WA road trip: Shark Bay & Monkey Mia + dolphin

Today’s tidbit: “We wander for distraction, but we travel for fulfillment.” ― Hilaire Belloc

After a wonderful few days in Kalbarri we continued on our road trip. In the heart of Western Australia’s Shark Bay, Monkey Mia is a place where you can experience the mystical world of wild dolphin and is a popular escape for visitors from around the world with its crystal clear waters, pristine white shell beaches and daily visitation of the dolphin. Everything was peaceful and perfect.

Sneak peek image:

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Be sure to click below to read more and check out more pictures. Enjoy!


On the road again…

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{Denham & Shark Bay}
Along the drive from Kalbarri to Monkey Mia, we stopped in Denham to explore the town and get lunch.

As the website states, “Denham is located 833km north of Perth on the Peron Peninsula and is the main settlement of the Shark Bay area on Australias Coral Coast. Australias most westerly town sits opposite Dirk Hartog Island and is the first place that Europeans visited on the mainland. Following the arrival of the Dutch in 1616, English explorer William Dampier sailed into Shark Bay in 1699 on his second voyage to Australia, naming the area after the abundance of sharks he saw.” Read more.

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We found this cute coffee shop in the town so stopped in to get a cappuccino. The lady working was so personal, friendly and funny… chatted with her for a good 20 minutes. These signs were hilarious, and caught everyones attention.

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Fish & chips lunch with a view!

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{Monkey Mia}
Made it to our next stop, where we stayed for 2 nights. Like most of the accommodations, there were different villas and units along with a large camping and caravan park.

As the website states, “Monkey Mia is located midway up West Australian Coastline in the heart of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. The Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is the only accommodation at Monkey Mia and has been a proud supporter of the Monkey Mia Dolphin research for more than a decade. The Resort offers accommodation to travellers of all budgets.

The Resort supports one of the world’s leading interactive dolphin experiences with the most reliable and frequent human-dolphin interaction program -operated by DEC (Department of Environment & Conservation).Monkey Mia was the first of its kind in Australia to offer such an experience and the only place in Australia where dolphin visitation is daily, rather than seasonal.

Its absolute beachfront location, where the beach isn’t separated from the resort is a rather unique feature within Australia. Guests are provided with the opportunity to step out the front door and feel the sand between their toes. Its position within Shark Bay faces north so the area is protected from sea breezes year round making it a safe and peaceful, natural destination.” Check it out.

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Beachside Dolphin Unit: beautiful room a few steps from the beach. Check out the accommodation.

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Below are some pictures of the resort and dining area.

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Ended the first night with wine on the patio watching the sunset.

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{first morning + dolphin interaction} The next morning we woke up bright and early (6:30am) and headed to the Dolphin Beach for the first interaction. It was cloudy and breezy, making it quite chilly. The dolphin are wild and come on their own but the only interaction and feedings (up to 3) are done between 7:30am–1pm. The earliest is normally when you see the most but this particular day we got there at 7am and didn’t see any till almost 9am. It was cold and most people took a break from watching, heading to the cafe for breakfast and to warm up. The dolphin kept us waiting but we did see a few and it was amazing.

As the website states, “Located at Dolphin Beach, famous for its kilometers of secluded crystal blue waters and pristine white-shell beaches, Monkey Mia has attracted schools of dolphins to its tranquil shores daily for more than forty years. This dolphin interaction is known to be one of the most reliable meeting places for dolphins in the world. Dolphins have visited everyday in the last five years excluding only four times. It is the only place in Australia where dolphins visit daily, not seasonally. Researchers from across the world come to Monkey Mia to study dolphins.” Read more.

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Volunteers doing a dolphin dance, trying to get them to come.

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After waiting, and freezing, for two hours finally spotted some dolphin coming up to the shore. You can see Chris and how close we got below.

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At this point everyone was frozen (and your legs were numb in the water) but it was so amazing. You couldn’t touch the dolphin, since they are wild, but we were able to get so close.

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Piccolo the mom and Piper the calf! The dolphin.

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Pictures below: Waiting for the dolphin and doing the dolphin interaction ended up being from 7am-10am. Afterwards we headed to the cafe for breakfast and then enjoyed a long walk along the beach, as it started to clear up and the sun came out.

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The day was spent wandering around the resort and Denham. There was such a beautiful sunset and sky on the way to dinner in the evening.

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{second morning + dolphin interaction} The following morning we got up early again to head to Dolphin Beach. It was much sunnier and dolphin were spotted off in the distance playing and hunting around 8am. It was so neat to watch. After a while they came up to shore and we were able to get really close to them. This day there were a bunch of them! So amazing.

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You can see the line below (I’m in the khaki jacket and teal shorts) as we watched the dolphin, and pelican, go by. They came really close and although I was snapping way (took hundreds of pictures) I remember stopping and thinking now neat this all is!

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The dolphin all headed back into the ocean, I turned around and there was Chris snapping the candids (and Petey the pelican behind me, hoping for some fish).

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After another amazing morning in Monkey Mia, we had breakfast and loaded up the car. On the road again…

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How neat is that? I love the fact the dolphins are wild and human interaction is limited. The whole place was wonderful… it just had a really good feel to it. I would definitely go back again, who wants to go experience this for themselves??

Check back soon for another post as the road trip continues.

10 Responses to “WA road trip: Shark Bay & Monkey Mia + dolphin”

  1. Laura says:

    How neat is right! Looks like an amazing time. I really love the fact the dolphin are wild, and lovely pictures.

    • alyssa says:

      It really was! And yes, love they were wild too. You could really tell the people there care about the dolphin and want visitors to get the experience but also keep it from becoming too much of a tourist place.

  2. Karen says:

    Wow great shots as usual. This is your dolphin year! Monkey Mia and the dolphin interaction will certainly be on any itinerary to Western Australia that I design. Looking forward to seeing more!

    • alyssa says:

      Yeah between Cozumel and here, I have interacted with a lot of dolphin this year! It’s a great little spot, would definitely go back and recommend it!

  3. Chris says:

    What a great winter’s adventure! I reckon the next time we visit in Monkey Mia we will definitely go on the camel safari and perhaps visit the pearl farm. Great photos, a great adventure and delicious breakfast in between dolphin visits! What’s not to like?

    • alyssa says:

      Agreed! Winter in WA is pretty awesome. It was a lovely time! Couldn’t do everything but yup, next time we will have to go on the camel safari along the beach and visit the pearl farm 🙂

  4. Angela says:

    AMAZING! Adding this to my bucket list. What a neat experience, and great photography!

  5. Parveen says:

    Amazed that you’re still walking on ground and not swimming with/like dolphins. Reminds me of your countless swim meets’ days in Virginia when you stayed in and around water for hours. No wonder you like beaches and places around water. Enjoy Gal!

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