Monkey Mia is one of the best known sites in Western Australia, and is famed for its near unique encounters with wild dolphins. Nearly every day for at least the last 40 years, dolphins have come in to shore to feed on fresh fish. The resort acts as a tourist attraction for thousands, a research facility for bottlenose dolphins, and part of the Shark Bay World Heritage site.
The beautiful crystal clear waters are matched only by the near perfect weather, averaging 320 days of sunshine each year. The area’s colours range from the stereotypical white sand beach to the classic red dirt of the Outback, which is also reflected in the multitude of activities for both young and old.
image courtesy of sharkbay.org
The only place to stay at Monkey Mia, the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort, caters to all travelers with beautiful self-contained units, luxury beachfront villas, caravan and camp sites, and a youth hostel. There are two restaurants, two bars, a cafe, swimming pool, hot tub, tennis court, internet cafe, mini mart, and laundry service. During our visit we decided to use the campsites, which were mere metres from the beach, and had all of the necessary amenities. Camping in February was an experience, as temperatures were regularly above 40 degrees Celsius, so for travelers averse to high temperatures I would suggest another of the accommodation options.
Snorkeling opportunities abound, though I would recommend caution as we found dozens of stingrays just off shore. Visitors can go fishing, on day or evening cruises, 4×4 excursions, experience a bit of local culture on an Aboriginal guided bushwalk, and so much more. You may come across the notorious bilby, as indicated by this road sign on the road from Denham.
Of course, the daily dolphin feeding attracts crowds in the mornings, which is a great experience, but be aware, only a few people are selected to feed the dolphins, and any other interaction with the dolphins is prohibited (despite the fact that they may approach swimmers anywhere along the beach). We also found that there were a large number of the particular breed of persistent and annoying Australian flies, which detracted somewhat from the experience.
Overall the area is gorgeous, and I would strongly recommend a visit, I only wish we had more time to explore the area and relax on the beautiful beach longer.
Visit the websites below for more information about activities and accommodation:
My rating: 4/5.