We almost didn’t call here. We were supposed to tender into this port and the Captain suspected that large swells would make that impossible. He arranged in advance for us to dock in the commercial port. As it was, they still had some difficulty tying up the ship. This port was added not long before the cruise started because of the cancellation of an overnight stay on the Great Barrier Reef. I have done that overnight stay and as there was nothing to see, I was happy to come to Geraldton, a small city of about 35,000 people. This coastal city in the Mid West region of Western Australia has roots that extend back 40,000 years through the Wajarri people who make distinctive paintings, combining dots of ochre and earth-based pigments. This is wine and agricultural country. However, coal was discovered in the region in 1848 and the commercial port is still busy exporting large amounts of coal to the rest of the world. There is also a lobster fishing industry and locally Geraldton is known as the “Lobster Capital of the World.” The Mediterranean climate is perfect for water sports of all kinds and I started my walk along the esplanade built beside the seashore. Early on a Sunday morning many people were out on the beach and strolling along the esplanade. There are some colourful art installations to see as you walk along. My route took me to the excellent Western Australia Museum which is quite new and sets out the history of the area from prehistoric times. I then wandered through a local Sunday market on my way to to visit the HMAS Sydney Memorial which highlights Australia’s largest naval tragedy and the 645 men that went down with the HMAS Sydney in 1941. After decades of searching, the wreck of the ship was finally found in 2008 off the coast of Shark Bay. The memorial on Mt Scott includes a metallic dome roof made from 645 seagulls, representing those that were lost. Lastly I went to the Geraldton Art Gallery. This small gallery contains work of modern Australian painters representative of the region.
Art honouring the traditional custodians of the land, the Amangu and Naaguja people