Monkey Mia became world famous for the pod of wild bottle nosed dolphins that visit the beach. The site is located 25km east of Denham (Shark Bay) but the
original dolphin experience has been changed forever by the development of a resort right by the beach.
The dolphins did not suddenly decide to make contact with people, they had been attracted to the area by fisherman who fed them from boats from as early as the 1960s, so the fact
that they have become used to people in the area is hardly remarkable. Similar experiences with curious dolphins happen in many places including Rockingham
I have had a pod of wild dolphins come to the back of my boat near Point Peron (Rockingham) and they were inquisitive, and very gentle. Most whales (dolphins are small whales)
are gentle and inquisitive in their interaction with humans. It is a shame that the same cannot be said for the human interaction with whales. Sadly humans around the world still
slaughter dolphins and their larger cousins for nothing more than greed. The largest member of the dolphin family is the Orca.
At Monkey Mia the 'dolphin experience' is now highly regulated. Large numbers of tourists flocking to the bay to see the dolphins has meant that the dolphins were put in danger. In
order to ensure they do not become dependant on humans for hand outs of food, the number of people allowed to feed the pod is heavily restricted.
The question should be asked, is it really worth exploiting the dolphins in this way just to attract visitors to the area?
All wild dolphins appear to be inquisitive and friendly, thousands are killed every year by tuna boats who drop nets on the pods (knowing that dolphin and tuna regularly travel together).
If you care about the fate of these creatures then DO NOT BUY TUNA unless it is 'dolphin safe'.
The name Monkey Mia is a bit of a mystery with some theories stating that it was from a ship called the Monkey and others claiming that Captain Henry Mangles Denham (who
surveyed the area in 1858) had a monkey on board as a pet.
The most likely source is the schooner Monkey that anchored in the bay in 1834 while Surveyor Ommanney was charting the area. Mia is an Aboriginal word meaning sleeping
or resting place.
SHARK BAY PHOTO GALLERY
(C) Matthijs Deuzeman's YouTube channel.
NPW Website for more information
Best time to visit: