Thursday, January 19

Geraldton

Today we ventured to Geraldton. I’d not been there before, so was keen to see this town on the coast of WA – famous for a number of things – including the memorial for the HMAS Sydney, but more about that later. It is an area of great history, with historical settlements, information on the pioneering and Indigenous history, and a fabulous coastline with plenty of fishing, and other water sports, and lots more to see and do.

HMAS Sydney Memorial




We left Dongara around 9 am and headed north – and our first place of interest was the famous Leaning Tree. The wind in these parts is very strong, and these trees manage to cope by leaning over with their backs to the wind. There’s one tree beside not far from the road, complete with information about the trees – appropriate for photographers!

The Leaning Tree


Further on we came to the Greenough Pioneer Museum, which was ‘established in the former Maley homestead by the Geraldton Historical Society in 1966.’ The house was built somewhere between 1862 and 1880, where the Maley family settled and had 14 children. There really is so much to see, and we wandered around the old house looking at the vast number of historical artefacts, many donated by people keen to preserve items from their own families, that had great significance. Anyone visiting this area of WA must set aside time to explore this and the other buildings on the property. Beside the homestead are the remnants of a Flour Mill, and a general store. And of course you can find more information at the website http://www.greenough-pioneer-museum.com/.



There is so much to see in this area and a fantastic area for those interested in Australian history to explore further. You really need almost a day to check it all out.

We headed into Geraldton and wandered around, visited a few shops, before going to Memorial for HMAS Sydney which is on a hilltop overlooking the town. It is quite an extra ordinary memorial to a dark time in Australia’s wartime history, and has been created since the discovery of the wreck some distance from the WA coast. It is well worth a visit.

Then it was off to The Dome on the new esplanade. Once upon a time the railway went along the esplanade, and after it was rerouted, development of the Esplanade included shelters, grassed areas, and access to a sandy beach with two pontoons for young people to jump off into the water. The Dome is a restaurant/café on the waterfront, which is clearly very popular and they were doing a roaring trade when we were there. We enjoyed lunch overlooking the sea, while a number of ships either sat at anchor or made their way north.

After lunch we went for a stroll along the Mall – but it was quite hot, and we weren’t interested in shopping so we made our way back to the car on the esplanade.

We were soon on our way back home, via the fish cooperative where we bought some scallops and bug meat – the latter to be consumed for dinner tonight.

The journey back to Dongara included a visit to the Greenough Historical area – which is quite amazing. The churches, homes, and other buildings are so well preserved and a wonderful historical area has been created – complete with a fabulous café and shop, which is the entry point for the park. After a wonderful afternoon tea of tea/coffee, hot scones with jam and cream (enough cream for 4 folk I think!) we ventured into the buildings. The school, the police station, and gaol (can’t imagine anyone escaping from the cells, with such high windows and secure doors), the court building, various cottages, churches, nunnery etc. We were able to go into the buildings unescorted, just so long as we closed the doors behind us. (I have many photos – these are just a selection.)






On the grounds were 6 inquisitive alpacas too – they looked at us with suspicion but were more interested in their afternoon feed.

One could spend a long time in his place – such a lot of history to explore. It is amazing how many old buildings (some of which are still in use) and others in various states of decay – with so many churches that the locals must have had great faith in the Lord way back then.

We soon were back in Dongara – a wonderful day again.







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