Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 020 Contents 164 Scoop Traveller July - December 2011
scoop.com.au Explore WA
THE ABROLHOS ISLANDS
It takes two hours to get to the islands by fast boat and there is no hotel
or resort. The only way to see the islands is a day trip by plane – 30
minutes from Geraldton, landing at the Wallabi group – or by charter
boat if you want to spend a few days.
The group of more than 122 coral atolls begins about 60km off the
coast of Geraldton and is home to amazing marine life and tropical fish,
plus more than 90 species of seabirds. The atolls form three main groups
Wallabi, Easter and Pelsaert – and are managed by the Department of
Fisheries as a nature reserve. From March to June, 20 of the islands are
also home to a community of fishermen and their families, who work the
waters to catch some $40 million worth of western rock lobster annually.
The locally grown black-lipped oyster is being cultured here to produce
a range of coloured pearls that rival the Tahitian South Sea industry for
quality and variety. There’s no infrastructure on the islands apart from
the fishermen’s shacks and a stone building that just happens to be the
oldest European building in Australia.
Best time to visit | Locals agree, winter and spring is the best time of
the year to go. March through to October, in between the cold fronts,
the weather can be just perfect. The fishing season ends in June,
when the days are calmer, the islands greener, the swells bigger,
the whales and dolphins are everywhere and even the fish are more
relaxed and easy to catch. Wear a wetsuit because the water temperature
will be around 20 degrees.
“We are constantly finding new dive
sites, it really is the next Great Barrier
Reef” – Jay Cox, owner/skipper, Eco
Abrolhos and Abrolhos Island Charters
Surf | As good as you will get anywhere in the world, the surf is not
crowded. Check out Super Tubes, Big Sandy and Wreck Point.
Fish | The outer reefs of any of the group hold coral trout, groper,
dhufish, snapper, emperor, scallops and crayfish. Check with the
authorities first because exclusion zones apply.
Dive | Spectacular dive spots surround the islands, abundant with
coral reefs and marine life. Take a camera down to capture the
clown fish, rays and parrotfish. The wreck of the Batavia near the
Wallabi group of islands is for experienced divers and weather
dependant. There are 19 other historic wrecks in Abrolhos waters.
Snorkel | Much of the coral and marine life lies in shallow waters
where tropical fish thrive.
Birds | With little in the way of disturbances, more than 90 species
of seabirds and about a dozen land birds populate the islands that
provide one of the country’s most important seabird breeding sites.
Basile Island, one of
the Abrolhos Islands
The aquatic centre and foreshore
playground and water park (Photography
City of Geraldton-Greenough).
and fishing or beach activities.
This time of the year offers
fantastic sea conditions and
great sporting opportunities,
with quick access to isolated,
Things to do with kids | Try the
aquatic centre (The Aquarena)
and the foreshore playground
and water park. There’s access
to fantastic beaches where
parents can spend quality time
with their kids, either 4WDing,
fishing or walking.
Produce | Every Saturday,
Geraldton has a great local
farmers’ market in the town’s
beautiful Maitland Park gardens.
John Todaro and his young family
moved to Gero from Melbourne.
Following the success of their Bella
Vista Cafe and its amazing coffee,
they opened The Provincial Cafe and
Wine Bar, which has introduced
Geraldton to small-bar culture.
What’s new | The Geraldton
Foreshore – a 2km beach frontage
of lawn, barbecue and picnic
stations, with trees, a huge
playground and water park –
has transformed the town.
The simple pleasures | The autumn
and winter climate is absolutely
sublime. There is no place better
than Geraldton if you like surfing
Links Archive Scoop Traveller WA 019 Scoop Traveller WA 021 Navigation Previous Page Next Page