Economic Sectors


Agriculture and Fishing

The Midwest is one of the largest agricultural regions in WA. In 2011‑12 the region had approximately 17.8 million hectares allocated to agriculture, shared across an estimated 1,000 establishments. Only the Kimberley region has more agricultural land. 

In 2011-12, the industry produced agricultural goods with a total value of $1 billion, making the Midwest the third largest agricultural region by production value in the state. Approximately 79 percent of the value of agricultural production in the Midwest in 2010-11 was from cropping enterprises (wheat, canola, lupins), with 56 percent of production from wheat alone ($356 million).


More than half of all agricultural income to the region is derived from wheat production, with recent harvests valued at $432.7 million. The Mid West Port Authority is Australia’s second largest in terms of wheat export trade. The region’s high quality grain makes it ideal for milling and for use in a wide variety of processed foods. Cereal, lupin and legume crops are also grown here, with a lupin mill east of Geraldton. Vibrant horticulture and aquaculture sectors can be found both on the coast and inland.

Rock Lobster

By far the most valuable product in the fishing sector is the Rock Lobster. In a strong year, with the right combination of catch quantity and market price, the rock lobster industry can be worth as much as $165.3 million. The Geraldton Fisherman’s Co-Operative is the largest rock lobster processor in the world, exporting 3,572 tonnes in 2013-14 with a turnover of $237 million. Although the quantity exported was similar to 2012-13, the value was around $50 million greater ($178 million). The region currently exports around 90 percent of its product via air to China as ‘live’ animals. Small quantities of frozen product were also exported to Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Dubai and USA in 2013‑14.

Intensive Horticulture

Geraldton is a significant producer of high end foods through its growing horticultural industries. The quality soils, access to water and application of advanced shade-house technology means a long season of the freshest and cleanest variety of foods, including tomatoes, bitter melon, buffalo spinach, Chinese cabbage, coriander, egg plants, garlic and more. Horticulture production value in the region is currently $25 million/annum, with 80 percent derived from vegetables and 20 percent from fruit. Further development in this area holds great potential for the region.

Pastoral Country Livestock

Geraldton is the gateway to the vast pastoral regions of the North West of WA. As recognised in CSIRO’s report on the Northern Australia Sustainable Yields Project, this mega-region has been identified as a global producer of quality natural livestock for consumption. Beef and sheep are the region’s predominant livestock disposals. Poultry, pigs and goats are also produced but at much lower levels.


The Midwest has a long history of resource development and is one of the most diverse mining areas in Western Australia. The resources of the region include nickel, gold, oil and gas, mineral sands, copper, zinc and lead concentrate, talc, garnet and iron ore. In 2012-13, we had the State’s fourth largest mining region by production value after the Pilbara, Goldfields Esperance and Peel regions. In 2012-13, the Midwest produced mineral products with a total value of approximately $3 billion, its highest ever output, representing 3 percent of the value of the State’s mineral production (excluding petroleum). Existing mining and petroleum operations include oil and gas, mineral sands, base metals, iron ore, gold and nickel, with the expanding magnetite iron ore industry emerging as the region’s primary economic driver.


Gold has consistently been the region’s highest value commodity, reaching its peak in 2012-13 at approximately $925 million. Midwest gold production value has trended upwards since 2005 (which was its lowest level in almost 20 years). Gold produced in the region is principally flown to the Perth Mint for refining.

Iron Ore

The value of iron ore produced in the region recorded its highest level in 2012-13 at $832 million. The high production value in 2010-11 reflects peak iron ore pricing. The Midwest has abundant magnetite resources. Based on known Midwest projects (active and prospective) the Geraldton Iron Ore Alliance indicates potential production growth scenarios exceeding. 150 mtpa (million tonnes per annum) in the 2030 horizon.

Copper, Lead and Zinc

The value of copper, lead and zinc production has doubled in recent years from its low of $373 million in 2010-11 to more than $746 million in 2012-13.


In Geraldton it is all about the lifestyle! It’s what brings people to Geraldton and what makes them stay. With a beautiful Mediterranean climate, the sun shines almost all the time. In winter the temperature averages around 20C and 33C in summer. It makes for the perfect beach lifestyle and Geraldton’s stunning coastline attracts people from all over the world. Whether it is water sports, a spot of fishing, saying hello to our friendly Sea Lions or just to relax – our beaches are world-class.

In addition to the spectacular turquoise water and white sandy beaches, Geraldton has a booming café and restaurant scene. Marine Terrace’s West End has cemented itself as a go-to for locals and visitors alike with the popular strip featuring great coffee, food and retail. Not to mention Geraldton’s array of cuisine and dining options which feature local produce.

Alongside Geraldton’s many food choices are the retail options. With extended trading hours, Geraldton has a large range of shopping options from many local stores and boutique brands to larger nation-wide franchises.

While Geraldton is classed as a “regional city”, we have an amazing cosmopolitan lifestyle with an array of modern bars and nightlife to match.

You will never be short of anything to do with an ever-growing events and entertainment scene. With everything from live music, theatre, comedy, dance, Fringe Festivals, Geraldton is cementing itself as a leader in entertainment in WA. In addition, to add to that, our arts and culture scene has it all. From galleries, history, street art and a lot more!

Not just our beaches and stunning Foreshore, but we are home to the magnificent HMAS Sydney II Memorial, Western Australian Museum, the Saint Francis Xavier Cathedral, Seal Rock, live lobster factory, the Point Moore Lighthouse and the phenomenal Houtman Abrolhos Islands located just off the Geraldton coast.

A total of 122 islands make up the pristine Houtman Abrolhos Islands located just 60km off the Geraldton coast. They are accessible via aircraft and boat. Diving, fishing, snorkelling, photography and bird watching - the Abrolhos Islands are truly spectacular.

We are also a central hub for people to explore the attractions of the wider Midwest region including the Mullewa wildflowers, the amazing Kalbarri Gorges and Skywalk, the Pink Lakes and the array of beaches up and down the coast.

Many base themselves in Geraldton to explore the wonders of the Coral Coast, as we know – there’s so much to discover!

Sean Scott Photography