The Midwest region sits in the western middle section of Western Australia and is bordered by the Indian Ocean in the west, the Pilbara region in the north, the Wheatbelt to the south and the Goldfields in the south east.

It covers nearly one-fifth of the state’s land area (or more than 600,000 square kilometres), with the majority of its population found along the coast, with more than half of those in Geraldton.

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The region is known for its unique natural environment and is one of only five areas in the world with both marine and terrestrial biodiversity hotspots of national or international significance. It is home to the world’s oldest rocks at Jack Hills, dating back four billion years, as well as a range of natural attractions including Kalbarri National Park, Houtman Abrolhos Islands and the World Heritage-listed Shark Bay and Ningaloo Reef.

Its coral coastline and stunning wildflowers attract tourists and visitors all year round, with mining, fishing and agriculture also making a significant contribution to the economy of the region.

Total Population

63,650

The Midwest population totals around 63,650 people with a median age of 38 years and approximately 10% of the population comprises of those identifying as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent. (Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Murchison, Gascoyne, Midwest). 

Cost of living 

According to the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development’s Regional Price Index 2017, the cost of living in the Midwest region is 1.2% more expensive than Perth. (Source: Department of Industries and Regional Development).

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The Midwest experiences a Mediterranean climate in the southern parts of the region, characterized by rainy winters and dry, warm to hot summers, with a more sub-tropical climate in the north of the region, characterised by hot and humid summers and mild to chilly winters.

 In the region’s main population centre of Geraldton, temperatures average around 20°C in winter (June to August), while in summer (December to February), temperatures average around 32-33°C, with some days reaching over 40°C. Cyclones can sometimes affect the northern part of the region during the summer months.

Sport and recreation

There is a wide range of sporting and recreational activities available in the Midwest, with popular outdoor recreational activities including fishing, camping, bird and wildflower watching, four-wheel driving, mountain biking, windsurfing and boating.

Other recreational pursuits such as walking, arts and crafts, dance, music, theatre and performing arts are also well supported.
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There are a number of clubs throughout the region, representing a range of recreational activities including hockey, football, cricket, netball, basketball, rugby, swimming, skateboarding, golf, athletics, lawn bowls, equestrian, cycling, motor cross, shooting, soccer, softball, tennis and water polo. Sport in the region is supported by a dedicated sports administration centre.

For more information, visit:

City of Greater Geraldton
Clubs WA
Department of Sport and Recreation

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Events and attractions 

The Midwest region hosts a number events throughout the year, including comedy, writer’s, art, music, wildflower, cultural and food festivals; live music and theatre events; film nights; agricultural shows; farmer’s markets; musters and rodeos; horse races; polocrosse carnivals; and adventure races.

The region houses a range of natural attractions – both on land and in the sea – and its Coral Coast and National Parks are home to pristine, white sandy beaches, untouched coral reefs, breathtaking gorges and brilliant carpets of colourful wildflowers. 

The Abrolhos Islands are noted for a number of shipwrecks in the area, including the Batavia – Australia’s bloodiest shipwreck – as well as its range of activities including diving, fishing, snorkelling, photography and bird watching.

The region’s World Heritage Areas of Shark Bay and Ningaloo Reef allow the unique chance to swim with whale sharks and meet dolphins up close at Monkey Mia, as well as experience a range of other marine life.

For more information on the region’s main events and attractions, visit:
Australia’s Coral Coast
Geraldton Visitor Centre
City of Greater Geraldton
Country Arts WA
Tourism WA

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Services and facilities 

You will find a range of every day services and facilities throughout the Midwest region, including banks, ATMs, libraries, business centres/telecentres, post offices, shopping (food, grocery and other), hardware stores, police stations, butchers, bakers, cafes, service stations, pubs/taverns, takeaways, newsagents, churches, pharmacies and restaurants. Most of these are located in the region’s main town centres.

For more information, visit the Tourist Information and Visitor Centre located in each town.

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Schooling

The Midwest region provides a range of government and non-government schooling options for primary, secondary and tertiary education.  In the public school sector, there are 50 government schools across the region, supported by a number of private schools throughout the Midwest.

For more information, visit:

Department of Education
City of Greater Geraldton

The region also provides higher education options through TAFE and university education.

For more information, visit:

Geraldton Universities Centre
TAFE WA Central Regional TAFE

Accommodation 

The Midwest offers a range of housing and rental options for those living in the region, with over half the population residing in the major town centre of Geraldton. 

The median house price for the Midwest region is $301,000 with the overall median weekly rental costing $263 per week (Source: REIWA Market Update; December 2017).

In the Gascoyne, which forms part of the Midwest Health region, the median house price sits at $243,700 with the overall median weekly rental costing $373 per week (Source: REIWA Market Update; December 2017).
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For more information, visit the REIWA website.

There is also a range of short-term accommodation options available throughout the Midwest including caravan parks, camping grounds, backpackers, hotels, motels, resorts, self-contained accommodation, chalets and farm stays.

For more information, visit:

Geraldton Visitor Centre
Australia’s Coral Coast

Health Statistics

Population: 63,650
MMM*: 3 
Hospitals: 11 
General Practices: 59
Aboriginal Medical Services: 2

Health Services

The Midwest region covers four health districts – Gascoyne, Geraldton, Midwest and Murchison.

A characteristic of the Midwest Health Region is its scattered population. There is one regional centre in Geraldton and a smaller northern regional centre located in Carnarvon. 

There is a network of public and private health providers servicing the Midwest region, who deliver health services to residents and visitors of the Midwest including emergency response, primary health, population health, mental health and other ambulatory care services, and residential and community aged care and inpatient acute services. 

The majority of health services are based in Geraldton, with some of these providing visiting services throughout the Midwest Health District.

Public health services in the region are well supported by private General Practitioners (GPs), government and not-for-profit agencies, allied health professionals and other private providers.

The region is also home to a number of Aboriginal Medical Services that are based in Carnarvon and Geraldton and provide visiting services to smaller communities across the region.

Health Profile

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(Courtesy of WA Country Health Services, Midwest Health Profile, January 2018)

For a comprehensive overview of the health profile of the Midwest region, download WA County Health’s Midwest Health Profile 2018.

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“From a professional point of view, I have a very interesting and varied scope of practice, and I have a great work-life balance. My commute to work is five minutes, which means I get to spend more time with my family in the mornings and evenings. We live close to the beach and I have stunning ocean views from my kitchen that I could only dream of in Perth. There is more sense of community and it is a great place to raise a family.”

– Dr. Richard Taylor, Geraldton.