Dolphin Feeding Experience | National Park Fees Apply | Dolphin Feeding Between 7.45am - 12noon | Restaurant Nearby | Accommodation Nearby
Tens of thousands of tourists head to Monkey Mia every year for the chance to see dolphins up close and in their natural habitat. The dolphins of Monkey Mia visit daily all year round, they are not seasonal. Monkey Mia isn’t just about the dolphins; there is also a caravan park, a resort, restaurant, pearl farm tours, wildlife cruises, camel rides, and much more. Monkey Mia is located just 25km from Denham in WA's Gascoyne region.
National Park entry fees apply which can be paid for at the gatehouse on entry. The fees are different to normal national park passes, so annual passes and normal day passes cannot be used. To find out more about entry fees head to https://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/monkey-mia
In planning our day trip to Monkey Mia from Denham, I found it difficult to find any comprehensive information about the dolphins and the best times to visit. I just happened upon a Facebook post by the Shark Bay Visitor Centre that advised it was best to see the dolphins daily at 7:45am.
We arrived at Monkey Mia at 7:30am and soon found out
that the dolphins are fed up to a maximum of 3 times a day and only between
7:45am and 12pm. The dolphins are only fed when they go into a particular zone
in the water. To keep the dolphins as wild as possible, feedings aren’t
scheduled. This means feeding times each day are highly variable. The dolphins
might only come for 1 feed during the time period or all 3 feedings could be
completed by 9:30am. Below is a photo of the times the dolphins had been fed on
the previous days
The dolphins were already in the feeding zone at 7:30am on the day we visited, but because the feedings are restricted to after 7:45am, the dolphins had swam away before feeding time started. It was still a good opportunity to get a good view of the dolphins as they swam and splashed about.
Visitors are asked to wait on the boardwalk near the entrance prior to the first feeding and are then instructed by a wildlife officer when it is time to head down to the feeding zone. All the rules about interacting with the dolphins and the different swimming/water craft zones on the beach are clearly explained by the wildlife officer over the loud speakers. We were also given a brief history of the Monkey Mia dolphins.
We waited on the beach for the dolphins to come back for about 40 minutes before deciding to grab some breakfast at the nearby Boughshed Restaurant.
The restaurant offers both a buffet breakfast and A la Carte breakfast menu. We sat outside on one of the many tables and decided to order from the menu. We had to wait ages for our food to arrive, and what was meant to be a quick brekky while waiting for the dolphins to come back, turned into quite a long affair. It was lucky we were sitting outside and the kids could spend their time running around on the grass while we waited.
We were about half way through our breakfast when the dolphins returned. Hubby took the kids down to the water to watch while I guarded our half eaten meals.
at the dolphins, 3 people were chosen at random (from ~300 people that had
gathered to watch) to feed the 3 dolphins that had come in. All other visitors
are asked to remain at ankle depth and not venture further into the water. All up, it was about 10 minutes of feeding
the dolphins and watching them interact.
After the dolphin feeding and once we’d finished our breakfast, we headed down to the beach to spend the rest of the day swimming and fishing. The beach at Monkey Mia is very sheltered which means it is nice and calm, perfect for young children to swim at. The dolphins didn’t come back to the feeding zone again that day, but we did spot them another two times just a short distance from where we were swimming,
One of the highlights of the day was a pelican that decided to camp out next to us while we were fishing and try to grab the fish we were catching. So cheeky!
All in all we had a great day out at Monkey Mia and
wouldn’t hesitate to return in the future
More information: parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au
How To Get There:
Review by Kids Around Perth Reporter Candice, 2nd November 2017
Back to Shark Bay