Monkey Mia...a very special part of the planet
Welcome to Monkey Mia Wildsights
Monkey Mia, where magic happens, is the jewel of Western Australia’s unique Shark Bay World Heritage Area and the world’s best and most reliable meeting place for wild dolphins, where the free dolphins swim with you freely, for free.
Monkey Mia originally existed because it has the only deep water accessible at low tide, on the eastern side of the Peron Peninsula. The name applies to that place of deep water. There is no township there. The actual origin of the name is unknown.
Where is Monkey Mia
About 900 kilometres north of Perth, Monkey Mia is situated on the coast of Western Australia, at Latitude 26S, in Australia's largest bay - Shark Bay.
It’s a paradise thanks to one of the best climates in Australia.
- Warm days and sea-breezy cool nights, even in summer.
- Average humidity is a very comfortable 55%.
- The sun shines every day for 7.5 hours in winter, extending to 10.5 hours in summer.
- Mean temperature ranges from 33C in summer to 21C in winter.
- Sea temp: 28C in summer to 15C in winter.
- 200mm yearly rainfall means there's no wet season to spoil your holiday.
- Blue skies & sunshine 320 days each year.
- No pollution of any description.
A former pearling camp and fishing base. Wild dolphins taking food from fishermen ultimately made Monkey Mia one of Australia's tourism icons.
The dolphins have been visiting the beach since the 1960's. They are wild, native to the area and yet visit of their own accord. All year round they are fed up to three times per day. There are no set times for feeding, that's left for the dolphins to decide. However the first feed happens fairly reliably around 8am. So be there from 7:45am.
With an attendance record of 99.6%, they are the most reliable and frequently visiting dolphins in the world. Monkey Mia is internationally acknowledged as the world's best natural dolphin experience.
Although lots of emphasis is placed on feeding the dolphins, you may get a bigger kick out of just hanging out on the beach to watch them hunt, play and swim among the humans, with the pelicans shadowing them as comedy company.
The dolphins are very comfortable being close to swimmers. The secret to having the best experience is to admire but don't touch or swim toward them - doing so will only result in them avoiding you and moving away.
The appeal of Monkey Mia is that it is a low key tourism destination situated on the shore of a totally pristine bay, free from the polluting effects of industry and over development, in a unique World Heritage Area.
It has a relaxed atmosphere and those who love nature will delight at the huge variety of wildlife, the crystal waters and the pristine white shell and sandy beaches contrasting against the red pindan soil of Australia's North West.
Monkey Mia is:
- The world's most significant Dolphin behavioural research site;
- The world's most significant Tiger Shark behavioural research site;
- The world's most significant Dugong behavioural research site, and
- A significant behavioural research site for Loggerhead & Green Turtles, Sea Snakes and Sting Rays.
120 named, offshore dolphins
Each of the 120 dolphins being researched has been identified and named so that data about particular animals can be shared.
Monkey Mia a synergy of science and commerce
As one of the world’s most significant behavioural research sites, for months at a time it becomes home for scientists from USA, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Scotland and Australia. At Monkey Mia the person standing next to you may well be one of the world’s leading research scientists.
A wonderful relationship exists between the scientists, the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort and Monkey Mia Wildsights (the operators of the award-winning cruise catamaran ‘Shotover’).
The Resort houses the scientists. helps raise money for their research programs. Monkey Mia Wildsights provides infrastructure, equipment and some funds, while the crew of ‘Shotover’’ help maintain the research vessels.
A huge benefit to having such intensive research programs is that any animal management issues are quickly discovered and can be resolved utilising the best advice in the world.
Monkey Mia sets the world's standards for humans and dolphins meeting each other.
Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is the only accommodation at Monkey Mia and is located right on the world famous Dolphin Beach.
Monkey Mia’s beautiful beach is the only readily accessible beach in Shark Bay sheltered from the prevailing breeze, making it a perfect Mediterranean style holiday destination of warm days and cool nights – blue skies and sunshine 320 days a year.
There are accommodation options guaranteed to suit your wants:
- Luxury Beachfront Units,
- Garden Villas,
- Family Ensuites,
- Beachfront Rooms in the Dolphin Lodge,
- Quality Backpacker Accommodation,
- Camping Ground and Powered Caravan Sites.
All guests have the use of the great facilities such as swimming pool, hot tub, tennis court, 2 eateries and 2 bars.
Other resort facilities and activities for guests include beach volleyball, kayak and glass bottom boat hire, snorkelling, and fishing. Additionally there are function rooms available for weddings, meetings and conferences, massage, internet café, mini supermarket, souvenir shop and several guest laundries.
Being bounded by literally 100’s of kms of deserted beaches, Monkey Mia is ideally suited for romantics, sunlovers, youths, backpackers, the young-at-heart – in fact anyone with a sense of adventure looking for a taste of the peaceful outback coast.
Once, the dolphins were the sole attraction at Monkey Mia. Today they are the highlight of the many things to see and do.
Lazing, swimming, eating, drinking, reading… the resort’s pool, hot tub, licensed restaurants and bars are the perfect for relaxation. There's a huge variety of other wildlife and activities. You should plan to stay at least three nights or more to really discover and appreciate the features and activities.
Things to do
- Meet the dolphins at the beach, swim with them if you like.
- Hire a kayak or glass bottomed boat and enjoy the wildlife on your own.
- Play volleyball on the beach.
- Take a bush or beach walk on your own.
- Join a local aborigine for a guided walk.
- Take a 'Monkey Mia Magic Sunset Sail' on the maxi-cat "Shotover", one of Australia's ocean racing legends.
- Join an award winning wildlife sailing cruise on "Shotover" to see Dolphins, Dugongs, Turtles, Sharks.
- Take a four-wheel drive tour with Monkey Mia Wildsights to see The Outback in the Francois Peron National Park.
- Visit 'Ocean Park' and meet turtles, sea-snakes, sharks, stingrays, stone-fish and Nemo's cousin.
- Join an evening talk by one of our animal research scientists.
- Go shark spotting from vantage points.
- Visit the blowholes 100m above sea-level.
- Watch one of the daily pelican feeds.
- Ride a camel along the famous Dolphin Beach and learn some amazing facts about these lovely animals.
- Visit the only accessible Black Pearl farm in Australia.
- Become a volunteer dolphin feeding helper.
- Enjoy a massage.
- Be gob smacked by natures palette with a spectacular scenic flight.
- Experience "Astronomy" on the beach.
- Visit the Dolphin Interpretive Centre and watch a wildlife video, shot on location in Shark Bay, in the Monkey Mia Visitors Centre.
- Go Bird watching. There have been 230 different bird species recorded.
- Fly fish for the elusive Bone Fish.
- Beach fish for your dinner of Whiting.
- Troll fish for Mackerel and Tuna.
- Bottom fish for delicious Cod and Snapper.
- Balloon fish.
- Join the locals at one of the town jetties for a Squid feast.
- Catch a wave from South Africa at False Entrance.
- You'll be challenged by golf in the outback at the local golf course, the Shark Bay Boolbardie Country Club.
- Take a scenic flight over the Useless Loop Saltworks where the sun produces 6,000 tonnes of salt daily.
- Catch the sea breeze on your sail boat, board or kite in the windiest part of WA.
Monkey Mia is in Australia's Outback Coast region and within a day's drive of Monkey Mia you'll also see…
Mt Augustus is the world's largest rock. It is twice the size of Uluru and at 1,650 million years, is three times older than Uluru. It is usually accessible by 2 wheel drive vehicles. The area is part of the Dreamtime and contains aboriginal rock engraving.
The little known, beautiful Kennedy Range consists of gorges and escarpments capped by a desert. Camp at the foot of this stunning land formation and marvel as the sunrise bathes the panavision slopes in rich technicolour. A fabulous introduction to the outback, not too far from civilisation.
Ningaloo Reef is Australia's largest fringing coral reef and the largest reef in the world found so close to a continental land mass. It is 300 kms long and, in places, just off the beach.
To access it you simply walk down the beach and start snorkelling, and there's no charge!
Coral Bay where you can:
- Swim with giant Manta Rays year round.
- Swim with monstrous Whale Sharks from April to June.
- Watch the Humpback and Right Whales on their annual migration from July to October.
- Snorkel with Turtles year round.
- See Coral Spawning on only one night each year. People come from all over the world to see the spawning of the Coral.
To the south are Kalbarri's Gorges, a stunning example of the powerful combination of water and time.
To the north Cape Range National Park has spectacular gorges meeting pristine ocean fringed with deserted beach.