Shark Bay and Dolphins at Monkey Mia
In the morning we made our way to Monkey Mia to see the dolphins. We weren’t sure what we would find because we had been told it is very commercialised, but we found it was interesting and fairly informal. Everyone lines up along the water’s edge and the rangers give an informative chat about the dolphins, their family trees, and how they can tell the individuals apart.
The dolphins are wild, and free to come or not come as they please. At feeding time, buckets of fish are brought down and people are randomly chosen to feed a fish to one of the dolphins. Each adult dolphin gets 500g of fish, the juveniles get 300g, and they are only fed in the mornings, so they must forage for the rest of their food and don’t become totally reliant on the handouts. Peter was one of the lucky ones chosen for feeding.
The beach at Monkey Mia is a tranquil and unspoilt marine sanctuary. There is an informative display in the main centre, as well as a variety of free wildlife films shown throughout the day, and we enjoyed our visit very much.
Shell Beach is on the way out of the Shark Bay area, and instead of sand, is composed completely of millions of tiny snowy white cockle shells.
The shells are used locally for paths and driveways, and sold elsewhere for various uses including shell grit for poultry and birds. A couple of the local old buildings are built from blocks of conglomerate shells, when you look closely you can see all the individual tiny shells that make up the building blocks. The loose shells are considered a renewable resource since new shells are deposited all the time. We have never seen anything like it.