Many travelers flock to Monkey Mia each year, to get up close and personal with the wild bottlenose dolphins there. Now, the dolphin feeding can indeed be a magical experience, and one that many tourists will remember for a long time, but it’s also important to note that there’s more to this destination than the dolphins. If you plan your itinerary right, you can have many memorable experiences for yourself, or maybe for your family.
Feeding Wild Dolphins
This is admittedly the main draw in Monkey Mia. People have been feeding the dolphins in the area since the 1960s, but changes were made in order to ensure that the feeding doesn’t negatively impact the dolphins’ health and behaviors. This means that, while there may be dozens or more people waiting on the beach for the dolphins to arrive, only five dolphins at most can be given fish, and you can only give up to three fish per dolphin. Also, there are park rangers present who give a few explanations and watch over the people who do the feeding (You aren’t allowed to touch or play with the animals.). The park rangers also choose who gets to give the fish (only a few people per feeding). That said, even with these constraints, the experience does remain a very memorable one. There’s just something special about seeing those large mammals making their way closer, into the shallow water, and gently approaching the people standing there.
A Trip to the Shell Beach
This beach is beautiful and expansive, but what sets it further apart is the fact that where you normally see fine sand, what you actually have are cockle shells. Those shells cover the shore of a beach that runs more than a hundred kilometers long. It seems that the ocean water off the shore has a higher-than-usual salt content. This kept the cockles’ usual predators away, allowing them to thrive and multiply. It really is quite an amazing sight. In fact, this beach was chosen as one of the best beaches in the world by National Geographic in 2017. If you can visit, you really should check out this rather unique beach for yourself.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving at Dirk Hartog Island
The 80-kilometer-long Dirk Hartog Island is located close to Monkey Mia, and if you’re looking for some snorkeling or scuba diving action, this is a good place to visit. If you venture into the waters surrounding the island, you might see some whales, dugongs and turtles. To make your exploration easier, you can take part in a cruise which will allow you to ride a catamaran to ideal locations for spotting wildlife. The tour guides will also help to ensure that you can make the most of your time out on the water.
These are just some of the many things you can do at Monkey Mia. Nowadays, it isn’t that hard to get there, whether by flying into the Shark Bay Airport, or traveling by car on the North West Coastal highway, then onto Monkey Mia on a sealed road. If you love the idea of seeing wild dolphins up-close, not from a boat, but while wading in shallow ocean water, then you need to visit Monkey Mia at least once.