Letho's Blog

Monkey Mia and Cape Peron

by on Mai.06, 2011, under Along The Coral Coast

May 06, 2011

We got up really, really early in the morning, sometime before 6 am. The reason being that we wanted to be in time for the dolphin feeding at the Monkey Mia Reserve next to the Francois Peron NP.

Packing up camp at Big Lagoon, Francois Peron NP

Packing up camp at Big Lagoon, Francois Peron NP

Not all of us wanted to go, so we left the LandCruiser and two people at the campsite and drove to Monkey Mia. We took a few pictures of Big Lagoon later on, though:

When we arrived at Monkey Mia Resort, we weren’t too surprised to see nearly 100 or more other tourists, only going there for the same purpose.We then joined at the beach for the dolphin feeding, learnt about the genealogy of the dolphin families, the history of the resort and so on. And got actually pretty close to the dolphins:

This experience left us with mixed feelings. The resort is not a national park of any kind, it was established only as a private commerce to make tourism money. Interestingly enough the local rangers emphasize all the time that only females are being fed now, and only at most a third of the dolphins‘ daily intake as to ensure that the dolphins keep their natural abilities to hunt for food and survive on their own. You are not allowed to swim with or touch the dolphins any more. Good to hear – but we still wondered how the poor dolphins must have been treated 10 years ago. And there are not hundreds of them coming in every day, just a few and sometimes none at all. Still enough to build an entire tourism industry upon it. Sounds strange, eh?

Probably more interesting was the fantastic pelican close to the beach, the first one to return to Monkey Mia after spending time somewhere else on the West Coast – as birds of passage do. 🙂

After taking hundreds of pictures of dolphins in the water we returned to Big Lagoon, met with the rest of our team and went for some swimming/snorkeling at the Gregories. Not too many tropical fish around, although lots of oyster stacks with really sharp edges. From there we drove to the northern-most point of the Shark Bay peninsula, Cape Peron itself. We could watch a lot of birdlife here, e.g. many cormorants. The last thing was a quick stop at Bottle Bay.

After all that we returned to Denham, organized ourselves once more and headed up further north to reach Carnarvon the next day…

Driving in the Francois Peron NP

Driving in the Francois Peron NP

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