For those seeking a true escape, Australia’s Coral Coast has a range of sparsely populated, deliciously vast spaces that are irresistible. Leave the everyday behind and embrace the freedom of driving past stretches of native wildflowers, sculptural rock formations and a cluster of little-known islands along the Coral Coast.
But wait.... say 'hello' to the Coral Coast’s regional city, Geraldton, a thriving cosmo holiday destination with lots on offer! Maybe more than you thought...
Depending on the time of the year, Geraldton can be a destination in itself or a perfect hub to enjoy many regional experiences and attractions. From July to September, use Geraldton as a base to explore the many wildflower locations, or venture further north to Oakabella Homestead, Horrocks Beach, Pink Lake at Port Gregory and Kalbarri. During Summer, Geraldton has a wealth of great beaches and summer activities on their doorstep, making it a great family adventure.
Drive Perth to Geraldton (about 4.5hrs or 415kms), either along the Brand Highway or picturesque Indian Ocean Drive where you can discover the coastal towns of Cervantes, Jurien Bay, Greenhead, Leeman, and Dongara-Port Denison. Consider stopping in to Jurien Bay for a sea-lion snorkeling tour. Tours leave from the Jurien Bay Boat Harbour where there is plenty of parking and public toilet facilities including warm showers.
Tour times are:
7:30 am – 10:00 am and 10:00 am – 12:30 pm during summer;
8:30 am – 11:00 am and 11:00 am – 1:30 pm during winter (15th May until 15th September)
Charters run daily, weather permitting.
Heading further north, discover Greenough’s historic charm just 20 minutes south of Geraldton and while you are there, visit the picturesque Ellendale Pool. Located approximately two kilometres north of the Greenough Historic Settlement, the iconic leaning trees of Greenough are a must-see when in the region.
Overnight - Geraldton
Worked up an appetite for breakfast? Well, you’re in luck because Geraldton has a booming café scene. There’s some great eateries along Marine Terrace, all restaurants sporting a contemporary menu that will have you salivating. While you're here, make sure to stock up your Instagram with shots in front of stand out Public Art that lines buildings and laneways.
Head to the Geraldton Fishermen’s Cooperative for their 10am live lobster tour, and then to Barnacles on the Wharf for some local fish and chips for lunch. If you want something a little extra, try some of the crayfish meals which are new to the menu.
Taking a walk around the city, head up to the newly opened Beresford Foreshore and check out the art installation: Horizon: Public Art - Geraldton's newest #Instaworthy location, on the Beresford Foreshore at the bottom of Dean Street.
On your way back, learn about Geraldton’s history by visiting the St Francis Xavier Cathedral. This beautiful building is some of famous architect Monsignor Hawes’ finest work and is one of the region’s jewels. Guided tours through the Cathedral are available and provide great insights into the building and Hawes’ work in the Midwest.
To delve into everything that Geraldton and the surrounding region has to offer, join a tour with MidWest Adventure Tours. Tours include a seasonal Wildflowers Tour, Historical Landmarks Tour, Food Tour, plus more.
Ahead of tomorrow's Abrolhos adventure, learn more about life in the Midwest at the Museum of Geraldton. The Museum celebrates our region’s history and is a great place to visit to learn about the Batavia Shipwreck and Houtman Abrolhos Islands. The Museum of Geraldton also has a great shop with local products, educational items and souvenirs.
Make your way up to Geraldton’s premier spot for honouring the fallen in the World War II battle off the Western Australian coast, HMAS Sydney II Memorial. This place is magic around sunset.
Overnight - Geraldton
After breakfast make your way out to the Geraldton Airport because you’re headed to the Houtman Abrolhos Islands! Hop aboard a flight with either Geraldton Air Charter or Shine Aviation. Be sure to pack your togs and sunscreen – once you see the Abrolhos Islands you won’t be able to stop yourself from jumping in and going exploring. They will probably fly over the Pink Lake, Hutt Lagoon for you as well!
If you have more time or are looking for a bit more adventure, book a live aboard 3 or 5 day tour to the Abrolhos Islands. There are several live-aboard tours to the Abrolhos Islands - check out Eco Abrolhos and Abrolhos Adventures, both also offering sunset cruises of Geraldton Harbour. Priviate and fishing charters are available with Seaestar Charters, Apache Charters and Pelican Charters (who also go to the Montobello Islands).
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Take a walk along the Geraldton Foreshore to see the Ilgarijiri Eggs designed by Yamatji artists Margaret Whitehurst and Barbara Merritt.
The Geraldton region is rich in Aboriginal culture. Those in search of cultural experiences will be fascinated by the ancient culture of the local Indigenous Yamatji people, visit the Yamatji Art Centre and learn how this gallery supports and develops Aboriginal artists living in the Lower Murchison region of Yamaji Country with a focus on sustaining cultural maintenance and arts practice while creating economic benefit. The Yamatji Drive Trail, covering 195km, takes in 14 sites of significance to the Yamatji people. Maps can be collected from the Visitor Centre at the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery.
Jump in the car and explore the beaches and landscapes surrounding Geraldton, such as Point Moore to see the tallest ‘metal’ lighthouse in Australia, and then check out the kitesurfing and windsurfing at Coronation Beach. Pack your bathers in case you feel like going for a dip! If you are in Geraldton between November and April, head to the Geraldton foreshore for some Ultimate Watersports adventure. They have Jet Ski Hire, Jet Ski Tours, Fly board x, Jet Pack, SUP, Kayaking, Tubing, Wakeboarding, Kneeboarding, Skiing, Wakefoiling and more.
For a bit of family fun, check out Chapman Valley Fishing Park, for a nice protected fishing experience for the whole family. Just 25 minutes drive north of Geraldton, Chapman Valley has some great mountain bike trails if you have your bikes with you.
Explore Geraldton Harbour on a Summer Sunset Cruise as the sun sets over the Indian Ocean with Abrolhos Adventures or Eco Abrolhos Enjoy food, beverages and live music during the warmer months (November to January). Book this tour with the Visitor Centre. Staying on land for dinner? Fine dine and take in the view of the Harbour at Skeetas Restaurant
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Shop for your holiday memento at Latitude Gallery showcasing the amazing Abrolhos Pearls, before heading home to Perth.
Geraldton has a range of accommodation options for visitors from hotels, caravan parks including onsite cabins and vans, check out the range below