Shark Bay is actually a couple of bays encompassed by two narrow peninsulas. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to 26 threatened Australian mammal species, almost up to 150 different reptiles and over 230 species of birds. There are many sharks and rays in the water, and the bay is famed for its dolphins that pay daily visits to Monkey Mia.
The main town in the region is Denham, on the western side of the Peron Peninsula. Denham is the main centre for travellers visiting Monkey Mia, 25km away on the other side of the peninsula. Denham is where you’ll find most accommodation as well as a supermarket, bakery and a couple of restaurants.
Monkey Mia’s main attraction is the dolphins that visit the beach every morning (8am-10am). What makes Monkey Mia special is that the dolphins here are especially tame.
Shark Bay is also known for its dugongs. Around 10,000, or around 10% of the world’s dugong population, are estimated to live in Shark Bay.
Facilities at Monkey Mia are fairly basic although it is possible to stay here as the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort has excellent backpacker accommodation. There’s also a small general store but it’s expensive and you’re better off bringing your food in from Denham.
Entry to Monkey Mia costs $6 per day or $9 per month (national park passes are not valid).
71 Knight Terrace, Denham
Tel (08) 9948 1590
Open 9am-6pm daily
67 Knight Terrace, Denham
Tel (08) 9948 1208
Open Mon-Fri 8am-5pm
Greyhound’s (tel 1300 473 946) Perth-Broome service stops at the Overlander Roadhouse 150km from Monkey Mia. A shuttle bus meets the bus at Overlander and goes to Denham and Monkey Mia.
There is a limited bus service between Denham and Monkey Mia that leaves Denham at 8am giving you time to play with the dolphins with a return service around midday. The youth hostel in Denham also runs a shuttle bus for their guests.
113 Knight Terrace, Denham
Tel (08) 9948 1278
Monkey Mia Road, Monkey Mia
Tel (08) 9948 1320 or 1800 653 611 (0871 711 9836 from the UK)