It’s funny how a place gets under your skin. If you had’ve told me years ago when I was working in a London PR Firm, or later in a Corporate Affairs team for an Australian Bank, that I would end up becoming a Designer and settling down in Geraldton, there’s no chance I would’ve believed you.
My knowledge of Geraldton was that is was an industrial city on the coast, where a railway line divided the beautiful ocean from the town itself. Years ago this much was true but in the last decade Geraldton has been transformed and so has my knowledge and experience of this incredible place.
The railway line has been removed and replaced with green public open spaces. Lawn, coastal garden, pathways and cafe’s now pepper the seaside where the railway line once was. Laneways alive with urban art link the coast to the main street, where you’ll now find boutique shops and a pretty trendy, family friendly café scene. It’s no longer just a place to pass through on the way North but somewhere to stop and stretch your legs, stay for a holiday, or in our case live.
Some things will never change - like the Abrolhos Islands just offshore and Geraldton’s unique history as a crayfishing and agricultural town, which are a proud part of the stories that make up this place. Geraldton has long been a popular seaside resort town for the wheat farmers of the Central-West region. However, for many it remains an undiscovered tourist destination, which means it still has those relaxed down-to-earth holiday feels, away from the overly commercialised tourist vibe and bustling crowds of other parts of Australia, during school holidays.
If you’re like us, you’re always on the hunt for beautiful places to visit and great activities to keep the kids occupied during the holidays. School holidays here in Geraldton have a lot on offer, with a pretty jam packed School Holiday Program for both younger and older kids, run by the City of Greater Geraldton and local businesses. Outdoor films on the foreshore, surfing lessons, art + craft classes, sunset kids yoga, SUP paddle board sessions, SUP Yoga sessions, museum trails, cooking classes and sporting workshops, are all part of the long line up.
Don’t get me wrong - Geraldton, like most places, still has improvements to make - but it sure has changed it’s street and tourism cred in the last few years for good reason. When it comes to raising a young family or holidaying with one, there is so much on offer and this slow easy outdoor lifestyle, is exactly what we’ve fallen in love with.
We scooter along the foreshore into the town centre most days and find ourselves at a cafe having brekky, at the museum checking out the latest exhibition, swimming at the beach, or at one of the beautiful playgrounds overlooking Champion Bay.
On the weekends we have surf club and often head out for adventures to the nearby rivers and wildflower country, bbq with friends by the beach, or just stay home and soak in the ocean view from our yard - a view we would never be able to afford in the city.
The locals know just how easy it is to live here and how much is on offer, particularly for young families. Big enough to have so many of the opportunities and activities a city does, yet small enough to maintain that small town vibe with friendly faces, easy access to the beach and wild flower country, no traffic and a sense of calm and community that’s tough to find in cities.
Just in case you’ve been considering a holiday here I’ve listed a few of my favourite places to see, things to do and shops and cafe’s to visit below. Also, don’t forget to check out the School Holiday Program to see all of the cool activities on for families and kids over the summer holidays.
We moved here for work and family reasons and at the time we were convinced that it would only be a two year stint. Six years later, we never want to leave this beautiful town we now call home.
PLACES TO EAT
Lavender Valley Farm
The Burnt Barrel Brewery
PLACES TO STAY
PLACES TO SEE
Champion Bay Foreshore
The Abrohlos Islands
The War Memorial
Point Moore Light House
The Fishing Boat Harbour
The Wild Flower Country
The Murchison River
The beautiful beaches all around town - Back Beach, Coronation Beach, Medallians, Back Beach, Tarcoola Beach, Champion Bay, Pages Beach and many more.
St Francis Xavier Cathedral
Coalseam Conservation Park
PLACES TO PLAY & FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Enclosed Toddler Playground on the Foreshore beside the ‘big kids’ playground (3-10yrs)
Pre Teen and Teen High Ropes Foreshore Playground
The Natural Medallions Enclosed Playground & BBQ area
Sun City Indoor Playground
Spalding Park Mini Trains
Geraldton Art Gallery
Tubing & Jetski Hire