Discover Geraldton's pink lakes, diving atolls, indigenous cultural trails and plenty of restaurants serving Australia's prized rock lobster.
By Georgia Rickard
The seaside city of Geraldton is emerging as a trendy beach escape. Base yourself in the city centre (where you'll find cafés, street art and galleries) and explore the area's naturally blessed surrounds, which includes beautiful beaches, Aboriginal driving trails and even a pink lake. Geraldton is also the ideal location to access the Coral Coast's carpets of wildflowers, which are in full bloom in late winter, early spring.
- See a striking pink lake from above
- Sample the famous local delicacy, rock lobster
- Explore the visually stunning Abrolhos Islands
How to get there
From Perth you can fly to Geraldton twice a day on weekdays and once daily on Saturdays and Sundays. Alternatively, it's a 4½ hour road trip north from Perth, along Indian Ocean Drive. The region is also supported by Integrity coachlines, a hop on and off bus very popular with the backpacker market.
Top things to do in Geraldton
Submerge yourself in the beach culture
Blessed with beautiful beaches and a warm climate, Geraldton is a popular destination for water sport enthusiasts, with a dozen beautiful beaches offering a variety of conditions. Visit Champion beach in the middle of town for a relaxed day of sunshine and paddling, Separation Point for coral snorkelling and surfing, or Sunset beach to watch the sun dip into the ocean at the end of the day. Geraldton is also known as the windsurfing capital of Australia for its consistent summer breezes, particularly at Coronation Beach, 30 kilometres (19 miles) north of the city, which is said to be one of the world's best three beaches for the sport. Several operators in town have windsurfing and kitesurfing equipment for hire.
Admire the breathtaking Abrolhos Islands
The 122 beautiful Abrolhos islands are a tropical haven of white sand and aqua waters. Located about 60 kilometres (37 miles) west of Geraldton's coastline, they are a natural paradise for snorkellers, divers and fishermen and home to the very cute endangered Australian sea lion, as well as more than 90 species of seabird. There is no public accommodation available on the islands, but you can get here via a three or five day cruise on board luxury ship Eco Abrolhos, or take a scenic day trip via Geraldton Air Charter or Shine Aviation.
Explore local Aboriginal history
The Yamaji Drive Trail includes 14 indigenous sites that can be visited, all with interpretative signage telling various stories of the local Aboriginal heritage both before and after Europeans arrived in Australia. Learn about the local bush foods that the people of the area harvested, swim at a beautiful waterhole, Ellendale Pool, stop at an Aboriginal community centre and see the remnants of a midden (a mound of shells remaining after ancient feasting). The route takes approximately half a day and is 60 kilometres (37 miles) long.
Fly over a pink lake
The 14 kilometre (8½ mile) Hutt Lagoon is known as a pink lake, but actually changes colour from bubblegum pink to lilac purple depending on the time of day, the season (time of the year) and the amount of cloud cover. The incredible colour is due to the presence of algae in the water. The best way to admire this spectacle is from the air, on a scenic flight with Shine Aviation or Geraldton Air Charter, but you can also take the one hour drive here north from Geraldton along the George Grey Drive. The best time of day to visit is mid-morning or sundown.
Enjoy the famously fresh seafood
The crystal clear waters of Geraldton's coast are flush with some of Australia's best seafood, including the elusive rock lobster, an internationally sought-after delicacy prized for its sweet, juicy flesh. While here, you can take a tour of Geraldton Fishermen's Co-operative, the largest processor of rock lobsters in the world, or head to a local restaurant such as Skeetas or Port View, which have rock lobster permanently on the menu. For a dinner amongst the locals, try Freemasons. Geraldton's emerging café culture is also worth experiencing. For an excellent coffee, visit The Quiet Life café, Culinary HQ or The Jaffle Shack.
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