Geraldton was one of our overnight stops on a road trip north to the Shark Bay Area. Some 425 kilometers north of Perth, it is an important modern port handling the export of wheat and ores from the mining industry. Established in the mid 19th century, the town of Geraldton has some lovely historic buildings reminiscent of early colonial times.
Marine Terrace seems to have been the original main street but now runs parallel to a thoroughfare nearer the sea. Beyond the Railway Station, there were some lovely buildings. With no time to investigate their history, it was enough to look and enjoy their beauty.
Also here are some modern memorials to historic events. A section of the coast near here is known as the Batavia Coast after the flagship of the East India Company that foundered on rocks off this coast in the 17th century.
Weibbe Hayes became a hero after he led a group of survivors of the shipwreck against mutineers after the ship ran aground. I was pleased to ‘meet’ him as I had already been very impressed by the Batavia exhibition at the Shipwrecks Gallery in Fremantle on a trip a few years back.
I have been fascinated for some time by posts from a fellow blogger, Jessica Barrat, who writes about historic events and collects great newspaper clippings about life in Western Australia. She had recently been sharing gems about cases of Bubonic Plague in Geraldton in the early 1900s – not that long ago! My favourite was a report that seaweed was being spread on the streets to reduce infection!
Jessica’s blog is at https://thedustybox.com/ and her twitter account is @jessb3. Well worth a follow!
It would have been wonderful to have had a little more time in Geraldton to explore its historic connection. My time in Geraldton was literally a couple of hours – but surely a teaser for a return visit to this most historic town, with stories of shipwrecks, famous carpets of spring flowers and an abundance of 19th century history.
I will be back!