Geraldton, WA, Australia cruises
Geraldton port guide.
The largest city north of Perth, Geraldton’s ultra-white sands and Mediterranean climate are a magnet for sunseekers, while its coast attracts anglers and water sports enthusiasts from miles around.
The city is one of Western Australia’s most picturesque; its streets liberally lined with murals, statues, and sculptures.
Take a scenic wander along the city’s foreshore, savour the sweetness of a freshly caught rock lobster (a Geraldton specialty), or take a step back in time, exploring the relics of shipwrecks past; just one of many insightful displays at Museum of Geraldton.
Top landmarks and sights in Geraldton.
Geraldton’s top sights are an intriguing blend of iconic buildings and natural biodiversity.
HMAS Sydney II Memorial Geraldton.
Located on Mount Scott, this domed-shaped memorial is erected in memory of the 645 Australian sailors who lost their lives when HMAS Sydney did battle with Germany’s HSK Kormoran in WWII. Surrounded by native shrubs and pathways, the site also features two bollards taken from the port of Geraldton, which HMAS Sydney had tied onto before she departed for her fateful downing at sea.
Some 60km off Geraldton’s coast brings you to the Abrolhos islands, a group of 122 islands lapped by beautifully clear sea. A haven for nature lovers, the islands are laden with wildflowers, while the waters that surround them are home to more than 380 species of fish. Salmon here are said to be so tame in fact that they’ll even allow you to feed them straight from your hand.
Point Moore Lighthouse.
Constructed in 1878, the candy-striped Point Moore Lighthouse is one of Geraldton’s most iconic structures. The first tower in Western Australia to be built entirely from steel, its 34-metre height is unmissable on the landscape. Although entry isn’t permitted, the beach beside the lighthouse is well worth a visit, particularly at low tide when it’s possible to walk directly onto the reef.
St Francis Xavier Cathedral.
Designed by architect Monsignor Hawes, who arrived in Geraldton in 1915, the Roman Catholic St Francis Xavier Cathedral is regarded as one of the architect’s most impressive works. Completed in 1938, the building is one of Geraldton’s finest structures, boasting twin domed-topped towers that date back to 1918. Guided tours are available, but advance booking is necessary.
Things to do in Geraldton.
From museums and galleries to stunning beaches, a day out in Geraldton offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in nature or brush-up on Western Australia’s WWII story.
A good place to begin is at the Museum of Geraldton. A perfect introduction to the city, a visit here offers chance to familiarise yourself with the ancient landforms that have shaped the Coral Coast, as well as the history and culture of the region’s original settlers, the Yamaji. There’s also a gallery displaying objects recovered from four Dutch shipwrecks, as well as a 3D film revealing the wrecks of HMAS Sydney (II) and HMS Kormoran from their resting place on the ocean floor.
In the city’s turn-of-the-century Town Hall (a building that’s inscribed on the state register of heritage places) you’ll find the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery. With both touring and permanent exhibitions, the gallery is considered a principal arts intuition within greater Geraldton, housing (among other things) the city’s official art collection. Workshops, talks, and other events are also a regular feature in the gallery’s diary – perfect if you’re looking for a creative outlet whilst ashore.
Of course, with year-round sunshine, one of Geraldton’s many draws is its climate and you’ll find ample outdoor activities if you’re looking to make the most of this during your stay in port.
As well as water sports and sunbathing at the city’s sand beaches, a walk along the foreshore is also a pleasant way to pass the time, offering beautiful coastal views and (if you’re lucky) a cooling breeze. At the farthest end you’ll find an esplanade with a 360-degree viewing platform and landscaped walkways complete with BBQ facilities. Alternatively, pop into Geraldton’s Visitor Centre and collect a Heritage Trails brochure to discover some self-guided walking loops around the city.
Eating and drinking near Geraldton cruise port.
From quaint and quirky cafes to restaurants and bars offering marina views, you’re never far from something satisfying to eat or drink in Geraldton.
One of the city’s most famous culinary offerings is rock lobster, caught locally in the waters surrounding the Abrolhos islands. You’ll spot this regional delicacy on many Geraldton menus, along with a range of other fresh seafood options and natively farmed produce.
For a good selection of places to eat, head to West End on Marine Terrace or, if you’re looking for somewhere to grab a frosty beer or perhaps a glass of home-grown Australian vino, Geraldton’s marina offers the perfect vantage point.
Shopping in Geraldton.
Geraldton offers an eclectic shopping scene, with an emphasis on local, independent, traders.
No matter what you’re seeking here, you’re sure to find it. From handmade crafts and traditional Yamaji artworks to Abrolhos pearl jewellery and homewares, shopping in Geraldton can reward you with a truly one-of-kind keepsake from your travels.
You’ll find gift shops within the Geraldton Regional Art Gallery and Museum of Geraldton, and a small selection of brands within Northgate Shopping Centre. If your cruise happens to call in port on a Sunday, be sure to check out the pop-up market stalls selling colourful crafts and other wares at the Northern end of Geraldton’s foreshore.
Getting around: Geraldton transport.
Geraldton is big on sustainable transport and you’ll find the city well connected by walking and cycle paths, as well as an extensive bus network with over 60 stops. Taxis are also available if you’re looking to travel further afield or in a rush to reach your destination quickly. These can be booked at the Geraldton Visitor Centre once ashore.
Cruises calling into Geraldton dock alongside so there’s no need to travel into port by tender. The walk from the cruise terminal into town is around 1km (roughly 0.6 miles) so it’s easy to get to and from your ship on foot – particularly if you want to jump back on board for a spot of lunch before resuming exploring the city’s museums, galleries, and outdoor spaces.
If you’re booked onto a Cunard Shore Experience, your tour operator will collect you from inside the port. For everything else, including private tours you’ve organised independently, you’ll need to board a port shuttle to get outside.
Geraldton port facilities.
Geraldton port facilities are minimal but you’ll find everything you need just a short distance away from the terminal. This includes the Geraldton Visitor Centre, which offers city maps and walking trails, as well as a gift shop and information on local tours and attractions.
Geraldton quick tips.
Geraldton is located within Western Australia and the accepted currency is the Australian dollar. Many establishments will accept card and there are ATMs dotted around town. A small amount of cash may be useful if you wish to tip or make small purchases while in port.
Geraldton is known for its Mediterranean-like climate and the weather here throughout the year offers mild, sunny, days. The warmest months are December, January, and February, when average highs reach around 30 degrees Celsius, and coolest in June, July, and August when daily temperatures are around ten degrees lower (20 degrees Celsius on average).