Circumnavigating Australia — Touring Geraldton


Floating in the Indian Ocean

Two days after leaving Port Hedland Radiance of the Seas made port in Geraldton. The city of Geraldton looks much larger than its population would suggest. The population here is under 38,000 (2018 numbers), but it has both the look and feel of a major metropolitan area.

“Lighthouse” at Marine Terrace and Cathedral Avenue

It certainly feels much larger than, say, Port Hedland (14,320 in 2018), but it doesn’t feel appreciably smaller than Darwin (pop. 148,564 in 2018) as you stroll the city streets. On Wednesday you’ll see why, as we travel to the HMAS Sydney Memorial which overlooks Geraldton.

Geraldton city street

The beaches here are certainly inviting. They abut the Indian Ocean.

Geraldton beach

Looking the other direction, here’s the port with beautiful blue water:

Radiance of the Seas in port

In the downtown area on Marine Terrace southwest of Durlacher Street is an odd stone wall onto which plaques have been mounted. I approached the awning-covered area and found the plaque pictured below. It commemorates the wreck of the Dutch East India Company ship Batavia, which ran aground on a reef  near Beacon Island some 54 miles/87 kilometers west northwest of Geraldton in 1629.

Plaque commemorating the loss of Batavia (1629)

Now let’s head southeast along Cathedral Avenue to visit the impressive St. Francis Xavier Cathedral:

Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier, Geraldton

The exterior of St. Francis Xavier may look somewhat traditional:

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Geraldton

But don’t let that fool you. Inside you’re greeted by this:

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Geraldton

This dramatic cathedral was designed by architect-priest Monsignor John Hawes, who obviously drew his inspiration from some of the more famous striped churches of Italy. The orange and gray stripping is quite striking.

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Geraldton

Make sure you take time to soak in the beautiful stained glass high above you:

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Geraldton

Inside you’ll also find this impressive organ:

Cathedral organ

The apse is also quite breathtaking:

St. Francis Xavier Cathedral, Geraldton

I’ll leave you with this last rather fun image before returning you to Geraldon on Wednesday for a tour of the HMAS Sydney Memorial:

Flags flying in Geraldton

 

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