Geraldton Museum – touching maritime stories

HMAS Sydney II Memorial

Heavy clouds hung over us all the way to Geraldton. Fortunately, it didn’t rain, so we had time to visit the town, which is beautifully situated by the ocean. 

Geraldton city center has also been restored in recent years and looks very pleasant. The new houses, which were built in the style of small period houses, also looked interesting as they have this extraordinary character. Our main point of interest was Geraldton Museum and its maritime stories.

HMAS Sydney II Memorial

On the way, we also went in to see a monument in honor of the HMAS Sydney sailors who died during World War II. It was Australia’s biggest sea disaster as 645 people sank. 

The dome of the monument consists of 645 gulls symbolizing these people. Next to the monument is a statue of a woman looking out to sea, sterling in the ocean, looking for the ship that will never come back.

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HMAS Sydney II Memorial - woman statue
HMAS Sydney II Memorial – woman statue

HMAS Sydney was not found for 60 years and no one knew its fate. Only in 2008, its position was established. It was confirmed that the German torpedoes did so much damage that not even one lifeboat was launched and the ship sank almost immediately. 

Interestingly, as a result of this battle, the German SS Kormoran also sank, but only a few sailors died there.

HMAS Sydney II Memorial
HMAS Sydney II Memorial

Our camping reminds me of a ghost town. That is, there are no ghosts, but everything is run down. There are four stars on the entry board, but it is probably a mistake or a memory of better times. We are staying in Geraldton until tomorrow. 

Marius was planning to go fishing. 

Tomorrow, we will also go to see the remains of the Danish Batavia ship sunk in this area in the 15th century. Nell, on the other hand, wants to go to a huge playground. Everyone had plans for the next day! 

In the evening the sun broke through the clouds and we were able to enjoy a dramatically beautiful end to the day – the sky was just on fire.

Geraldton Sunset
Geraldton Sunset

The car choked for a long time in the morning and we thought it was its last moment. It turned out, however, that it had summoned the last remnants of his life and pushed the engine to start up. The next day we are going to see Geraldton Museum and its maritime stories about many wrecks that sank around Geraldton.

Geraldton Museum

So we went to Geraldton Museum. We were delighted with an amazing exhibition of artifacts from Batavia – a Danish merchant ship, making its maiden voyage off the coast of Australia.

Batavia story

Batavia crashed unfortunately on a nearby reef in 1629. The castaways managed to get to a nearby island, which was obviously uninhabited.

Several people sailed on a lifeboat to look for help, and the self-proclaimed leader killed some of the survivors in order to have food and water for himself and his kin. 

The help came a few days later and he was arrested, but many people already died. The ship was carrying a lot of valuable goods, silver coins, spices, ceramics.

Geraldton Museum
Geraldton Museum

Some of the goods were recovered and the rest were only found in the 1960s. The collection of artefacts is very rich – you can admire old cannons, a deck bell, coins, everyday items, and even the stone entrance to the church!

Geraldton Museum is full of other maritime stories like Golden Dragon, Zuydrop or Zeewijk and those are revealed in the Shipwrecks Gallery.

Huge playground and Footy Finals

We spent lunch on a huge playground. Nell just went crazily tirelessly and didn’t have time to sit down to eat something. She swallowed everything on the fly. 

Later on, Marius got nervous, it was the footy finals, and he couldn’t catch the signal on our antenna. He finally managed to watch the match on a tiny TV in the kitchen and came back happy, because his team had won.

Nell really enjoyed our trip around Australia

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Greenough River Nature Trail – south of Geraldton, it is a picturesque 17 km walk surrounding Greenough River. It offers beautiful views over the river.

Coalseam Conservation Park – located 110 km east of Geraldton. It is a place where the first coal deposit was found in Western Australia. In the park marine fossils embedded on the banks of Irwine River as signs of the time when the park was covered by a Permian sea. The fossils can be seen in the cliff face upstream of the Riverbend Picnic Area. 

There is a nice, 3.2 km Plateau Loop Trail that begins at Miners campground and meanders through a eucalypt woodland.

Camping is also available at Miners Campground.

Chapman River Regional Park Nature Trail – located in Geraldton it is a 10.8 km nature walk that was created to highlight the Chapman River’s ecological significance in the region.

On the walk, you can see many interesting animals like echidnas, possums, parrots, kangaroos, geckos, frogs and many more.

This trail is normally used for hiking, walking or mountain biking.

Definitely yes. You can take a fast ferry, flight or charter boat. There are many tours available: half-day, full-day, 5 days. I would recommend staying at least a few days to soak the atmosphere of the surrounding coral reef.

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