Celebrate the bounty of the Mid-West at the Shore Leave Festival

Now in its third year, Shore Leave has firmly established itself as the premier festival in the Midwest region. With more than 30 events taking place over four action-packed days, Shore Leave is the ultimate seafood festival celebrating all things seafood, culture, food and adventure that make the Midwest region unique. 

The name Shore Leave is a nod to the rich maritime history and the connotations of holiday, leisure, and adventure synonymous with the region. So come and join the fun in Geraldton from April 27 to 30 and celebrate the abundant and plentiful food, culture and adventure of the Midwest region.

Shore Leave’s program is stacked with a host of delicious and fun events that will open up Geraldton to visitors and locals alike. Enjoy a bustling seafood market, marine discovery tours, live local music, an amateur lobster cook off and one of the festival’s highlight events, the Midwest Paddock to Plate, featuring Australian food icon Matt Moran.

Beach Price Markets

Matt Moran said sourcing local produce makes sense on so many levels, including taste, freshness, and eating things when they’re ripe.

“The whole point of seasonality – maybe it’s the romantic in me – is having asparagus for the season and being excited when we’ve got it. When we don’t have it, you miss it but you’ll get excited to get it back again. 

“We’ve used seasonal produce in our Midwest Paddock to Plate menu and championed the little guys in the Midwest region,” he said. 

The festival also hosts a unique dining experiences in Western Australia with the Abrolhos Long Table Lunch. Join this once in a lifetime dining experience on the unspoilt Abrolhos Islands with guest Chef Brendan Pratt curating a world class seafood menu paired with premium Vasse Felix wines. 

Each menu dives headfirst into showcasing the best produce in the Midwest, seeking out the hidden gems rarely championed on the dinner table. Both Matt and Brendan have taken a hyper-local approach to their food sourcing. 

The festival kicks off on Thursday April 27 at the Geraldton foreshore with a free event from 4pm to 9pm where guests can enjoy a traditional welcome to country, live performances from local schools and singer-songwriter Zain Laudehr-May. 

Say hello to the friendly mermaids, be painted as stunning sea creature, have a go at a free hands-on workshop, and be entertained by roving performances. 

Stay for dinner and enjoy freshly caught western rock lobster at the Western Rock Lobster barbecue, delicious slow and low-smoked Kansas-City Style barbecue pork rolls, and beer battered fries by Burnt Barrel. 

Back of boat Western Rock lobster

On Saturday April 29 festivities continue at Fisherman’s Wharf including the Beach Price Markets from 10am to 4pm or jump aboard the Eco Abrolhos Boat Tour for only $10 running at 10.30am, 11am, 11.30am, 1pm, 1.30pm and 2pm. 

Don’t miss the Skeetas Boardwalk Seafood Smorgasbord long table lunch on Sunday April 30 where local seafood is paired with superb wines.

Straight off the back of the boat people can enjoy a Western Rock Lobster barbecue for $20 daily from 4pm – 8pm throughout the festival, at The Helm on the Geraldton Foreshore.

Celebrate the abundant and plentiful food, culture, and adventure of the Midwest region. Plan your trip now and head north to enjoy the best of the west. For more details on the event or to book your place at one of the dining events, head to www.shoreleave.com.au/.