At school I hated history, but just recently, I've learn't a little bit about the history of different parts of Australia and it's quite fascinating. We are young compared to most places in the world, but when you stroll around some of the little heritage buildings here, it's quite interesting to feel the atmosphere of a whole different error in time. The Geraldton area was discovered in the 1820's and because of the reef that protects the place, it took a whole lot of ship wrecks out to sea and surrounding islands before people landed. Anyway, we enjoyed wandering through some of the oldest buildings here and being transported back in time. I have some more pix in my travelogue.
We heard they had wineries at Geraldton. Well that's all we needed to know.... and we were off to check 'em out :o) Well I found Chapman Valley Wines had the best selection yum yum,... but we enjoyed the atmosphere at Ego Creek Wines the best. They make a lovely platter of cheeses, patte and fruit to complement their wines and we enjoyed a bottle of red with their lovely platter on the verandah overlooking Geraldton bay.
Geraldton is a fishing town and also exports wheat and iron-ore and minerals as well as live crayfish. People come from all over the world to go diving and snorkling at the Abrollas Islands off the coast, we couldn't go but will get there next time. People also come to see WA's magnificant wildflowers from July to November. Stay tuned for more pix.
This cottage belonged to the lighthouse keeper of the Bluff Point Lighthouse which was the first for the port. There was the tower and four bedrooms but fire destroyed the lighthouse in 1952 and the tower was removed. There is now a monument where it once stood.
Out the front of the Lighthouse Keepers Cottage is this old anchor. It came from a Taiwanese fishing trawler which ran aground near the mouth of the Chapman river (6kms north of Geraldton) after breaking its moorings only the 23rd July, 1976. The trawler had been confiscated for illegal fishing and was being escorted to Geraldton by the Australian Navy. All attempts to float the ship failed and the trawler was eventually salvaged.
Standing on the edge of the plateau is this huge 19m high Stele. This stainless steel structure is symbolic of a grave marker and was designed to stand for the forward part of the HMAS Sydney known as the prow.
Geraldton’s Art Gallery is the largest and only dedicated gallery in the area and only one of three A Class venues in Western Australia regional areas. The gallery features both contemporary local artists as well as hosting touring collections each year.
The building is historic in that it was originally the Town Hall which was built in 1907. The hall was used for exhibitions, civic functions and social events. In the 1980’s the building was threatened with demolition, but a public outcry stopped the destruction . The hall was renovated and taken over by the Art Gallery. Under the foundation stone is a copy of the history of Geraldton.
A commemorative seat made using limestone from the original structure. It was built on the base of the old tower. Inside the cottage are records and pictures from the Historical Society. In the lovely gardens surrounding the cottage is a rotunda with lace style decoration.
The cottage is open from 10am to 12pm Tuesdays and 10am to 4pm Thursdays.
Head out to the high dunes for an adrenaline rush sandboarding down the slopes. Looks terrifying when you are at the top... but its not as scary as it seems.. I almost got too scared of trying.. luckily I did try. However, its quite a chore climbing up the dune though.
Geraldton is the home of Crayfishing or Lobsters. We simply had to try some, especially since they were on special :o) We had dinner at the Boatshed and shared a Cray for $25AU and that's cheap!! It was definately worth it!!
Couldn't resist this one :o) right in the middle of town. Actually we went to a Mexican cafe just near there, next to Subway - (a common Aussi fast food chain), anyway the food was cheap and piled on the plate - we got very full :o)
You will find Geraldton’s Visitor’s Centre within the Bill Sewell Complex. They can make all your tour and accommodation bookings and are also agents for Greyhound, Indian Pacific and Transwa. They have the usual souvenirs plus tea/coffee, email facilities and toilets.
Open Mon-Fri 9.00am to 5.00pm, Sat-Sun and public holidays 10.00am – 4.00pm
The gaol was built in 1858. Sixteen cells line a central corridor and there are several exercise yards. The gaol ended its service in 1986 and was the 2nd longest serving prison in Western Australia. When it closed, it was left to run down until a number of craftspeople took over and used the building to sell their crafts in the cells .
You certainly cannot miss the HMAS Sydney memorial as it sits high on Mt Scott casting its eye over Geraldton. The memorial commemorates the 645 crew of the HMAS Sydney who died when the ship was hit by a German raider Kormoran on November 11, 1941. The German ship deceived the Sydney crew by identifying themselves as a Dutch ship and then opened fire but they didn’t get off that lightly, 78 of its crew were also killed.
As you walk up the path to the memorial you will come to concave walls. On these granite walls are panels with the names engraved of all the crew of the HMAS Sydney who died. There are also old photos of the ship and crew.