeteries which was attached to Francis Xavier Church. The cemetery was forgotten and became overgrown when the Church was dismantled. Since then, headstones from another cemetery have been moved here and the old cemetery has had an overhaul. All cleaned up and tastefully restored, it was here I found the headstones of Geraldton's earlier residents who died during the late 1800s and early 1900s and of some events, like an outbreak of typhoid fever in the Goldfields.
    The Centenary of Federation Memorial Wall has attached to it many old headstones. If you like old cemeteries and I do, then do go for a walk around here and read the old headstones. So sad the number of deaths of infants maybe 1 year old or younger.

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    LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER'S COTTAGE

    by balhannah Written Nov 30, 2014

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    A few steps away from St. George's Church and on the Heritage Walking trail is the Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage.

    Unfortunately the cottage was closed, never mind, I was able to wander around the outside and read some of the information plaques.
    This rather interesting cottage was built in 1876 for the Geraldton lighthouse keeper and his family. The limestone rubble walls have been white-washed, and the roof is now corrugated iron and not shingles like when it was originally built. Out the back was a garden and the outdoor Toilet.

    It ceased operating as the lighthouse keeper's cottage in 1943 and is now in the hands of the Geraldton Historical Society.
    The Bluff point Lighthouse was built in 1876, before the Point Moore Lighthouse. It was destroyed by fire in 1952, so now the monument sits where the lighthouse was located.

    If you wish to view the inside, make sure your here on either a Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, as it is open from 10am to 3.30pm on these days.
    Entry fees apply.

    The Historical Society holds a market on the grounds every 5th Sunday of the month.

    Lighthouse Keeper's cottage Lighthouse Keeper's cottage Lighthouse Keeper's cottage
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    ST. GEORGE'S ANGLICAN CHURCH

    by balhannah Written Nov 30, 2014

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    Located in the Geraldton suburb of Bluff Point is the historic St. George's Anglican Church. My first view of this Church drew me too it, perhaps because it was modelled along the lines of an old English Church and exuded a feeling of loveliness. It really isn't 'that" old, as the foundation stone was laid in 1935, and the Church was consecrated the same year.
    I wondered if this English design was chosen as it was donations from local Parishioners and from people who still lived in the counties of Sussex and Brede where the local parishioners once lived, that enabled the Church to be built.
    The church is built out of stone, in-fact a piece of stone on the porch wall was formerly part of a cornice on St. Georges Church in Brede, England. It is said to have come from France and is approx. 1000 years old! The Bell in the Tower was made in England.

    In Australia, not many churches are open so I was very fortunate a meeting was being held in the hall and the care-taker happened to see me trying to open the door and came along with the key.
    Inside was quite a surprise, quite different as the walls were painted in stripes and the windows were quite plain, still it was great to be able to have a look.
    Outside was a lovely colonnade also made from stone. I walked to the stone entrance arch and found in the gate, the wrought iron form of George and the Dragon!

    I really thought this attractive Church looked much older than it was.

    Worship is on Sundays at 7.30 and 9.30, unfortunately it didn't say am. or pm!

    St. George's Church St. George's Church St. George's Church St. George's Church St. George's Church gate
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    THE OSPREY NEST

    by balhannah Written Nov 28, 2014

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    I found an Osprey nest on the ocean side of Marine Terrace, not far away from the Lighthouse.
    This same nest has been used year after year, all that happens is renovation during pre-nesting season. Nests have been known to be used for decades. The nesting site at Point Moore was constructed by humans and the Osprey, a medium size Raptor, come back to this nest every year. The Osprey has long, speckled wings and a short tail. A distinct dark stripe runs from the beak, past the yellow eye and down the neck to the chest. In this species, the female is much larger than the male.
    The breeding cycle is in Spring when 1 - 4 eggs are laid over a few days. The incubation period takes between 32 - 40 days with the eggs hatching from late August to October.

    They are around this area and if you look, there is a good chance of seeing them plunging into the shallow water to grab fish with their talons. This usually happens early morning or late afternoon.

    Osprey Nest
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    WILDFLOWER NATURE WALK

    by balhannah Written Nov 28, 2014

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    When I was at the Visitor centre, I booked a wildflower nature walk, the first of the season.

    We met at Spalding Park which is about 5kms from the city centre. Once everybody on the walk had arrived, we were introduced to the members of the Chapman River Friends who were taking the tour. The corridor has 10 species of native mammals, 39 species of reptile, 6 species of frogs, 42 species of birds and 190 + species present within the park with several varieties on the WA threatened species priority list.
    We walked in a single file following the leader until a flower was found, there we gathered around and were given information on that particular plant. We saw plenty of interesting flora and were shown plants with fruit or underground tubers we could eat for survival.
    The Chapman river was rather pretty and had good reflections, we crossed over it on some stepping stones.
    Interesting, the walk is as long as you want it, none of us realized that. I had allowed 1 hour so myself and a few others left the group and returned to our cars, while the others went on looking for more flowers.

    You need to wear walking shoes or closed in shoes, wear a hat and take water - Bring a camera.
    Cost was $5 which paid for the plant identification booklet, so very good value.

    Check with the Visitor centre for when the walks will be taking place.
    Phone + 61 8 9921 3999 OR Freecall 1800 818 881

    Found on nature walk Found on nature walk Found on nature walk Chapman river Caves along the Chapman River
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    GERALDTON OLD RAILWAY STATION

    by balhannah Written Nov 28, 2014

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    The old railway station built for the line in 1879 was the first railway station in Geraldton. The Station is heritage listed as it's a good example of a Federation Free Style building designed by the Public Works. Evidently, it wasn't a style of building commonly seen in country/regional centres. It's also historically important as it provided a vital link between the mining and agricultural activities in the hinterland and the major shipping port in Champion Bay.

    It's a large and beautifully restored building that no longer sees trains rolling in, instead it's people rolling into the Station car park to park their car and to visit the rear platform at the back of the Old Railway Station for the Local produce and craft markets held here on Sundays.
    TIME - BETWEEN 8 - 12 noon.

    It is also used as a BUS DEPOT for TRANSWA
    Website is below for this service.

    Front of station Rear platform on Station
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