Monkey Mia is about feeding the wild dolphins.
It is 800 kms (500 Mi) from Perth to Denham, the nearest town to Monkey Mia. The wild Bottlenose Dolphins come ashore to be fed each evening in the Shark Bay Marine Park.
It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The nearest town is Denham, This is as far west as you can go in Australia.
History of Monkey Mia
In the 1960’s a local fisherman and his wife started feeding the wild dolphins in Shark Bay, some 800 Kms (480 miles) north of Perth.
As the word spread, it has become a major tourist attraction at Monkey Mia. Where on earth did Monkey Mia get such a strange, un-Australian name? Mia is from the local Aboriginal for “home”, while the monkey part of the name is a matter of conjecture.
Possibilities include the fact that many early pearlers from Asia working the coast kept pet monkeys and moored in Shark Bay, while other stories relate to a schooner named “Monkey” that used to anchor regularly nearby. In any case, it still remains one of the most intriguing names of any location in Australia.
The dolphins have been studied since the 1980’s, and now scientists from around the world come to take part in research. In 1990 the area was declared a Marine Park.
Geography and Weather
The deserts of West Australia are to the east, the Indian Ocean is to the west of Monkey Mia.
This is a very dry part of the world; an arid, desert climate tempered by the Indian Ocean. Average annual rainfall is only 225 mm (8 in). Most rain falls between May and August, in the winter. In summer expect daily average high temperatures of 30 C (86 F) and lows of 22 C (71 F). Winter will average 22 C (14 F) during the day and 13 C (55 F) overnight.
How to get to Monkey Mia
If you are adventurous and want to do it as a self drive, I would allow at least 6 days for the trip. Drive north from Perth on Hwy #1.
Stop off overnight at Cervantes to look at the Pinnacles. Then it’s north to Geraldton, though I would save the overnight for a point further north on the drive up.
Kalbarri is a good point for another overnight. Spend two nights at Monkey Mia at the Resort, or at a hotel in Denham. On the return trip, overnight at Geraldton to break the journey.
If you would like to let someone else do the driving and cover the distance in less time, take the 3 Day Monkey Mia Dolphins, Pinnacles Desert and Kalbarri National Park Tour from Perth.
Map of Monkey Mia
Zoom in and out for an interactive map of Monkey Mia