Monkey Mia is a place that comes up often in conversation by Perth peeps as a fabulous place to visit. It’s all about the dolphin experience where dolphins come very close to the shore to be fed. We found it over-commercialised and overrated. The area around the beach is overly built up and commercialised. No timing is advertised for the feeding, partly to avoid the dolphins getting too accustomed to being fed. This is also a convenient excuse to get the enthusiastic public to pay entry fees to the area at 7:45am and keep them waiting till 10am before the first feeding. Plenty of time to get hungry and bored enough to spend money on breakfast, coffees and souvenirs!
The feeding of the dolphins was OK with a large crowd being told repeatedly by the ranger to get out off the water. Perhaps, the whole experience was tarnished by the learning of a new fact! Male dolphins mate with female dolphins by forming a group of male dolphins and separating an individual female dolphin. They then use violence and coercion to gang rape her. It’s not right to apply human values to animals when there are legitimate evolutionary explanations to these behaviors. Nevertheless, it does not match with the dolphin’s image of being a gentle, amazing and intelligent creature. (For those taking children to the Monkey Mia dolphin experience, fear not, the ranger is not this explicit in the explanation of mating! The ranger is much more diplomatic and careful in her explanation to cater for young ears and minds!)
The main town near Monkey Mia is Denham. This is a very pretty beach town and worth a stop.
About 45km south east of Denham is Shell Beach. This is a beach made up of shells. Amazingly, the shells comes from a single type of cockle, the Fragum cockle which has evolved to survive in these hypersaline conditions! Amazing!