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.
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.
The beaches here are certainly inviting. They abut the Indian Ocean.
Looking the other direction, here’s the port with beautiful blue water:
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.
Now let’s head southeast along Cathedral Avenue to visit the impressive St. Francis Xavier Cathedral:
The exterior of St. Francis Xavier may look somewhat traditional:
But don’t let that fool you. Inside you’re greeted by this:
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.
Make sure you take time to soak in the beautiful stained glass high above you:
Inside you’ll also find this impressive organ:
The apse is also quite breathtaking:
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: