We woke up early to be able to be in Monkey Mia, (21km away) for the 8 a.m dolphin feeding.
Monkey (from a pearling boat called Monkey or after pet monkeys owned by the Malay pearlers who lived in the area) Mia (aboriginal word for shelter or home) is located 800km north of Perth. The reserve is within the Shark Bay Marine Park and is a World Heritage Site.
Of course the main attraction of Monkey Mia is the daily feeding of the bottlenose dolphins that have been coming to shore for over 40 years. In the 1960's a fisherman and his wife began feeding the dolphins when returning from sea with their catch.
As news of the dolphins visits spread, the visitors started coming. In 1985 an information centre was built and in 1988 roads, carparks and facilities were built.
The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) supervises the process and manage the Marine Park. In 1982 researchers started a lab to study the dolphin's behaviour and biology.
|The visitors centre also shows movies about the dolphins and history of the area|
|My daughter and I in front of the entrance|
The visitors gather at the edge of the water and trained rangers in the water give talks about the dolphins. Suddenly a couple of dolphins swim close to the rangers. The rangers pick a couple of visitors to go further into the water to feed the dolphins; they take a fish out of a bucket and the dolphin takes the fish from their hand. A truly magical experience, and this is all free!
The day we were there, there were only 8 dolphins around, but this number varies daily. Of course the rangers know their names and can identify them just by looking at their tail fin.
They get fed up to three times each the morning, but only the same 5 dolphins get fed. They only get 1/3 of their required daily requirement, so that they can also fish for themselves and not just rely on their carers. That morning we got to see them come close to shore 3 times.
|Three of the dolphins swimming around|
|A volunteer feeds a dolphin|
|A ranger talking about the dolphins|
|The bucket of fish for the dolphins|
|another volunteer feeding a dolphin|
|Hurry up, I want my fish....|
|Daily recordings about the dolphins - we were there Tuesday 12th, up to 8 dolphins showed up.|
|Emus were also on the beach|
After the second dolphin feeding, we went to the Boughshed cafe/restaurant, right there on the beach and ordered a continental breakfast that only cost $15 each.
We sat down on some comfortable wicker couches outdoor and enjoyed the breakfast, the lovely beach and sunny weather. Of course we had to keep an eye on our food as the Emus try to stick their beak through the fence, or if you leave your food unattended a seagull will sweep and take something from your plate.
|The Boughshed Restaurant|
|Monkey Mia beach|
Hope you enjoyed seeing the photos of the dolphins.
I was thrilled to have been able to see them close by, although I wish I had been chosen to give them a fish so I could be even closer. Maybe next time...