The Native | Emma Metcalfe Nash shows us around Geraldton, Australia

Travelling is always risky business – get stuck in a touristy area and your meals are terrible, as would be the rest of your holiday. Emma Metcalfe Nash shows us how to navigate Geraldton, Australia like a native.

Geraldton, Austalia
Geraldton, Austalia

Travelling is always risky business – get stuck in a touristy area and your meals are terrible. The same can be said of sightseeing, hotels and nightspots. Travelling to a place where you know people to recommend the right places makes your stay all the more enjoyable.

Emma Metcalfe Nash
Emma Metcalfe Nash

Emma Metcalfe-Nash, (42), was born in Malton, in the north of Yorkshire, UK and moved to Geraldton, Australia in 2010. If you’re visiting Geraldton, these are the places he recommends to hang out like a native.

Best spot for sightseeing

The Batavia Coast is popular with travelers for its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and marine life
The Batavia Coast is popular with travelers for its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and marine life

Geraldton, Western Australia is 450km north of Perth, West Australia’s (WA) capital city. Geraldton is in Midwest Australia, overlooking the Indian Ocean with Exmouth, Broome and the Kimberley’s spanning the top of WA. The regional city of Geraldton is home to approx. 48,000 people from 50 countries around the world, and easily accessible by road or plane.  The aboriginal, Yamaji population account for 12% of the residents.   

Best spot for sightseeing is anywhere on the beautiful Batavia Coast, with white sandy beaches and turquoise water.  The Batavia was the name of a ship wrecked off the stunning coast among the nearby Albrolhos Islands. From tranquil Dongara, Port Denison to the remote, wind-scoured Zutydorp Cliffs stretches a dramatic coastline steeped in history, littered with shipwrecks and rich in marine life. While the region proved the undoing of many early European sailors, today modern fleets make the most of a lucrative crayfish industry, and travellers hunt down empty beaches. Many a good snorkeling trip can be had straight from the beaches.

Geraldton is home to some of the best windsurfing spots due to a constant breeze most of the year round. If you are not into water sports, then you can drive north to see whales migrating and turtles hatching on the beaches.  There are great fishing spots and endless opportunities for 4WD surrounded by desert and Australian bush land. There are lots of native, wild animals to look out for, wandering emus and friendly dolphins as well as the local kangaroos.

Best place to eat

Geraldton’s multicultural vibe means there are plenty of options when selecting a place to eat
Geraldton’s multicultural vibe means there are plenty of options when selecting a place to eat

With Geraldton’s multi cultural vibe there is a variety of restaurants to choose from it is hard to pick just one. If you are on a budget there are many take away restaurants such as Indian, Chinese and Thai that are very satisfying and affordable. Archipelagos restaurant expertly prepares my favourite Malaysian home cooked food, Thai Beef Salad. 

The trendy Hogs Breath Café offers mouthwatering steaks and grills, Skeetas on the marina has gorgeous homemade Pizza and freshly made coffee.

Best place for a night out

Muwella Muster is home to the unforgettable annual rodeo
Muwella Muster is home to the unforgettable annual rodeo

The best place for a night out is the lively Geraldton Hotel with plenty of local live music, heated outdoor dining available as well as indoor bars and good pub tucker always on offer. There is also the Freemasons Hotel with themed party nights and the popular Provincial Bar for a relaxed evening out with friends.  Or you could watch the sun set with friends on the beach, have a few drinks and look out for passing shooting stars. The country towns offer special events throughout the year too, the Mullewa Muster in WA is home to the unforgettable annual Rodeo and The Gascoyne River Dash is a motorsport event that pits car against car and bike against bike.

Best place to wind down and enjoy nature

The secluded beaches of Geraldton mean that almost anywhere is a good place to wind down and enjoy nature
The secluded beaches of Geraldton mean that almost anywhere is a good place to wind down and enjoy nature

The best area to wind down and enjoy nature is absolutely anywhere, there are secluded beaches and off road tracks everywhere. Just find a few spare days to pack a swag and you will discover something new.

Best place to stay

Your best bet when travelling around Australia is to rent a camper van and discover West Australia. The Karijini National Park is worth a visit
Your best bet when travelling around Australia is to rent a camper van and discover West Australia. The Karijini National Park is worth a visit

It depends entirely on your budget. There are basic, backpacking style accommodation throughout WA starting from around $10-20 a night, and hotels starting around $100 a night. The best and most versatile option is to hire a camper van and explore this stunning coast at your own leisure. There are camel rides available at Broome, and pearl farms off shore. There is the Karijini National Park with its gorges and waterfalls.

How to get there

Emirates offer daily flights between Malta and Perth with a stop over in Dubai. Geraldton is 450km north of Perth.

Currency

The currency is the Australian dollar.

Best time of year to visit

The best time to visit Geraldton will be when the average temperatures are at a comfortable level (between 20°C and 30°C on average) which is during months January, February, March, April, November and December.

Visas

For people from Malta and the European Union, a valid passport and an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) document are required to travel to the Australia. An ETA can be applied for online using a valid passport, credit or debit card, and email address.

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