Monkey Mia Reserve is a must-visit destination for families and nature lovers alike.
Best known as the home to the Monkey Mia Dolphins, famous for their almost daily ritual of swimming to shore to interact with humans, and who attract thousands of visitors to Australia's Shark Bay region each year, Monkey Mia is also the perfect place to unwind and to discover the wonders of the surrounding area.
Access to the Reserve is subject to a Reserve fee - this is different to a National Park pass. You can also learn more about these fascinating Monkey Mia dolphins at the Dolphin Information Centre, the proceeds of which support WA’s Monkey Mia Appeal Trust.
Scenic flights allow you to explore the Shark Bay area on a flight over the coastal area. There are ample opportunities to see sharks, rays and turtles, perhaps even humpback whales and the elusive dugongs. Watch the cliffs of Francois Peron National Park glow red and orange with a late afternoon flight at sunset. Flights depart from Monkey Mia Airport with a variety of tours on offer.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is Monkey Mia?
Monkey Mia Reserve is located on the eastern shore of the Peron Peninsula, 23km from the town of Denham, in the UNESCO Shark Bay World Heritage Area.
How do I get there?
You can drive or fly! Monkey Mia is 847km north of Perth, or just under 9 hours' drive.
Alternatively, Regional Express Airlines fly between Perth and Shark Bay Airport. It is a 15 minute drive from the Airport to Monkey Mia.
Why is it called Monkey Mia when it's home to dolphins?
Good question! It is an unusual name and many Shark Bay locals debate its origin. The Mia part comes from an Aboriginal term for home. Many believe that the Monkey refers to the name of a ship which visited the area, while others believe it refers to pet monkeys that Malaysian pearl farmers (who worked in the area during the 1850s) would have.
How does the dolphin experience work?
- Times for the dolphin experiences depend on if and when the dolphins visit the beach. Whilst they are only offered fish during their first three visits between 7:45am and 12 noon, they often visit the beach outside these times.
- As the bottlenose dolphins are wild, numbers and the exact time of their visit varies just generally the first sighting of the dolphins arriving anytime from 7.30am.
- The dolphins usually visit the shore up to three times a day.
- Between four to seven dolphins visit for daily feedings, with up to 20 others visiting occasionally, often sighted in the bay with swimmers or on wildlife cruises.
- Protected by WA’s Parks and Wildlife Service, the dolphins are well looked after and four provisioned dolphins are provided less than 10% of their daily requirement, to ensure these dolphins continue to hunt and remain wild.
- You may get the opportunity to feed the dolphins under the supervision of a national park ranger, though this privilege is not guaranteed.
- Swimming with and touching the dolphins is prohibited by law - however, these monitored feeding experiences allow you to get up close and personal with the dolphins.
Learn more about the Monkey Mia dolphins.
See dolphins (and more!) on board a cruise in the Shark Bay Marine Park
Stay and Play in Monkey Mia