Driving to Geraldton with a Stop in Gingin

To Geraldton!

Driving to Geraldton

Geraldton is a coastal city in the Mid West region of Western Australia, located 424 kilometres (263 mi) north of Perth.

When John decided to take a few days off and take me to Geraldton, I was very excited. This was going to be a new place in Western Australia I had never been before. Not to mention, it was the most farther north I had been in Western Australia as well.

As we leave the city and the landscape started to change, I got out my camera and soon realized it wouldn’t turn on! I started to wonder and panic, did I get it wet the last outing we made? (We sure had been out in a lot of rain)…. Is it broken?
John immediately blamed the battery but I remembered that it wasn’t low the last time it was used.

John offered to stop at Gingin, or even go back home to find an outlet to charge my battery. I wasn’t so sure it should even need charging, and I was soon very sad with the idea of going to Geraldton, a place I had never been, without being able to use my camera. Needing to really know if it was the camera or the battery, I accepted his offer of stopping in Gingin.

Not that I was hopeful to find an outlet. It seems outlets in Western Australia is a hard thing to find, but honestly that whole nuisance is a good theme for another whole blog. (One outlet per room, even in new houses! Seriously?)

As we pulled into Gingin, it was familiar to me, John mentioned we had stopped there before. I tried looking at the public toilets, no outlets in there. (I thought perhaps they might need them for cleaning purposes). We finally stopped at the visitor’s center that is combined with the library. They were open and the librarian there was more than happy to let me put my battery plugged in behind her desk.

It wasn’t long, I had sympathy among the ladies working there that it wasn’t my camera, and that it was indeed a battery that needed recharging. They were so kind, since they found out I love Western Australia flowers, they showed me the garden behind the library, and it wasn’t long before they knew my whole life story. I must have said a lot of nice things about John because they all sure wanted to meet John, this man who loved me so, and made me a boomerang wife, flying in and out of WA. However, with a truck full of our stuff, he was staying put. A shame, they were all so lovely.

I suppose a good 45 minutes had gone by, and I gave my camera a try. It turned on! So it was a very dead battery! There was a mini celebration in the library, and soon John and I were off again. My head was swirling with delight of a working camera, and the kindness of sweet strangers. Gingin now holds a place in my heart for sure.

Back on the road, I was hoping to find the gum trees lining the country roads that I love so much, but, apparently north, trees aren’t a thing. Now, I know we were driving in some really bad wind, as John was commenting that driving wasn’t easy, and we were going into some exceptionally bad weather, but apparently north into Geraldton, wind is a thing.

patch of sun

The weather was kinda gloomy, rainy, and windy, I couldn’t resist a patch of sun hitting a far away hill.

Woolly Smokebush (Conospermum incurvum)

As we drove, we kept seeing white bushes. We stopped to examine them…it was a different kind of smokebush.

Of course, John’s photo is more accurate to what we really saw as we drove along….

windy on the smokebush

Smokebush, in the wind.

flooding in Eneabba

Going around Eneabba, I couldn’t help but notice this very unique marker for when they had experienced flooding.

I was wishing I had just as an original marker for the WIND we were experiencing!

When we finally saw a tree, this is what it looked like:

greenough leaning tree

Buffeted by prevailing southerly winds, the leaning trees of Greenough (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis or Red River gum) have become a popular icon for travelers. The River Gum is found throughout southern Australia growing along watercourses and on flood plains. It is only on the windswept Greenough Flats that the tree develops its distinctive leaning shape.

Perhaps that is their unique wind marker.

Not long after the leaning trees we were finally in our hotel.It wasn’t easy, it was at that moment in time when we were checking in and looking for our room that the heavens opened and buckets of rain poured down.

geraldton hotel

How I loved our place at the Mantra Geraldton! A short tour around, I was ready to move in.

kitchen in Mantra Geraldton

The kitchen was nice, it had a dishwasher and stocked nicely. It’s just, when I am on vacation, I don’t really feel it’s a vacation if I am in the kitchen a long time. So this room was appreciated, but not used much.

bedroom mantra geraldton

We actually were given two bedrooms, we chose this one for us…

Spa bath

…as it was the bedroom next to the spa bath! (I think I asked John 100 times to get me one).

around Geraldton

Once settled in, we went to see the wet town and find the Visitor Center.

rainbow over geraldton

The visitor center was closed, but it gave us a moment to see the sun come out and a rainbow form over the town of Geraldton.

zoom in on the rainbow

This was without a doubt, the most vivid rainbow I had ever seen. I decided to zoom in with my camera.

Wet and rainy Geraldton

So, we drove around Geraldton some more. We decided to hit the hot spots listed in the brochure we already had. In between all of the rain, that is.

Point Moore Lighthouse

The red and white candy stripes of Point Moore Lighthouse are a spectacular sight that stands out proudly amidst the Geraldton landscape. Standing 34 meters high it was the first all steel tower built on the mainland of Australia, back in 1878. With its bold colours, the lighthouse has become an icon of the port town of Geraldton.

St Francis Xavier Cathedral

St Francis Xavier Cathedral is a spectacular church in the center of Geraldton.

the cathedral of Geraldton

Apparently it’s supposedly beautiful inside, but the Cathedral is closed for interior restoration and Conservation work.

HMAS Sydney II Memorial

Next stop on the brochure, the HMAS II Sydney Memorial.

Memoral in Geraldton

commemorates the loss of HMAS Sydney II, the greatest single tragedy in Australian Naval History, and dedicated to the lost Crew and their families.

More on the Memorial HERE

I was rather amazed all we got to see in such a short time and in spite of the rain.

 

Now….get me to my spa bathtub!

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