History

Geraldton is brimming with history, just walk around the CBD and you can see it for yourself. The HMAS Sydney II Memorial, Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral, Victoria District Hospital and Old Geraldton Goal Craft Centre, Birdwood House Military Museum and the Point Moore Lighthouse all have their own stories, which you can learn more about at the Museum of Geraldton.

Mullewa also has a unique history, with a number of buildings being designed by famous Western Australian architect-priest Monsignor John Hawes. View his impressive designs by visiting Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the Holy Apostles St Peter and St Paul and Priest House.

HMAS Sydney II Memorial St Francis Xavier Cathedral Old Geraldton Gaol Museum of Geraldton
Lighthouse Keepers Cottage Point Moore Lighthouse Batavia Longboat Replica

HMAS Sydney II Memorial

Geraldton’s premier site for honouring the 645 Australian sailors who were lost off the Western Australian coast during the World War II battle with German ship HSK Kormoran. The HMAS Sydney II Memorial is the second memorial to be recognised of national significance outside the Australian capital city of Canberra.

The Geraldton Voluntary Tour Guides Association offer a daily tour at 10.30am, taking in the five elements steeped in symbolism. No booking is necessary for the tour, but should you require a group booking please contact the Geraldton Visitor Centre.

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St Francis Xavier Cathedral

It’s hard to miss this beautiful and proud building as you drive into Geraldton from Perth. Famed architect Monsignor Hawes arrived in Geraldton in 1915 to take up the parish priest position. He started working on the St Francis Xavier Cathedral straight away. The Cathedral’s foundation stone was laid in 1916 and the building was completed in 1938.

Today, St Francis Xavier Cathedral is regarded as one of Monsignor Hawes finest works. Guided tours through the Cathedral are available and can be made through the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Centre. Tours operate every Monday, Wednesday and Sunday at 2:30pm and also on Friday at 4pm.

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Old Gaol Museum and Craft Centre

Established in 1856 at a cost of $1,240 the Old Gaol was originally built as a convict hiring depot. The first 20 convicts sent here from Fremantle built their own quarters and those of their warders. When the goal closed in 1984, with the opening of a new facility at Greenough, it had served the Midwest region for 128 years and became the second longest serving gaol in Western Australia (after Fremantle).

Today the building houses locally made art and craft. The Old Gaol is located at 84 Chapman Road, within the Bill Sewell Complex. It is open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 3:30pm and Saturday from 9am to 12pm.

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Museum of Geraldton

Overlooking the Indian Ocean, the Museum of Geraldton celebrates the rich heritage of the land, sea and people of the Mid West region. Enjoy a guided tour through the stories from four major early shipwrecks located in the region, the Batavia, Gilt Dragon, Zuytdorp, and Zeewijk or learn more about the discovery of HMAS Sydney II, the pride of the fleet.

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Lighthouse Keepers Cottage

This beautiful cottage was built in 1876 for the Geraldton Lighthouse keeper and his family. The cottage is made of whitewashed, random, limestone rubble walls under a 'Colorbond' corrugated iron roof which originally was shingled and is set amongst beautiful gardens. It ceased operating as the Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage in 1943 and has been home to the Geraldton Historical Society since 1971. The Lighthouse Keepers Cottage can be found on Chapman Road, Geraldton.

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Point Moore Lighthouse

Standing 34 metres high, the Point Moore Lighthouse is the oldest surviving Commonwealth lighthouse in Western Australia. This iconic Geraldton landmark is still in operation today and can be seen from 26 kilometres out to sea.

Constructed by Chance Brothers of Birmingham, England, using prefabricated cast-iron, the Point Moore Lighthouse was lit for the first time on 19 March 1878.

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Batavia Longboat Replica

Experience a little of this maritime history by sailing aboard the replica Longboat, or visiting the display at the Museum of Geraldton.

The Longboat sails most Sundays from in front of the Museum of Geraldton, weather permitting. Sailing is free (donations are welcome), children must be over the age of six and accompanied by an adult.

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