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.
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.
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).
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 recreationThere 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.
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
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.
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.
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
AccommodationThe 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).
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:
General Practices: 59
Aboriginal Medical Services: 2
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.
(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.