Dolphins at Monkey Mia

We’ve been spending the last couple of days lazing about but this morning we were up early to go and see the wild dolphins at Monkey Mia about 15 miles away from where we are staying.

The dolphins have been visiting Monkey Mia since the early 60’s but as they became more popular and there were no controls in place they were overfed by the general public and they were becoming ill from all the ‘junk food’.

The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) took charge some time ago and have regulated the contact and feeding by humans. The dolphins come in of their accord every morning at some time between 8am and midday and sometimes more than once. Visitors are allowed to stand knee deep in the water as the dolphins approach but must not touch them. They will swim to within a few inches and almost show off. There are 3 seperate family groups that come in on a regular basis. The oldest dolphin is 33 years old and has been turning up all of her life. It must be stressed that these are wild dolphins and only come in when they want to. Different ones come in at different times.

A lot of research is done by the DEC so although it is a tourist attraction valuable work is also being done. Out of the group only 4 or 5 are fed and they only get a third of their daily ration so that they don’t get reliant on humans for their food.

We arrived early and as we got down onto the beach the dolphins were just coming in. What an amazing sight. They were a way off the shore at first but eventually came within a few inches of us and seemed to be enjoying the experience as much as us. They stayed for half an hour or so and within an hour they came back again and then disappeared not to be seen again that day.

We had read so much about this place and were pleasantly surpised that the resort only consisted of one cafe/restaurant, one shop, a campsite and a beautiful natural beach. We were so impressed that we stayed for the rest of the day in the company of Rob and Di, a couple we have met who are doing a similar trip to us in a campervan. We had a picnic on the beach with them and joined them later for a BBQ back at the campsite.

It’s great bumping into like minded people on these trips and sharing our experiences and we’re sure we’ll keep in touch with them when we get home.

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