Anyone who has ever heard about Monkey Mia will probably tell you that it’s famous for it’s wild dolphins visits. But if you’re anything like me you probably are wondering if you can go paddle boarding on the beautiful beaches of Monkey Mia. Spoiler alert you can! But lets talk about the star attractions first.
The Monkey Mia Dolphins
Since the 1960’s dolphins have been attracted to the area by the fishing industry. The dolphins quickly worked out that they could easily capture fish escaping the fishing nets.
This soon lead to people visiting the region just to see the dolphins and once upon a time you could buy a bucket of fish and feed them yourself.
A more conservative approach
These days the dolphins are still fed but a more conservative practice is in place. Only select dolphins are fed daily and only a small portion of their daily requirements are provided. The belief is that this will ensure the wild dolphins don’t become reliant upon human interaction.
There is some activism against these visits. Some believe that this managed approach is still too much interaction. However the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort host research teams from around the world. These come from as far away as the University of Zurich. So it is still seen as valuable to study these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
The Monkey Mia Resort
The Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort itself is quite nice but be warned! If you are travelling to Monkey Mia you will have to pay a fee to enter both the car park and the campground/ resort. The day passes are for 24 hours. If you arrive in the afternoon you can purchase your pass for the next day. This helps make sure there isn’t a long queue of cars waiting to get in first thing in the morning.
If you want to stay in the resort for more than one night you will have to pay for a monthly pass. This allows you access for a whole month. This is on top of your camping or accomodation fees. So it’s more economical to stay for a week rather than two nights.
How many Dolphins will you see?
It’s interesting to look at the visit numbers which are written up on a white board. This shows how many dolphins visit each of the 3 daily feedings and at what time they come as it can vary greatly. We were really lucky as there was the greatest number of dolphin visitors on the day we were there a total of 11. One of the dolphins which came in for a feed was an expectant mother whose baby is due early 2024.
While the dolphins are wild animals there is no guarantee that you will see any on any given day. However chances are pretty good that you will see at least some. You increase your chances the longer you stay. We were really surprised at just how many dolphins were swimming about well after the feeding had finished. As these guys are wild and obviously not contained it was so cool to be sitting having a coffee and look up and seeing them out and about in the water.
What to expect at the Resort
There are a range of accomodation options from self contained villas overlooking the water to back backer accomodation. You can also bring your own tent camper or caravan and camp. There are two options for food and drink. The Monkey Bar is more takeaway style food and the Boughshed Restaurant for all other meals. The resort also had two pools with plenty of shade and if you haven’t bought your own water craft they have paddle boards and kayaks for hire.
Paddle Boarding and Other water sports at the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort
There are a lot of rules around how close you can get to the dolphins and like all wild animals are just best left to do their thing. We saw some guys getting a bit excited and looking like they were going to get in to swim a bit close to the dolphins. But the dolphins were wise up to them and just swam off.
What I was also surprised to find was that you can actually go paddle boarding and boating in the water around the resort. There is an area reserved for the dolphin feeding which is a no go zone but there is plenty of space to enjoy the beautiful aqua water. If you are kayaking, paddle boarding or boating you also are required by law to stay a certain distance away. These are all quite clear and are listed about the resort .
Another thing that we were surprised about was that if you are travelling with your dog you they are also welcome at the resort.
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