Our stop in Geraldton was a bit of an eye opener. We have seen a traffic light for the first time in about a month! Geraldton is a major wheat export terminal and our camping ground is not far away from the port railway line. It seems the Port comes to life in the early hours of the morning and the odd long train comes through. So there is a bit of a racket. But we are sound asleep and only awake to the calls of nature!
The major attraction here in Geraldton is the Cathedral. The architect being none other than Monsignor Hawes. It is certainly a grand building for Geraldton. It gets lit up at night and makes quite a spectacle.
Also up on a hill is the memorial to HMAS Sydney. There was a cruise ship in town the day we went up here so the memorial was maned by volunteers and we got a few snippets of the layout and meaning of the memorial items. The major one being the big dome. It is constructed from steel doves each one representing one of the men who died when the Sydney was sunk off the Geraldton coast during WW11. Originally built before the Sydney wreck was discovered there has since been an update with a remembrance pool and directional pointer to the wrecks location. Have also dropped by the Point Moore Point lighthouse which is the tallest steel lighthouse in Australia. It has distinctive red stripes and stands out against the blue sky and waters of the port.
Not far from Geraldton is the old rural town of Greenough. The famous leaning trees of Greenough are here. They bend against the prevailing south-west winds and lie close to the ground, mostly de-foliated on the windward side.
The National Trust have acquired a group of old stone buildings from the mid to late 1800s and are in the process of preserving them (not restoring them). We had a wander through the building precinct and reflected on rural life in those times. The Monsignor Hawes story continues in Greenhaugh. It was to the little church here that he was posted after leaving Mullewa and before he left Australia to live in the Bahamas as a hermit, he died there in the mid 1950s. He was certainly an interesting person. Seems to have been pretty determined in everything he did.
We have restocked the van’s pantry here in Geraldton. It was severely run down after nearly six weeks on the road and short of some necessities. The journey continues further south to Jurien Bay, home of the Western Red Rock Lobster.