A port city in Western Australia, Geraldton is located 424 km north of the state’s capital and home to some great beaches and interesting sites. The town is the gateway to the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, some 70km’s off the coast.
You can fly to Geraldton Airport from Perth or drive the 430km which will take you just under 5 hours. There are daily bus services and cruise ships also occasionally stop at the port. A bus service operates in town or you can walk around. Having a car is the best way to get around.
There is a hostel right on the beach with dorm beds and private rooms. Accommodation is expensive in the town, private rooms start at about $100 a night for a double room up to $200 for a nice apartment. A few camping and caravan parks are available around the town for a budget option.
Head to the beach for a relaxing day in the sun or try surfing at Back Beach. Visit the Maritime Museum or HMAS Sydney Memorial or take a walk along the scenic foreshore. A day or overnight boat trip to the amazing Houtman Islands is a great diving and snorkelling trip.
There is a dive centre on Marine Terrace in town and a few dive sites off the shore. Things to see around the area include coral formation, reef fish, mantas and other rays, sea lions, dolphins and maybe even a dugong!
Sites include the wrecks of the Batavia and South Tomi. Shore dives of Lighthouse Reef or Moore Reef and Drummond Cove. For a great diving experience head out to the Houtman Abrolhos Islands which are the most southern coral reef in the world and home to 122 islands with some lovely diving. Not a lot of people get out to these islands so you’ll see some of Australia’s best sites if you get the chance to do this trip.
Be sure to stop in at the award winning Freemason’s Hotel for a pub meal and cold beer. You’ll be happy you decided to stop in and explore Geraldton.
(By Kelly Luckman)