People have lived in this area for 40,000 years, those since the time of European contact being the Yamatji or Wajarri aboriginals. In 1848 lead ore was discovered here and the area began to be built up: metal ore mining along with livestock and fishing were and remain the major industries. Geraldton was transformed in the 1960s when the Brand Highway was tarmacked all the way from Perth, so that bumpy dusty 420 km (260 miles) became one day’s easy drive. The city’s main interest to travellers is therefore as an overnight stopover, but it has a range of tourist attractions in its own right, especially water sports.
Geraldton Visitor Centre is in the Bill Sewell Complex, just north of the city centre on Chapman Road.
That tarmac highway spelt the end of passenger rail services to Geraldton, and of the coastal passenger steamers.
- 1 Geraldton airport (GET IATA) (is about 10 km east of Geraldton along Highway 123 towards Mt Magnet). Virgin Australia and QantasLink have daily flights to and from Perth. There’s also private aviation facilities.
Car hire is available here if pre-booked. There’s no public transport to downtown, reckon $30 for a taxi. Taxi transfers are also available to outlying towns such as Greenough and Dongara.