Located on the coast of Western Australia, the resort of Geraldton provides an enticing blend of pristine beaches, water sports and historical attractions that few Australian destinations can match.
The town has a history which stretches back almost 200 years, and many of the mid nineteenth century buildings of Greenough (the town’s early name) have been restored and opened to the public. Other great historical attractions include the Chapman Valley Historical Museum with its fascinating displays of agricultural scenes and the beautiful lighthouse keeper’s cottage – an architectural gem from 1876.
However, for many people the beaches will be most important. Being right at the heart of the Coral Coast, Geraldton offers access to limitless sands and secluded coves. Swim and fish at South Bay or see gorgeous views of the town from Separation Point. At Coral Bay, visitors can snorkel or scuba dive to the Ningaloo Reef, and glass bottomed boat tours can be booked for non-swimmers to see the rich marine life.
Visitors can also take a boat to the stunning Abrolhos Islands, located 40 miles (64 km) from the coast. Ecotours can be booked which will show visitors the incredible biodiversity of the islands, including dolphins, enormous Sampson fish and sea lions basking on the unspoiled sands.
Geraldton also offers more conventional holiday attractions such as a range of well-maintained golf courses, horse racing at the Utakarra Racing Course and the chance to enjoy wind-surfing or kite-surfacing in the town harbour.
Lovers of hiking will also adore Geraldton, with well-marked routes along the Greenough River and the Coral Coast. There is also a thriving cycling scene, with rental outlets and plenty of suggested routes. In fact, there is something for all active holidaymakers in the area.
Geraldton enjoys a temperate, almost Mediterranean climate, making it a superb summer destination (between November and March), and mild in the winter months (May to September). Peak season is around December and January, particularly at Christmas, so consider a November or March break for lovely weather and accommodation bargains. Expect a little more rain in the winter, but nothing that prevents a great cycling or golfing holiday.
Geraldton has a good bus service which runs during the day and covers the town and some of the most popular beaches. The city itself is flat and easy to walk around, and is also home to a keen cycling community. Renting a bike and off-road vehicle is a great way to see the outback and coast.