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The Friendly Dolphins of Monkey Mia

Updated on October 7, 2014

You can Swim with the Dolphins at Monkey Mia

No one can ever forget Monkey Mia. I certainly can't.

The tiny resort town of Monkey Mia on the shores of Shark Bay in Western Australia is famous for its dolphins.

One Summer I spent a week enjoying incredible conversations each day with dolphins, but then everybody talks with the dolphins in Monkey Mia - dolphins that swim up to greet you and bump your legs as if you're an old friend..

For more than forty years the bottlenose dolphins have been visiting and interacting with us, and we still don't know why. It seems they just enjoy the friendly contact!

Accommodation has been built right on the famous beach so visitors can spend a couple of days exploring this unique area.

Dolphins of Monkey Mia - Why are they so friendly?

Do the Dolphins come to watch us?

There's really no words to describe the feeling that you get from a dolphin rubbing round your legs like a cat.

Why do they do this? Do the dolphins come to watch us as we go to watch them?

Monkey Mia - Truly an experience

It's just about unbelievable. The dolphins come right up to you and swoosh around your legs like a cat.

More than Dolphins

Take an Eco Cruise

There's more to Monkey Mia than dolphins.

You can take an eco-cruise into the shallow waters of Shark Bay Marine Park where marine wildlife is protected. The vast seagrass floor of the bay is home to countless species of fish. manta rays, whales, turtles, and dugongs.

The Shark Bay area has 10 species of mammals, 98 species of reptiles, over 100 bird species and, with the longest wildflower season in the West, more than 700 species of flowering plants.

A postcard I sent from Monkey Mia.

People line up to talk to the dolphins.


Thousands of turtles live in Shark Bay

Thousands of loggerhead and green turtles live in Shark Bay.

The green turtle lives around coral, rocky reefs and seagrass meadows in tropical and subtropical seas. Given the enormous amount of seagrass in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, it's not surprising that the place is popular with turtles.

The turtles live here for decades, grazing on seagrass, seaweed and jellyfish before making their first migration back to their birthplace to breed. Like the loggerhead turtle and other species, they use a special 'magnetic compass' in their brain to find their home beach, which might be hundreds of kilometres away.

Plenty of cruises are available to view them in the wild.

Dugongs - Thousands of Amiable Vegetarians

The shy Dugong

Shark Bay is home to the world's second largest population of these amiable mammals grazing on underwater grasses day and night There are about 15,000 in the marine park.

These enormous vegetarians can be found in warm coastal waters from East Africa to Australia, including the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Pacific.

Dugongs are related to manatees and are similar in appearance and behaviour. Both are related to the elephant, although the giant land animal is not at all similar in appearance.

These mammals can stay underwater for six minutes before surfacing. They sometimes breathe by "standing" on their tail with their heads above water.

Tiger Sharks - Stay Clear of the Sharks

Watch the sharks from a boat

You can play with the dolphins and the dugongs, but stay away from the sharks. These large, blunt-nosed predators have a duly earned reputation as man-eaters and are second only to great whites in attacking people.

Striped or spotted tiger sharks up to 4.5 metres long are found in the bay. More than five hundred have been tagged and released in the past five years.

During the summer months you can join a cruise to watch the research scientists catch and tag the sharks.

Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Sun Hats, Sage, One Size
Columbia Bora Bora Booney II Sun Hats, Sage, One Size

This 3" brim hat is just what you need while in the sun.

SPF 50 sun protection rated with an ultraviolet protection factor providing the best sun protection with style.


Don't forget your hat! - Never go outside without a hat

In Australia, wear a hat.

Slap your sunscreen on too and, in the peak sunlight times, cover yourself with a long shirt and sarong as well.

Even on a cloudy day, don't leave home without a hat, the sun is still there behind the clouds.

Winter or Summer, stay out of the Australian sun. It's a killer.

Killer Whales - Whales make regular visits to Monkey Mia

Killer Whales Poster

The Right Whales come to Shark Bay to give birth. Regular visitors are Humpbacks, Minkes, Pilots and Killer Whales.

Once again, cruises are available.

Rare Birds - Endangered birds are in the carpark

Keep your camera handy

Nowhere else in the world will you find the Dirk Hartog Black and White Fairy Wren, and the endangered Thick Billed Grass Wren is happy to make an appearance in the Monkey Mia Visitors Car Park.

Stromatolites - You can call them our ancestors

Three and a half million years old

At the Hamelin Pool in the south of the bay, the Stromatolites are among the oldest fossils of life on earth. These microscopic organisms concentrate and recycle nutrients which combine with sedimentary grains to form mushroom shaped towers.

A Stromatolite is one of the first complex living organisms on Earth. They appeared about 3.5 billion years ago and they still exist in Shark Bay. Bill Bryson says in A Short History of Nearly Everything, "It's a curiously giddying moment to find yourself staring at living remnants of earth as it is was".

Stromatolites created our oxygen atmosphere and began the evolution of life from the water to the land, you can call them our ancestors!

A Dolphin Shirt

Dolphin Twilight Tie Dye T-Shirt - $ 25.60

This beautiful design features dolphins leaping from the water in the twilight. The background is an unusual tie dye with blues and whites - dyed by hand in Australia.

Wild Planet Design is an award winning maker of 100% cotton printed T-Shirts.

They use special hand-dyeing and screen-printing techniques to make each T-Shirt a one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art.

Made in Australia by professional silk screen printers.

Where to stay

You don't have a choice

The Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is the only accommodation at Monkey Mia.

It's an amazing place, the beach isn't separated from the resort by a road and you stay on the beach itself. It caters for all budgets with different options to accommodate backpackers, caravans and campers through to 3.5 star family and couples.

Please get yourself to Shark Bay before everything is pulled down to build a great big hotel, Dubai-style.

How to get there

Drive : Shark Bay is 850 kilometres from Perth, a comfortable day's drive through beautiful wildflower country. Make sure to leave early, as driving after dark can be hazardous along here. Many roads are unfenced, so watch out for wandering stock and wildlife.

Fly : There are both regular and charter flights from Perth to Denham. The small seaside town of Denham, once thriving in the pearl industry, is now the centre of tourism for Shark Bay. You'll love the street paved with pearl shell!

Coach : McCafferty's/Greyhound Perth-Broome-Darwin service stops at the Overlander Roadhouse 150km from Monkey Mia where a shuttle bus runs to Denham and Monkey Mia. Most Backpacker buses heading up the coast will call in, who could miss Monkey Mia?

How about you?

Do you fancy splashing around with dolphins?

See results

Want to leave your splash in my Guestbook? - Here's where you do it!

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    • profile image

      TurtleLoverGirl 5 years ago

      wow - beautiful place... and a great lens too! I'm turtle crazy so I guess I'd love it!

    • BryanLSC profile image

      BryanLSC 6 years ago

      Oh my god, I'd love to visit this place to see the beautiful scenery and animals. This place has officially entered my Bucket List!

    • profile image

      SandyPaw 6 years ago

      Swimming with dolphins must be fantastic!

    • profile image

      Science-Fiction-Fan 6 years ago

      See you on the beach at Shark Bay! I'm definitely going to see the dolphins at Monkey Mia

    • RickshawTravels profile image

      RickshawTravels 6 years ago

      Fantasti Lens, congratulations!

    • SidneyMorgan LM profile image

      SidneyMorgan LM 6 years ago

      Monkey Mia is a great place to visit by everyone. Nice lens, Thumbs up :)

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Monkey Mia is my kind of place. Really must visit. Thanks for the introduction.

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Looks like quite a beautiful place - great lens!

    • ofdifferentsorts profile image

      Paul Franciskato 6 years ago from Junction City, Kansas

      Monkey Mia sounds like a fun place to be! I've never been to Australia but hope to visit someday.

    • profile image

      Murvi56 6 years ago

      What an amazing place!

    • Sara Krentz profile image

      Sara Krentz 6 years ago from USA

      Sounds like an amazing place to visit!

    • privresearch profile image

      privresearch 6 years ago

      Really great lens!

    • profile image

      lifebroker-australia 6 years ago

      Really great information about this spot!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      returning reader! showed your lens to my wife tonight.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 6 years ago

      OMG, this just landed on the top of my "Places I Want to Go" list! I can't imagine anything more amazing than sharing the ocean with wild dolphins. Time to start saving my money!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great Lens !

    • profile image

      NidhiRajat 6 years ago

      enjoyed your lens.....

    • profile image

      NidhiRajat 6 years ago

      enjoyed your lens.....

    • profile image

      superbloke 6 years ago

      Great lens! Beautiful pictures! Best wishes

    • ananimoss2 profile image

      ananimoss2 6 years ago

      I would really like to travel there sometime. It was an awesome lens with awesome pictures and videos. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • profile image

      iwrite4cash 6 years ago

      Great lens! I hope to visit one day!

    • tuliprose lm profile image

      tuliprose lm 6 years ago

      Wonderful photos, very inspiring.

    • writerkath profile image

      writerkath 6 years ago

      Beautiful! I would love to have a dolphin experience - they are such wonderful animals.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 6 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      Looks wonderful. The dolphin experience would certainly be a highlight for me.

    • profile image

      NidhiRajat 6 years ago

      wonderful contents...

    • HeatherTodd1 profile image

      HeatherTodd1 6 years ago

      Great post..Thanks

    • katiecolette profile image

      katiecolette 6 years ago

      Wow, must be an amazing experience! We got to touch dolphins in SeaWorld in Florida, but I am sure it can't even be compared to what it is like to have dolphins rub on your legs while they are in their natural environment. Thumbs up from a Squidoo Angel :)

    • profile image

      ilovereno 6 years ago

      Simply amazing... the blue skies, crytal clear waters, smiling dolphins and yes, the scrumptiously yummy seafood, Who could ask for more? Hmmm... Great lens.

    • Ataraxia1 profile image

      Ataraxia1 6 years ago

      I loved Monkey Mia. I would love to go back there one day.

    • Kittywf profile image

      Kitty Williams Fisher 6 years ago from Suzhou, China

      Oh, my daughter would LOVE this!

    • profile image

      takingyouforwardinc 6 years ago

      Oh, I love dolphins.

      Call Center Philippines

      BPO Services

    • profile image

      siakolkanu 6 years ago

      And absolutely refreshing place. Love to go there!

      You can visit my website also more cool new lenses everyday posted..

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      You have excellent pictures. Yes, dolphins are so friendly and probably this is the reason everybody I know love them.

      Great informational lens. Well deserved purple star.


    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 6 years ago

      Delefins are beautiful animals.

    • GoAceNate LM profile image

      GoAceNate LM 6 years ago

      Wow neat lens. Good work.

    • HalloweenRecipes profile image

      HalloweenRecipes 6 years ago

      The best part about this is the dolphins come by themselves...they are not captive animals. It sounds great.

    • JMaltman profile image

      JMaltman 6 years ago

      Wow, that was a spectacular lens! I got a close dolphin encounter in the wild with a dozen dolphins while diving in the Red Sea. Unbelievable experience and I can't wait to take my kids on adventures like that - or like your lens here!

    • SquidooMBA profile image

      SquidooMBA 6 years ago

      Great lens. We swam with dolphins on our honeymoon in Moorea. This sounds like something worth taking a long trip to do.

    • JK Sterling profile image

      Jim Sterling 6 years ago from Franklin, Tennessee

      I hope to have the opportunity to swim with dolphins one day. Thank you for this lens.

    • profile image

      Deeksha 6 years ago

      Liked it. Seems interesting..

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 6 years ago

      Nice lens, and nice place that must visit for my next trip. :) Do we always have change to be that close to the Dolphins all the time or only have certain season to see them?

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful lens. Full of unique information. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      None of us could live without other people.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful coloured drawing or pattern

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Beautiful coloured drawing or pattern

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 6 years ago

      This is a good place to visit with the family.

    • heehaw lm profile image

      heehaw lm 6 years ago

      what a great place to be.

    • Mamaboo LM profile image

      Mamaboo LM 6 years ago

      I told my kids about they want to go!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      great photo shots! Like this lens so I gave ya a 'thumbs up'.

    • SquidooPower profile image

      SquidooPower 6 years ago

      WOW! What an incredible place. Thanks for sharing.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 6 years ago

      Fantastic lens for a fantastic place. Makes me miss home.

    • TapIn2U profile image

      TapIn2U 6 years ago

      They're adorable. Enjoyed watching the video! Fantastic lens, Susanna. Blessings! Sundae ;-)

    • Shibamom LM profile image

      Shibamom LM 6 years ago

      Monkey Mia sounds like a fascinating visit! I have never heard of dugongs until today, however we've seen plenty of manatees while we lived in Florida. I would love to visit Monkey Mia on day.

    • sweetstickyrainbo profile image

      sweetstickyrainbo 6 years ago

      looks scary to do but very cool to watch!

    • sweetstickyrainbo profile image

      sweetstickyrainbo 6 years ago

      looks scary to do but very cool to watch!

    • DavidCzajka profile image

      DavidCzajka 6 years ago

      Beautiful Lens

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      That is amazing that they go to the shores.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      That is amazing that they go to the shores.

    • mermaidlife profile image

      mermaidlife 6 years ago

      I've been meaning to get to Monkey Mia.

    • Shivani09 LM profile image

      Shivani09 LM 6 years ago

      Great lens! I love dolphins!

    • Pip Gerard profile image

      Pip Gerard 7 years ago

      Wow!! Stromatolites ... I'd never heard of them... incredible!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Awesome lense for dolphins lovers. Big thumbs up for you :)

    • CrossCreations profile image

      Carolan Ross 7 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      I knew there were more reasons I feel compelled to travel to Australia, had never heard of this 'Monkey Mia' place & it is now on my bucket list. THX and G'day mate.

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      Have also lensrolled to a couple of places. Trusting you do not mind?

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 7 years ago

      Congratulations on the purple. Must say I would love being this close to dolphins in the sea. Blessed by an Angel.

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      Great lens on Monkey Mai and the dolphins.I love the turles too.Nice one!

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      And congratulations on your purple star too! well deserved!

    • profile image

      Joan4 7 years ago

      Beautiful Beautiful! Lensrolling to my Swim with the Dolphins! Indeed they are one of our most beautiful creatures and smart, too!

    • profile image

      oldbird 8 years ago

      Just came from your Shark's Teeth lens and have just got to "fave" you for another great lens!

      Keep it up!! As you might gather, I love the ocean and nearly anything related to it!

      Aloha, until we meet again!

    • profile image

      WhitePineLane 8 years ago

      What a fabulous lens! If I'm ever in the area, you can bet I'll go to Monkey Mia!

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 8 years ago from Vermont

      I would just love to get close to dolphins - this is a fascinating lens.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 8 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      That would be a great site to see with the dolphins.

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA



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