Monkey Mia for Bilby

Monkey Mia Dolphin

Monkey Mia is approx 700kms north of Perth.  My last visit in 2008, was a very different experience to my first trip in 1990.  The resort (which it now is) boasts air conditioned villas, restaurant and bar.  Previously it was a campsite, on the basis of BYO tent, or hire an oven, although I think they described them as caravans!

Whilst being far more regimented regarding the interaction with the dolphins, being a five star accommodation kind of girl, I prefer the way it is these days.

If you happen to be over this way, have the time, and the desire for a little peace and quiet, I can highly recommend the place.  Take plenty of sun block and reading matter and you’ll have a ball….

21 thoughts on “Monkey Mia for Bilby”

  1. My grandson lives in Perth. I visited him a couple of months back – and tried to persuade him to take me to Monkey Mia. I hadn’t realised it was quite so far from Perth!

  2. Isn’t WA still the emptiest place on earth? It was when I went there in the ’80s. las Vegas without the money. 😉

  3. I mentioned recently that whilst scratching through an old drawer I came across some funny S.A. Christmas cards and published them here.

    I also came across this:-

    .

    .

    It’s probably the last surviving bumper sticker (out of a thousand) that I had made many many years ago. Our local ‘Oceanarium’ had applied for a permit to capture another 5 or 6 dolphins and I (and quite a few others) weren’t happy with that.

    To cut a long story short, they didn’t get their permit and the dolphin part of the exhibition has been closed down.

    I’m assuming that ‘your’ dolphin is free to come and go as it pleases.

  4. Nice to see Dolphin pictures on this site (a welcome change from snow and frost)! PS I like the sound of “Hire an oven” caravans! Keep humour to the fore Bootsy and you will generate many comments and friends on this site.

  5. Boadicea, I made that mistake in 1990, we were only visiting at that time, staying with the brother in law. I’d seen a programme on the BBC about the dolphins and how the whole set up started. BIL was horrified, the BBC had described it as ‘just outside Perth’..!

    If driving, is now usual to stop off in Kalbarri. Went by plane in 2008, so much more civilised..

  6. The Moray Firth boasts a resident population of about 130 bottlenose dolphins which feed on the salmon entering our various rivers during the summer. I find the excitement they generate here rather amusing as off the coast of Muscat, dolphins were present in their thousands, and it would be a very rare occasion if you were out in your boat and they didn’t join you for your trip down the coast to your favourite picnic beach. Like Soutie, I deplore the capture of these beautiful creatures, but I imagine yours in Monkey Mia (how did it get that name?) are as wild and free as the ones here. However I like the idea of not having snow-covered shores to watch them from!

  7. Soutie, yes these are wild and free, doing whatever dolphins do, in the Indian Ocean. Monkey Mia is now a research centre, they do feed the dolphins twice a day, but only if the dolphins come to shore. They are not fed at set times, so they are not reliant on the Rangers and the resort. The Rangers are now very protective of them, and it is nowhere near as ‘free and easy’ as it was in 1990. Which I understand and appreciate…it is their home, afterall.

    Ps: Thank you for the welcome, earlier..

  8. CWJ, I know Mia is Aboriginal for home or shelter, from memory the Monkey part came either from a pearling boat by that name, or possibly a pet monkey on one of the boats (Malaysian)…or that is the ‘story’ given in WA.

    I too dislike capture, enclosure and so called ‘performing’ of any wild animal, and especially these beautiful creatures.

  9. Boa, I agree, Monkey Mia is far more commercialised now than it was in 1990, and Bilby may even have a different story from her visit 4 years prior to that. The dolphins did used to come to the shore, and it was a basic free for all, however I don’t think there were as many visitors as now.

    The research centre, then found some of the dolphins were not doing too well, I think there were very sadly a few deaths, they came to the conclusion some of the problems came from the suncreams getting in the water. As I say as a result, it is very much more regimented now..and while it doesn’t give quite the same thrill, I’m all for the health and wellbeing of the animal, not someone’s experience content.

  10. Val, pack your bags, will see you at the airport. Be aware it will be mighty hot there at the moment. After the snow, don’t suppose that’ll concern you too much..?

  11. We visited the Perth area a few years ago, at the end of a wonderful 6 week trip around Australia… but we didn’t visit Monkey Mia. Wish we had now, but the time was limited and the wineries were very appealing!

  12. Hi Pseu, yep the distances are a factor in deciding where to visit, with limited time. In 2008 I did this whirlwind trip with friends from the UK, we managed Margaret River / Pemberton and Monkey Mia, but as I say, only because we flew there. The road trip is good, but very long….

  13. AH – the wineries! My grandson took me round the wineries. Most of the wines were OK, but, in my opinion, vastly overpriced.

    However, we found a small vineyard selling Port – at $15 for two litres I was a little wary – it might not have ‘top quality’ but it wasn’t far off…

    I have always considered it my duty to introduce my grandchildren to the finer things of life…

    🙂

  14. Hello, Bootsie!

    It was much as you describe; a small camp site, a few caravans and a shower block. On the first trip we arrived just before sunset, in Winter, and I went down to the water before helping to set up the tents, not expecting to see anything, but there was a lone dolphin snoozing near the shore. I was so excited!

    I used to spend weeks there. It was very informal, no crowds and some members of the pod came in every day. At first they all looked the same to me, but after a couple of days I began to recognise individual dolphins. Regular visitors were “Holly” (born at Christmas time) and calf, “Beautiful” and her calf “BB” (Beautiful’s baby), “Holey Fin” and “Snub Nose”, one of the few males, who had a deformed beak and an unpredictable temperament. The calves were gorgeous with their blush tinted bellies.

    There were few rules, but we were told by the Ranger (a very nice Aboriginal girl) not to swim with the dolphins in the shallows and not to initiate contact. Some people ignored this and were bitten; one dolphin rose out of the water squealing and ‘attacked’ a woman, but it may have been a sexual approach, not aggression. They were always very gentle with children.

    The dolphins came in for the fish of course, but would stay for hours afterwards. We played boisterous games with seaweed and sometimes they’d sneak up behind me and grab hold of my shorts, which was rather disconcerting, but I never felt unsafe. One morning, before anyone was about, I waded into the water and saw eight fins heading towards me at great speed. I knew they were dolphins, but they really looked like sharks!

    I heard years ago that a couple of calves had died and other regular visitors had disappeared. I believe calves were being left in deeper water while the mothers came in for fish and there was also a sunburn problem with exposure in the shallow water. I’m glad they are better protected now.

    Thanks for the lovely post and happy memories. 🙂

  15. Soutie :

    I mentioned recently that whilst scratching through an old drawer I came across some funny S.A. Christmas cards and published them here.

    I also came across this:-

    .

    .

    It’s probably the last surviving bumper sticker (out of a thousand) that I had made many many years ago. Our local ‘Oceanarium’ had applied for a permit to capture another 5 or 6 dolphins and I (and quite a few others) weren’t happy with that.

    To cut a long story short, they didn’t get their permit and the dolphin part of the exhibition has been closed down.

    I’m assuming that ‘your’ dolphin is free to come and go as it pleases.

    Hello, Soutie

    I have never visited a facility which keeps dolphins and whales in captivity and never will. In my opinion it is wrong and cruel, especially those which stock from the wild. I am so pleased that people in your locality felt strongly about this issue and the permit was overturned. 🙂

  16. Hi Bilby, I too remember ‘Holey Fin’ from my 1990 trip. The calves, as you say are always adorable, and shadow every movement of their Mother.

    In 2008 one that came to shallow waters on a regular basis was a female teenager, and had attitude to match any ‘female teenager’ she was a delight, and brought back fond memories of being defiant.

    Yes, the photo is one I took…hence the need to go learn how to use my camera!

    Sorry for late reply, I had an appointment with a wine bottle last night.

  17. It’s great that we have met the same dolphin, Bootsy; good old Holey Fin! I have a fin chart somewhere in my, ahem, ‘filing system’ which would jog my memory about other familiar fins and names if only it would surface!

    The photo is lovely … a lot like hundreds of mine! 😉

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