Monkey Mia Travel Guide

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Pelicans at Monkey Mia

Pelicans at Monkey Mia

Matt Le Meur

Some 500 miles north of Perth are Kalbarri National Park and Monkey Mia. 

While Kalbarri National Park offers water sports, marine life, and fishing, it is most notable for its gorge, described as "only a few million years young." The Murchison river ate through the tumblagooda sandstone to carve out this winding gorge which, while not as spectacular as the Grand Canyon, is gorgeous in its own way. The cliffs are a mosaic of color, formed by the bands of red and purple and white, rich with fossil remnants.

"Nature's Window," a natural rock arch an easy 400 meter hike/climb down from a car park, frames the view of the river below and is a perfect photo-taking spot.

Monkey Mia, at Shark’s Bay. 'Mia" (pronounced "MY-ah") is an Aboriginal word meaning "place." Despite what one might think, this is not "the place of monkeys." The Monkey was the name of the ship which brought surveyor Henry Ommanney to Shark's Bay to evaluate the place with respect to fishing. The spot where Ommanney's ship docked became known as "Monkey Mia." The whole Shark Bay area became famous for both fishing, and also for pearling.

Sometime in the 1960s bottleneck dolphins started visiting the Bay and interacting with humans. Over the years this became a tourist attraction, carefully regulated by park staff. Up to 25 dolphins have been identified. They come on their own and are fed up to 3 times a day (they aren’t fed after 1 p.m., to prevent them from becoming dependent on humans for food.) Visitors to the park are invited to wade out into the bay and watch the dolphins swim around their feet, perhaps having the opportunity to feed one of them.

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January 29, 2005 new by travellingmap (1 point)

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