Friday, Dec 2: This morning we awoke to find ourselves in Geraldton, WA. That’s what I love about cruising – unpack once and we get to call a floating 5-star hotel “home”, with ever changing views!
This was our only tender port, so we had to get a ticket and wait our turn for the tender boat. It only took about 15 minutes to reach the shore. So off we went for a look around town. Little did I know that the day would not go according to plan.
Perched on a pristine coastline, Geraldton boasts gorgeous beaches, a thriving multicultural and Aboriginal community, a friendly country vibe and impressive cultural and architectural heritage. Added to all that, it is only a 4-1/2 hour drive from Perth. Unlike our previous visit, we were very impressed with the number of volunteers who met the ship and welcomed us.
We decided to visit the HMAS Sydney II Memorial again and this time there were volunteers there to explain how the dome-shaped memorial stands in remembrance of the tragic sinking of this vessel in November 1941 after an encounter with the German raider Kormoran. The 645 metal seagulls represent the fallen crew. Interestingly, on 16 March 2008 the final resting place of the ship and her crew was located 112 nautical miles off Steep Point, the most westerly point of the Western Australian coastline.
We also visited the ornate St Francis Cathedral, designed in 1915 which took 23 years to complete. It is made from local Geraldton stone and quite impressive on the inside.
On the way back to the tender in the afternoon I had an unexpectedly close encounter with the boardwalk. I think that deserves a post of its own!