Monkey Mia Reserve
Monkey Mia Reserve
Monkey Mia is world famous for its dolphin interaction experience, a rare encounter with wild animals that has become a major tourism attraction.
In an amazing wildlife ritual that has been going for over 40 years, a small number of dolphins come ashore at Monkey Mia almost every day to the delight of patient onlookers. These bottlenose dolphins are fed a small amount of fish up to three times a day between about 8am and 12pm. Department of Environment and Conservation staff supervise the feeding and ensure the wellbeing of the animals is maintained.
The chance to see dolphins is almost guaranteed and days when these wild dolphins do not visit the shore are rare.
Monkey Mia is 24km from Denham and 151km from the Northwest Coastal Highway. Access is easy as all roads are sealed and suitable for 2WD vehicles and caravans.
You can drive yourself to Monkey Mia, take a commercial tour or travel with a coach company. It is approximately 850 km from Perth (around ten hours drive) and 420km from Geraldton (minimum four hours drive).
There are numerous tour companies that include Monkey Mia in their itinerary. For more information on these tours visit: Tourism Western Australia'swebsite. For transport by bus visit: http://www.integritycoachlines.com.au/
There are regular flights to the Monkey Mia airport from Perth and some from Geraldton. Flights from Geraldton take about 90 min and from Perth two and a half hours. The airport is ten minutes drive from Monkey Mia and pickups can be organised when booking accommodation at Monkey Mia. Major airlines also link Perth with other Australian cities on a regular basis. For the current flight schedule visit the website of Skippers Aviation Australia.
There are plenty of facilities at Monkey Mia, including a public boat ramp, jetty, barbecues, public toilets, public telephones and drinking water. The Monkey Mia Visitor Centre features an interpretive display, theatrette, amphitheatre, kiosk and souvenir shop.
The nearby Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort has shops, internet access, café, restaurant, a swimming pool, tennis courts and a variety of accommodation options. There is also a range of shops, restaurants and fuel outlets in Denham, 24 km (about 20 minutes drive) from Monkey Mia.
Accommodation and Camping
A range of accommodation is available at Monkey Mia and around the Shark Bay region. At Monkey Mia the only accommodation is at the Monkey Mia Resort. Here they cater for all tastes with a range of units, villas, cabins, backpacker accommodation and a camping area on offer. An impressive range of accommodation is also located in Denham, 24 km (about 20 minutes' drive) from Monkey Mia. Search for accommodation and make a booking via the Shark Bay tourism site.
Activities and Highlights
The Dolphin Experience
In an amazing wildlife ritual that has been going for over 40 years, a small number of dolphins come ashore at Monkey Mia almost every day to the delight of patient onlookers. These bottlenose dolphins are fed a small amount of fish on their first three visits each day which can happen anytime between 8.00am and 12 midday. Dolphins visit the beach more frequently in the early mornings.
Department of Environment and Conservation staff supervise the feeding and ensure the wellbeing of the animals is maintained. The chance to see dolphins is almost guaranteed and days when these wild dolphins do not visit the shore are rare.
Tours and other Activities
Most people come to Monkey Mia to see the dolphins, but there are plenty of other things to see, do and enjoy! While you're at Monkey Mia, why not join a wildlife cruise and enjoy unforgettable encounters with dugongs, turtles, manta rays, sharks and dolphins from the deck of a catamaran!
Go for a Walk
Discover fascinating natural and cultural history on the Monkey Mia Walk Trail (Wulyibidi yaninyina). An easy stroll of about 1.5 km, the trail loops from the visitor centre into the surrounding sand dunes and back to the beach. The best time to do the walk is just after sunrise or just before sunset, when the land birds are most active.
Go swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and sailing in the Shark Bay Marine Park, one of the world's most diverse and pristine marine environments. Note that these activities are prohibited in the dolphin interaction area to ensure the protection and safety of the wild dolphins.
Catch your Dinner
Fishing is one of the most popular activities in Shark Bay. At Monkey Mia, special regulations apply to protect the dolphin interaction. However, you can go line-fishing away from the main activity area, or launch your boat at the nearby public boat ramp and go further out into the bay. Charter fishing tours are also available.
Meet Interesting People
Join a Malgana guide for a cultural walk that will both entertain and educate you. Learn about local Aboriginal language, history and traditions, plus bush tucker, medicinal plants, identifying animal tracks and much more.
Ride a Camel
Get a better view of the local scenery from the back of a friendly camel! Guided rides along Monkey Mia beach are available most days.
Learn and Wonder
Discover more about Shark Bay's dolphins and other marine creatures at the Monkey Mia Visitor Centre. Learn the history of the beach dolphins, have fun with the interactive displays, or visit the amphitheatre for free activities and presentations. International researchers often give informative talks about their work. For the most recent activity program go to the sharkbay.org website.
Go Exploring by 4WD
Hire a car or go on a four-wheel drive (4WD) tour to see more of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. A good starting point is Francois Peron National Park, not far from Monkey Mia. Photograph colourful coastlines and wildflower displays, enjoy hiking, camping and fishing, or just watch wildlife cruise in the turquoise waters.
Take to the Sky
One of the best ways to see the Shark Bay World Heritage Area is from the air. Scenic flights are available from the airport, located about 16 km from Monkey Mia (8 km from Denham).
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The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) charges a fee on arrival for entry into the Monkey Mia Reserve. This fee pays for the care, management and research of the Monkey Mia dolphins. It is also used to provide visitor facilities, including interpretation and school holiday activities. Please note that entrance fees are subject to change.
The entry fees are:
- Adult $8.00 adult
- Child under 16 years of age $3.00
- Concession $6.00
- Family (2 adults, 2 children) $15.00
Holiday permit (four weeks duration)
- Adult $12.00
- Child under 16 years of age $5.00
- Concession $10.00
- Family (2 adults, 2 children) $30.00
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