City of Greater Geraldton
|Area||~12,625 square kilometres, located ~420 km north of Perth.|
|Towns||City of Geraldton, Cape Burney, Moonooyooka, Mullewa, Pindar, Tenindewa and Walkaway.|
|Average Temperature||Mean daily maximum temperature over 30 years 1990 – 2019
Coastal: 32.7°C (Jan) and 20.5°C (Jul); Inland: 37.5°C (Jan) and 19.7°C (Jul).
|Annual Rainfall||Average annual rainfall over 30 years 1990 – 2019
Coastal: 378 mm; Inland: 319 mm (BoM 2020).
|ABS Profile||City of Greater Geraldton ABS profile|
|Shire Website||City of Greater Geraldton|
Just under 40,000 people live in the City of Greater Geraldton (ABS 2016), which has the largest population in the region. Of these, most people (37,648) live in the coastal City of Geraldton itself and around 450 live in the inland administrative centre of Mullewa.
The population in the City of Greater Geraldton increased by 3.3% between the last census in 2011 and the most recent census in 2016, and is projected to increase by a further ~3% by 2031 (DPLH 2016).
Approximately 15% of residents of the City of Greater Geraldton were born overseas and approximately 10% are of Aboriginal and / or Torres Strait Islander descent.
Estimates of the resident populations as at 30 June are released annually for Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Australia by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The estimates are generally revised 12 months later and final estimates are available after the following census. Visit the ABS website for further details.
The Greater Geraldton area has a diverse, goods- and services-based economy which also includes mining, manufacturing, broad acre agriculture, tourism, and fishing. While local farming includes the production of cereal crops (wheat, canola, lupins, oats) and livestock (sheep and cattle), this is the only local government area in the region where agriculture is not the primary employment sector. The fisheries sector is focused on a large and productive, although now declining, western Rock Lobster industry. The picturesque City of Geraldton is of historic interest and a convenient stop on tourism routes heading north along the Western Australian coast, and the surrounding nature reserves are home to spectacular spring wildflower displays, making the area a popular holiday destination.
The main land uses in the City of Greater Geraldton are agriculture, commercial, industrial, residential and nature conservation.
Wongoondy Nature Reserve
The Wongoondy Nature Reserve covers ~400 ha and is located west of Coalseam Conservation Park. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Wilroy Nature Reserve
The Wilroy Nature Reserve covers ~430 ha and is located near Pindar. The reserve is home to the critically endangered triggerplant Stylidium wilroyense. The majority of the reserve is Banksia and Casuarina shrubland, with some mallee, and the it forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Warrawah Nature Reserve
The Warrawah Nature Reserve covers ~100 ha and is located between Tenindewa and Tardun. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Urawa Nature Reserve
The Urawa Nature Reserve covers ~11 373 ha and is located north of Mullewa. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Kockatea Nature Reserve
The Kockatea Nature Reserve covers ~63 ha and is located east of Tenindewa. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Indarra Spring Nature Reserve
The Indarra Spring Nature Reserve covers ~3 804 ha and is located south of Tenindewa. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Forty Four Mile Nature Reserve
The Forty Four Mile Nature Reserve covers ~715 ha and is located between Eradu and Tenindewa. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Erangy Spring Nature Reserve
The Erangy Spring Nature Reserve covers ~86 ha and is located east of Ellendale. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Eradu Nature Reserve
The Eradu Nature Reserve covers ~82 ha and is located just south of Eradu. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Cutubury Nature Reserve
The Cutubury Nature Reserve covers ~20 ha and is located along the banks of the Chapman River near Geraldton.
Burma Road Nature Reserve
The Burma Road Nature Reserve covers ~9 030 ha of predominantly kwongan scrub-heath. Almost all of the native vegetation within 20 km of the reserve has been cleared for agriculture and Burma Road is therefore an important refuge for vegetation typical of the Tathra system.
Beetalyinna Nature Reserve
The Beetalyinna Nature Reserve covers ~270 hectares. It is a located along the Greenough River and is a good spot for Midwest birdwatching. The reserve forms part of the Yamatji conservation estate.
Barrabarra Nature Reserve
The Barrabarra Nature Reserve covers ~1 200 hectares. It is a good spot for viewing the wildflowers of the Midwest and forms part of Yamatji conservation estate.
Most of the coastline of the shire lies on the Cattamarra Coal Measure, formed during the Jurassic period from volcanic and sedimentary rocks and consisting of siltstone, shale, claystone, coal and sandstone. The Greenough area lies on the Yarragadee formation, formed during the Jurassic period from volcanic and sedimentary rock and consisting of fine to coarse grained sandstone interbedded with shale. Between the Cattamarra Coal Measure and the Yarragadee formation is the Cadda formation, formed during Jurassic period from volcanic and sedimentary rocks and consisting of grey shale, siltstone and sandstone.
The geology of the Moresby Ranges is made up of a combination of the above formations and quartzofeldspathic gneiss associated with the Northampton Complex. The area between Mullewa and Geraldton lies on the the Nangetty formation and Tumblagooda Sandstone, formed during the Carboniferous-Permian and Ordovician periods respectively, from sedimentary and volcanic rock. The Nangetty formation consists of diamictite, shale and sandstone and Tumblagooda Sandstone consists of fine to coarse grained red-bed sandstone and minor siltstone. The area to the south lies on Holmwood Shale, formed during the Permian era from sedimentary and volcanic rock and consisting of grey shale and clayey siltstone interbedded with limestone. Mullewa town site and the eastern portion of the shire lie on the gneiss and granitic rocks of the Yilgarn Craton.
Coastal soils of the shire are deep, calcareous and sandy, associated with alluvial plains and a complex dune system. Inland soils are loamy and earthy and the terrain is gently undulating. Deep siliceous sandy soils are often associated with lateritic breakaways and the eastern portion of the shire is characterised by red shallow loams and red-brown hardpan soils.
The shire is located within the Geraldton Hills (GES01), Tallering (YAL02) and Merredin (AVW01) IBRA sub-regions and is characterised by low open woodlands, sandy Banksia heath and proteaceous scrub. Patches of Subtropical and Temperate Coastal Saltmarsh can be found in the shire. This is a nationally protected Threatened Ecological Community listed as vulnerable under Australia’s national environment law. The plant, animal and micro-organism community is found in the intertidal zone, often associated with estuaries. Plants are salt-tolerant (halophytes) and include grasses, herbs, reeds, sedges and shrubs. Several Priority Ecological Communities occur in the shire, including the vegetation complexes of Tallering Peak Banded Ironstone Formation, the plant assemblages of the Moresby Range System and the mallee eucalypt and Acacia rostellifera Coastal Sands south of Tarcoola Beach. The shire is home to Houtman Abrolhos Islands Nature Reserve, one of the largest and most diverse temperate limestone reef systems in Australia and one of the world’s 18 coral reef biodiversity hotspots. The Abrolhos Islands are home to endemic species such as the Abrolhos Painted Button Quail Turnix varius scintillans and Abrolhos Bearded Dragon Pogona minor minima. They are also extremely important breeding grounds for sea birds including Endangered Lesser Noddy Anous tenuirostri and Vulnerable Fairy Tern Sternula nereis.
The coastline of the Northern Agricultural Region consists mainly of sandy beaches backed by low dunes, valued for recreational, aesthetic and cultural reasons and as storm protection and habitat. Primary dunes, or foreshore dunes, refer to the first system of dunes shoreward of the low water mark. These dunes typically support little vegetation. Secondary dunes, or back dunes, are undulating, sandy ecosystems located further from the water.
The Central West Coast limestone reef system extends from Kalbarri to Perth and supports an extremely high species diversity of seagrasses. Extensive seagrass meadows in protected, near-shore areas of the NAR, provide shelter and nursery habitat for many fish and other marine creatures including Western Rock Lobster. Seagrasses also provides services as primary biomass producers, sources of dissolved oxygen, sediment traps and nutrient cyclers.
Houtman Abrolhos Islands
The Houtman Abrolhos Islands, one of the largest temperate limestone reef systems in Australia, comprises 122 coral cays located off the coast of Geraldton. The islands are clustered into the Wallabi, Easter and Pelsaert groups and were declared a national park in 2019. They are home to a mixture of temperate and tropical coastal and marine flora and fauna, including several threatened species.
Gascoyne Groundwater Area
The Gascoyne Groundwater Area extends north to Kalbarri and bounds the Arrowsmith Groundwater Area east to pastoral country. The largest groundwater aquifer occurs in the Yarragadee Formation, which has an estimated yield of 22.5 million m³/year. Groundwater from fractured rock aquifers in the eastern, inland part of the region is predominantly saline, with poor yields.
Arrowsmith Groundwater Area
The Arrowsmith Groundwater Area covers approximately 10,300 km2 and produces ~151 million m3 of available groundwater per year. The largest aquifers occur in the Yarragadee and Parmelia formations and recharge primarily from rainfall recharge. The Superﬁcial formation is an important resource near the coast. Water quality is variable. The Allanooka borefield, 50km south of Geraldton, supplies the integrated water scheme for Geraldton and Dongara/Port Denison.
Drainage Basin Length (km) Catchment Area (km2) Average Stream Salinity (mg/L) Key Characteristics Greenough 160 6,072 3000-35000 Originates east of Mullewa, and has middle and lower reaches with perennial ﬂow due to discharge from the groundwater systems. The river enters the ocean at Dongara and the mouth of the river is a coastal lagoon system, which is blocked by a sandbar for most of the year.
Drainage Basin Length (km) Catchment Area (km2) Average Stream Salinity (mg/L) Key Characteristics Greenough 306 12,568 3000-35000 Originates in the pastoral region north east of Mullewa, and ﬂows through farming areas, entering the ocean at Cape Burney, south of Geraldton. The sandbar across the estuary is only opened by signiﬁcant ﬂows. It contains numerous pools including Eradu, Beetalyinna and Ellendale.
Drainage Basin Length (km) Catchment Area (km2) Average Stream Salinity (mg/L) Key Characteristics Greenough 80 1,644 3000-35000 Originates east of Yuna and drains the farming areas of the Chapman Valley. The river enters the ocean within the northern suburbs of Geraldton and is only open to the ocean during winter ﬂows.