I had heard a lot about Monkey Mia before heading back to Western Australia. It is always noted as one of the unmissable spots when heading up the coast. I wasn’t completely sure why…
Monkey Mia essentially is a very small area on the outskirts of the Francois Peron National park, about 550 miles north of Perth in an area called Shark Bay. To say the site is remote is an understatement, the nearest town Denham is 30 minutes away, but from there Carnarvon is 230 miles and Geraldton 270 miles.
The drive from the highway is impressive, with numerous wilderness stops along the way. They range from turquoise ocean beaches, bush camp picnic stops and deserted barren landscapes. One of the beaches is called ‘shell beach’ and is well worth a stop.
From there you reach Denham, Denham is sort of an enigma to me – as it’s more of a stop over town than a highlight. One thing I will say as it acts as a great base to explore the area without paying the higher charges of Monkey Mia or Francois Peron.
So back to the main attraction, Monkey Mia houses a huge hotel complex that is built directly on a glorious coastline. The beach is exquisite, gorgeous golden sand and calm blue waters make it the closest thing to paradise in the area. A walk along the coast is a must, as it takes you away from the commercialism of the resort and more into a remote beautiful wilderness. The further afield you venture the more remote it feels, just you, the glorious crystal clear ocean, warm golden sand and the beating sun – really it is just incredible. If you are very lucky – you may encounter a few wild pelicans, a stray dingo or even the occasional Emu. Unmissable is definitely a worthy description.
Amidst Monkey Mia’s beauty, comes the crowning attraction – it’s home to a huge wild dolphin population. That population is looked after by resort and wildly fed daily. Although the pod is fed, they are protected by the resort and they do not allow visitors to interact directly with the pod just view them from afar. It’s still worth the visit for the experience.
Further down the coast you can actively swim, and if you are lucky enough the dolphins will come and see you themselves.
I respect the resorts strict policy and applaud them for it, protecting the wild, whilst giving the public a look at these majestic creature is a pleasure. However it’s not for everyone.