Geraldton is located on Champion Bay, 424km north of Perth, Western Australia and has become a popular seaside resort town for the wheat farmers of the Central-West region.
Brief History of Geraldton
For over 40,000 years the traditional owners of the land were Aboriginals belonging to several tribes.
Champion Bay was first noted by Commander Dring in January 1840 and it was subsequently named by the Royal Navy hydrographic surveyor JL Stokes after Dring’s colonial schooner, Champion.In 1839, George Grey, became the first recorded European to explore the region. Geraldton, Western AustraliaGrey, returning back, on foot, to Fremantle (from Shark Bay), after a disastrous expedition to the North-West Cape of Western Australia, made note of the fertile land.
Following the discovery of lead and copper along the Murchinson River, surveyor Augustus Gregory was instructed to find an appropriate townsite. By 1851 the townsite of Geraldton was declared. The town was originally called Gerald’s Town in honour of Governor Charles Fitzgerald (1848-55) but was later shortened to Geraldton. More history of Geraldton
Things You May Not Know About Geraldton
The Port of Geraldton is one of Australia’s busiest regional ports.
It is estimated that up to $3 million is lost each year in Western Australia’s Rock Lobster (crayfish) industry due to missing legs. Yes, that’s right, Western Rock Lobsters are prone to dropping their legs during post-harvest handling. The industry is believed to lose between 40-80 tonnes of legs per season. Lobsters with all their legs attract premium prices.
The flame on the HMAS Sydney II Memorial was lit from the “Eternal Flame” at the War Memorial in King’s Park.
Geraldton’s most recognized icon, the yellow submarine, was the end result of a failed lobster catching idea!
The illegal fishing ship, the South Tomi, was purchased by the City of Geraldton in 2003, as a unique way of promoting the “Shipwreck Coast”. The South Tomi was sunk about 3kms off the Geraldton coast to create an artificial reef that provides an easily accessible diving alternative to the Houtman Abrolhos Islands (60km offshore).
The Zeewijk was the last VOC (Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) ship to be wrecked off Western Australian coast. The Zeewijk Cannon salvaged from the wreck is on display on Chapman Road.