A year-round holiday climate
just 423 km -five hours' drive north of
Perth, makes Geraldton (population
31,000) one of the most popular places in the State, especially in winter.
Good beaches, offshore islands and reefs, an inland ablaze with
wildflowers in spring, and an interesting history that dates back to the
first European contact with Australia, 370 years ago, along with good
facilities in and around the town, make the town a great destination.first to bring back good reports of
the area. The first British ship anchored here in 1841, naming it Champion
Bay after the ship; the name was changed to Geraldton when the town was
surveyed 10 years later. Miners and pioneer pastoralists opened up this
region, and today the area is rich farming land, with market gardens along
the river being fed from an all-year underground stream, and with the port
as the major base for the crayfishing fleet which operates from Geraldton.
The islands of the Abrolhos, which lie 100 km offshore, were the scene in
1629 of one of the greatest shipwrecks and mutinies in Australian history.
Here the Dutch ship Batavia was wrecked, and in the months that followed,
a drama of mutiny, murder, survival and rescue were played out on the
islands and nearby mainland.
George Grey, on his walk back to
Perth after being wrecked at the mouth of
the Murchison River in 1839, was the
There are plenty of fishing opportunities in and around Geraldton. The
harbour is home to tommy ruff and garfish, while further offshore the
reefs produce pink snapper, baldchin tuskfish, Westralian jewfish,
sweetlip and mackerel; off the beaches you can catch tailor, mulloway and
whiting. Diving and surfing are popular, and fishing and diving trips to
the Abrolhos Islands are available.
Annual events and festivities include the Geraldton Windsurfing Classic in
January, the Batavia Seafood Festival in February, the Batavia Coast
Fishing Classic in April and the Festival of Geraldton held in October.