A few years ago, my good friend Jem moved to Geraldton to take a job as an Occupational Therapist at the local hospital. I recently made the long trek over there to see what all the fuss is about as it turns out she has zero plans to return to Sydney and just loves the lifestyle over there. And I can see why.
Geraldton was introduced to me as ‘derro Gerro’ but I don’t really get it – to me it seemed like a quintessential Western Australian coastal town (having never been to WA before!) and was actually pretty upscale as small towns go.
Getting there is a battle. A 6hr flight from Sydney to Perth, a layover of about 3hrs in Perth airport, then another 45 minute flight up to Geraldton. The locals all seem to drive to and from Perth to get flights anywhere (about 4hrs) so I’d probably hire a car and do that next time.
Once you’re there though, it really is a pretty cool place. It has a lovely relaxed, suburban feel to it. No one puts their dogs on leashes, everyone rides their bikes to each other’s houses, there’s a lot of time spent cooking nice food & drinking nice wine. Perhaps that’s because there are not a lot of ‘defined’ events available like there are in Sydney (although they did get to host Triple J’s One Night Stand festival a couple of months ago). It took me back to my teenage years where your time was spent calling up every friend you can think of on your phone to see what everyone was doing, what party was happening, what you were going to do today. Kinda nice!
The town revolves around AFL. There’s a real sense of community as the girls gather around the grandstands to watch their boyfriends & husbands play. Not my idea of a day of sport (I’d rather be on the field myself) but you can see the girls have a great social life around the local Geraldton team.
If you live in this town, it seems like you’re either a teacher, work at the hospital or are a cray fisherman. I’ve never seen so many cray in my life, it was sweet & fresh and by the end of 4 days I was happy to not eat anymore, and from the ultimate sea-foody, that’s saying something!
All-in-all, I was really impressed with Gerro and if it wasn’t so far away I’d definitely go back soon! I was happy to come home to Sydney, mostly for a decent strong coffee and the knowledge I could be at the SCG/SFS, Oxford Art Factory & my Mum’s house within 20 minutes. Although Sydney is seen as the SYNCITY by a lot of those who’ve escaped, but I love her to pieces and always have a smile on my face on my way home. But its nice to visit all my peeps & see their hoods. Gerro, you are not a derro. Don’t be so down on yourself!