Kicking off WA’s Coral Coast stretch, Geraldton is an ocean lover’s paradise with shipwrecks, endless stretches of ocean to be swum, surfed and windsurfed and a parade of beachfront dining options. Look a little deeper within Geraldton and its nearby surrounds, you’ll find some epic foodie options, natural wonders that will have your social media looking on point and tributes to WA’s history that are well-worth educating yourself on. So take yourself on a northbound road trip and discover these beauties that will have you forgetting you ever used the word 'Douth'.
Eat And Drink
This limestone-encased beauty is the place to fuel up for the day with good cups of joe and a breakfast list to satisfy all the taste buds. Stacked with our favourite things, the Spanish breakfast is mouth-watering with halloumi, avocado, poached egg and chorizo piled high on a bed of toast. If you’re travelling with a pooch, it’s doggo friendly too.
The Jaffle Shack
So close to the ocean, you’ll be lifting your feet at high tide in this rustic tin shed pumping out good food and coffee. Overlooking Geraldton's beautiful marina, The Jaffle Shack puts on a mean breakfast jaffle stuffed with bacon, egg, mushroom and pesto. And for lunch, we’re all about the Nutty Chicken loaded with chicken, chorizo, almonds, spinach, aioli and plenty of stretchy mozzarella. If you’re a sweet tooth, sink your sugar-dipped fangs into the Monkey Madness. The Jaffle Shack has also opened in West Perth for any city slickers fancying a pre-road trip toastie taste test.
Daydream about getting a boat while chowing down on the local delicacy; fresh western rock lobster at Skeetas. Its new location right on the marina is the perfect spot to view the red sunsets, eat fresh seafood and wash it all down with a Frangelico basil margarita.
Burnt Barrel Outback Brew-BQ
20-minutes northeast from the heart of Geraldton in Nanson, this restaurant is dishing up some very creative and tasty grub that is worth the drive. Grab some dirty street fries alongside the carnivore’s dream menu that’ll probably have you do a return visit (although the smoked field mushrooms with chargrilled halloumi will satisfy our veggie friends). These guys know how to dessert too, with all treats made onsite; get a few forks for the large wedge of ugly crust pies.
Other top nosh and perfect lattes can be found at Salt Dish Cafe, Quiet Life Specialty Coffee and Piper Lane Cafe. So basically, come to Geraldton with an appetite and a high tolerance for good caffeine.
Yamaji Drive Trails
Find out more about the traditional landowners and local Aboriginal people on the Yamaji trails which cover over 195-kilometres and include 14 significant sites. If you’re keen to stay in town, check out the Ilgarijiri Sculpture on Marine Terrace or grab a map, snacks and a latte for the road before setting out to see the beautiful sites.
HMAS Sydney II
Thought to be Australia’s greatest naval tragedy, the HMAS Sydney II is commemorated in Geraldton in impressive form. The history behind the loss of 645 young men in 1941 is heartbreaking, but so tastefully and beautifully symbolised in a variety of memorial sculptures in Geraldton. Go upgrade your history knowledge and pay tribute to the brave men who never returned home to their loved ones.
Another one on the Yamaji Drive, Ellendale Pool is the perfect spot for a waterhole swim or, for the daredevils amongst us, a cliff jump from the beautiful rocky gorge that hugs one side of the pool.
Point Moore Lighthouse
The iconic red and white striped lighthouse was built back in 1878 and provides some cool historical facts to impress your mum when you return home. Bring your bathers, because the lighthouse watches over a beautiful reef, which is exposed at low tide, as well as a gorgeous snorkelling spot. Make sure you rinse off under the super cute lighthouse replica shower.
Fellow pink lovers, your prayers have been answered. One hour north of Geraldton in Port Gregory, the Pink Lake (AKA Hutt Lagoon) is a blush-hued spectacle thanks to the presence of algae. Depending on where you view the 70 square kilometres of lake, the pink varies from salmon to magenta, but we promise a killer Instagram snap regardless. If you're keen to see the pink lakes from above Shine Aviation has you sorted with a number of different joy flights.
Greenough Wildlife Park
Get ready to hear your inner cute radar going off because 20-minutes south of Geraldton is where you get to cuddle dingo puppies and kangaroo joeys. The Greenough Wildlife Park rehabilitates injured or orphaned animals in the hope to release them back into the wild, although some have preferred captivity and live the good life with the loving owners at Greenough. Visitors can cuddle the babies back to health and the resident alpine dingoes love a pat. There are also crocodiles, lizards and snakes if you’re into reptiles.
60-kilometres offshore from Geraldton are the spectacular Abrolhos Islands, laden with sea lions and birdlife. If you want to dive below the surface, the 1629 Batavia Shipwreck is an underwater museum and one of WA’s premier diving sites for experienced divers. For the rest of us, scenic flights and fishing charters are brilliant ways to explore the islands and surrounding reef masses. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins and turtles.
Keen to get your camp on? Check out some of the best camping spots in WA's north.
Image credit: Shine Aviation