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Monkey Mia

 

Albany

It’s not monkeys but dolphins in the wild that has made this remote corner of the Western Australia coast so famous with travellers from around the world.

Monkey Mia offers the opportunity to encounter bottle-nosed dolphins, living in the wild as natured intended, when these beautiful marine mammals come into the shallows each morning to meet new visitors and collect a breakfast snack of fish from the rangers.

Monkey Mia is located 865km north of Perth on an untouched coast in the stunning Shark Bay World Heritage Area. This vast national park covers 2.2 million hectares across both sea and land on a magical peninsula that includes a host of natural wonders and special experiences and it’s also Australia’s most westerly mainland point.

Especially memorable is handfeeding dolphins on the shores of Monkey Mia under ranger supervision and while that is a special highlight there are other equally special experiences. The World Heritage Drive leads to the picturesque seaside haven of Denham, from where you can embark on tours and cruises. On the way to Denham stop off at Hamelin Pool to see the curious, rock-like lumps known as stromatolites, the oldest form of living organisms, which have existed on earth for around 3.5 billion years.

Also en route to Denham is Shell Beach ­– an extraordinary 120km of shores composed of layer upon layer of cockleshells up to 8m deep. The shells create magical colours at daybreak and dusk.

Francois Peron National Park offers striking rust red dunes, bordered by brilliant white sandy beaches and clear blue seas. Great walks and designated camping are available. On the eastern shore of Peron Peninsula is Monkey Mia with a small resort and facilities. It’s here that bottlenose dolphins make their regular morning visits to interact with the visitors who flock to meet these charismatic sea mammals. Rangers supervise the dolphin feeding by visitors, which is generally around breakfast time. Shark Bay is also a nesting ground for green and loggerhead turtles in the summer and Shark Bay is home to ten per cent of the world’s dugong population.

A visitor fee is charged to visit the Monkey Mia Reserve.

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