Shark Bay and Monkey Mia

Shark Bay and Monkey Mia

GUIDE TO MONKEY MIA & DENHAM ATTRACTIONS AND GETTING THERE

Shark Bay Marine Park and World Heritage Area is listed for its natural value as a wildlife refuge, its beauty and evolving habitats and species.  Monkey Mia is an area within Shark Bay Marine Park renowned for the dolphin pod that visits regularly.  Denham sits on the opposite side of the Francois Peron National Park to Monkey Mia.  Below is more information on the Monkey Mia attractions and Denham attractions.

WHAT TO SEE AND DO

Dolphin Feeding at Monkey Mia - For over forty years a group of dolphins have been coming close to shore nearly every day at Monkey Mia.  Feeding of the pod occurs between 7.45am and 12noon, it is best to arrive early as the dolphins may be gone before noon.   Monkey Mia is the only place in Australia where dolphins visit daily and not just seasonally.  There are 3 rangers on duty to ensure dolphins are not fed more than 10% of their daily food requirement to ensure the dolphins remain wild. A day pass is payable for entry, these can be purchased at the gate to Monkey Mia.

Photo courtesy of Tourism WA

Wulyidi Yaninyini Trail –Another Monkey Mia attraction is the 2.7km walk trail starts at the back of the Monkey Mia Visitor Centre and takes in the vibrant red dunes, tidal flats and beach.  The day pass purchased to see the dolphins gives you access to the walk trail as well.

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Photo courtesy of Tourism WA

Cruise the Bay –Book a Monkey Mia Marine Life Cruise or a Sunset Cruise onboard an 18m catamaran and cruise the bay looking for dolphins, dugongs and other endangered marine life.

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Photo courtesy of Tegan Finnerty

Beach Cam– Can’t get to Monkey Mia just yet? Then sit back in the comfort of your home and watch the beach cam.  Check it out in the morning when the dolphins are due in and see if you can spot them arriving as the beach cam is zoomed in during the feeding times.   Alternatively, check out the boat cam which is attached to the mast of the Aristocrat.  If you happen to watch on a day they are travelling around the bay you will see the bay and perhaps a dolphin or other wildlife.

 

FOR THOSE WHO WANT MORE THAN THE DOLPHIN EXPERIENCE

Shell Beach – More shells than you’ll ever have seen at one beach.  Millions of small white shells, imagine 7-10 metres of shells under your feet as you wander down to the shore.  A number of buildings in the town of Denham are made of blocks of limestone made from these shells. Book a tour with Shark Bay Coaches to view this unusual place

Stromatolites –When is a rock not a rock?  These rock looking structures are actually living organisms that are over 3.5 billion years old.  The tour takes you to a 200m boardwalk to view and learn about the stromatolites. The tour with Shark Bay Coaches, not only takes in the Stromatolites, but also the Telegraph Station and Hamelin Pool where you can enjoy a meal and cold drink

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Photo courtesy of Toursim WA

The Denham Discovery Trail - is a 2.3km walking trail that the Shark Bay Discovery Centre describes as taking you past sites of interest that has involved “indigenous heritage, early pioneers, preachers, pastoralist, pearlers, prisoners and publicans.”   There are many Denham attractions, however, one unique item is the wonderful views for the “most westerly sunset”.

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Photo courtesy of Tegan Finnerty

The Shark Bay Discovery Centre –The centre is divided into 3 parts, the “Living Place”, the “Mapping Place” and the “Experiencing Place”.  The Living Place showcases all life in the area from the marine life to ancient stromatolites.  The Mapping Place covers the Indigenous Malgana people, Dutch traders, French naturalists and English colonisers, local pearlers, pastoralists, fishers and conservationists which has added a wide range of cultural diversity to the area.   The Experiencing Place is described as “all your senses will be brought alive to Shark Bay’s shifting shapes and moods”.   There is an entry fee to the above section.  However, there is also a free 15-minute 3D film shown every half hour called “Fire on the Water” which is about the story of the battle between HMAS Sydney II and the HSK Kormorn, a battle that occurred 200km of the Shark Bay coast during WWII.

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(Photo courtesy of Tourism WA)

Dirk Hartog Island & Steep Point –Steep Point is Western Australia’s most westerly point so some people like to go there or view it as part of a trip around Australia.  Dirk Hartog Island was the site of the first European landing. It is a popular ecotourism destination and is a haven for marine life.  Shark Bay Dive and Marine Safaris offer a range of Dive and Scenic Tours. Some being on boats and some being land based via 4WD.

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Photo courtesy of Tourism WA

Francois Peron National Park – Take a 4WD tour for a combination of cultural history, sensational scenery, wild animals and even learn some bush survival skills.  Many of the spots visited give the chance for some fantastic photo opportunities.

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Photo courtesy of Tegan Finnerty

                                                                             

 

WHERE TO STAY

RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort – The resort has a range of accommodation options from shared dorms for backpackers, tent and caravan space to resort style chalets.  If you are an RAC member you are entitled to a discounted rate.

There are several other caravan parks, resorts and lodges available in the Shark Bay and Denham area.  These include the Blue Dolphin Caravan Park, Denham Seaside Caravan Park, Hamelin Outback Station Stay, Nanga Bay Resort and Shark Bay Caravan Park.  There is also backpacker accommodation at the Bay Lodge YHA.

HOW TO GET AROUND IN THE SHARK BAY AREA OF MONKEY MIA & DENHAM

A shuttle service is available for passengers to transfer from Overlander Roadhouse to either Monkey Mia or Shark Bay. You can enquire about the shuttle service with Integrity Coach Lines either by email or by calling the office.

HOW TO GET THERE AND BACK

Perth to Monkey Mia or Denham

Integrity Coach Lines have a bus that travels from Perth to Overlander Roadhouse 3 times a week.  Then catch the shuttle from Overlander to Monkey Mia or Denham. 

Broome to Monkey Mia or Denham

Integrity Coach Lines have a bus that travels from Broome to Overlander Roadhouse twice a week or Hedland to Overlander Roadhouse 3 times a week.   Then catch the shuttle from Overlander to Monkey Mia or Denham.

 

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Return from Monkey Mia or Denham to Perth or Broome

Take the Shark Bay Shuttle from Monkey Mia or Denham out to Overlander Roadhouse.

Integrity Coach Lines then travel south to Perth 3 times a week from the Overlander Roadhouse.

Integrity Coach Lines travel through to Broome twice a week and to Hedland 3 times a week.

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What to expect on an Integrity Coach Lines journey

1) Short comfort stops approx. every three hours.  This allows you to stretch your legs, use facilities at the roadhouses (there is also a toilet on the coach) and purchase food and drinks if you wish.    You may also wish to bring dry snacks or meals that do not have distinctive odours such as eggs and tuna onto the coach. And, of course, your water bottle is most welcome. 

2) Capture glimpses of various towns along the way if you are using an Express ticket (point to point ticket).   If you are using a Hop on Hop off pass then you may wish to stop and enjoy other towns for a couple of days rather than just pass through.  The choice is yours!

3) Friendly, Personal and Knowledgeable Drivers.   Drivers are knowledgeable on all locations and can provide tips and hints as needed.  Two professional drivers per trip ensures they are well rested to get you to your destination safely.   Best of all, they are a friendly crew that are very approachable.  

So, why not catch a bus from Perth to Coral Bay or Exmouth, or Broome to Exmouth or Coral Bay, and visit either or both these towns.   There is so much to see and do, it really is a nature lover’s paradise.  Call Integrity Coach Lines now on 08 92747464.

 

 

Posted: 14/07/2021 3:09:13 PM by Sharon Graham | 0 comments

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