OPINION: Geraldton people who don’t know how good they’ve got it

Peter FiorenzaGeraldton Guardian
The Vasco Da Gama and Seven Seas Navigator in Geraldton Port.
Camera IconThe Vasco Da Gama and Seven Seas Navigator in Geraldton Port. Credit: Adam Poulsen

Recently, two cruise ships berthed at the Port of Geraldton on the same day.

I believe this was the first time this has happened, but it was pretty special.

When the ships pull into Geraldton during the cruise-ship season, there are tours put together for those on board by hosts the City of Greater Geraldton and the Mid West Ports Authority, and this occasion was no exception.

I recently spoke with Joanne Brown, who is the local cruise ships co-ordinator, about the cruise ship visits, and she was so upbeat about the situation, and the reputation the tours have created.

According to Joanne, our tour volunteers are regarded as among the best in Australia, and the tours are both diverse and unique.

Apparently, cruise visitors get a number of options including: the use of a hop-on-hop-off bus service, a tour of city sites such as the WA Museum (Batavia Display), the HMAS Sydney II Memorial, the St Francis Xavier Cathedral, along with the Old Gaol.

And then there are trips out of town to places such as Oakabella Homestead and Kalbarri.

A friend of mine volunteered as an extra tour guide during the two-ship visit, and was blown away by the experience.

His group chose to take the option of checking out the local cultural sites, and for him, it proved to be a refreshing look at the place where he lives.

“Firstly, we visited the museum, where the story of the ill-fated Batavia is covered so well, and this was well and truly equalled by the wonderful guides at the HMAS Sydney II Memorial,” he said.

“The history around this place is so fascinating.”

My mate went on to rave about the Cathedral tour, and said the Old Gaol was an unexpected highlight and somewhat of a hidden gem.

“Most of my group were Australian, and had either never been to Geraldton before, or not for a long time,” he said.

“They continually complimented our fabulous foreshore, and how clean and tidy everything looked.”

I know after some of the limited travelling I have done around the world, this place stacks up pretty well.

But I reckon it’s good to be reminded of it every now and again.

Sure, we have our issues, like plenty of other towns and cities, yet sometimes people need to half fill their glasses, instead of half emptying them.

Sometimes we need to be tapped on the shoulder to realise how good we have got it.

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Peter Fiorenza is the host of Fiorenza on Sunday, 10am to noon on Radio MAMA.

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