Frequently Asked Question

Questions Monkey Mia Wildsights are Frequently Asked
General FAQs
Ah yes, the famous dolphins of Monkey Mia. For the past 30 years wild dolphins have been coming to the beach to take fish right out of people's hands. Today, for the well-being of both dolphins and humans, D.E.C. (Department of Environment and Conservation) officers manage the interaction, providing fish for the dolphins and allowing visitors to share in the feeding experience. See our Dolphin FAQ for information.
Sail on the Shotover, of course. What better way to view the bay's incredible marine life (dugongs, dolphins, turtles, sharks) than from our 60 foot catamaran?! But that's not all the area has to offer. Walk along Shell Beach, where millions of tiny white cockle shells have been deposited in layers so deep and so thick that they were once used as building blocks! Visit the 1000 year-old stromatolites , blue-green algae similar to the earliest life-forms which dominated the earth 3500 million years ago, and produced the oxygen in the atmosphere which allowed air-breathing animals to evolve. Take a 4WD trip to Francois Peron National Park to see the historic homestead and soak in the hot (44 degrees!!) artesian bore water. And, take a trip to Dirk Hartog Island, to see where Europeans first landed on Australian soil back in 1616.
Shark Bay is one of approximately 400 World Heritage Areas - unique places on our planet with exceptional natural and/or cultural value. In fact, only 11 areas in the world satisfy all four of the World Heritage list criteria, and Shark Bay is one of these rare and special places.
Dolphin FAQs
Dolphins are mammals. They are warm-blooded, suckle their young, and breathe air.
Unlike humans, breathing for dolphins is not a voluntary action - they have to think about it to do it. Because they can not shut down their brains completely to sleep like we do, dolphins 'sleep' by meditating with half of their brain at a time. In this fashion dolphins spend about one-third of their day 'sleeping' in short stints ranging from two minutes to two hours.
Bottlenose dolphins average between 2-4 metres in length and weigh around 200kg (440 lbs).
On average calves measure between 0.7-1.2 metres at birth and weigh around 30 kg.
Female dolphins do not become sexually mature until their early 'teens'. After a 12 month gestation period, a single calf will be born, tail-first, and nursed by its mother for somewhere between 4-7 years. The mother will not have any more calves until it has weaned the first one.
Bottlenose dolphins can reach speeds of up to 40 kmh, but their average cruising speed is around 5 kmh.
In the wild, female bottlenose dolphins live into their late forties, while male life-spans are often significantly shorter.
The dolphins at Monkey Mia are wild, come and go as they please, and are not reliant upon humans for their complete diet. At the beach they are fed up to three times per day and only under the strict guidance of D.E.C. (Department of Environment and Conservation) officers. The dolphins receive a maximum of 2 kg of fish per day, requiring them to remain self-sufficient; their average daily intake being between 8-15 kg. The dolphins are not fed after 1 pm.
Bottlenose Dolphins. Scientific name: Tursiops Truncatus, which is derived from the Latin and Greek words for 'porpoise' and 'face'.