We arrived at Monkey Mia around 9am and managed to check straight into our hostel which was nice as we were only there for 2 days so didn't want to waste half of one of those days waiting to check in. On booking in we found out that we were sharing a room with Michelle (English) and Harry (Dutch) who we had met on the bus. After a much needed shower, some breakfast, and a look around the resort the four of us & another girl who we had met on the bus called Si (Japanese) decided to book ourselves onto the Origin of the Mermaid Myth boat tour which also included a sunset tour later in the day. In the broucher it advertised that anyone who was sea sick on the boat would receive $100 as the boat was that smooth, so we thought that Helen would definitely be able to make us a bit of money with her track record!!! We later found out however that the boat used to be an old racing boat that held numerous speed records all around Australia and as they advertised it was incredibly smooth!
On the first tour they took us out to sea to see the various forms of sea life that exist in the Monkey Mia region. These included dugongs, or as their also known sea cows, sharks, dolphins, turtles, rays & anything else that happened to be around at the time. We managed to see half a dozen dugongs which are becoming increasingly extinct around the world except for the Monkey Mia region. They are also very shy creatures so we were very luck when a mum and her pup came up for air a few meters from our boat and hung around to have a look at us. We also saw some dolphins and a hammerhead shark that looked like it was onto a catch as it was zipping about in the water at frantic rate. After a few hours out on the boat we headed back to land where we just had time to pop back to the room to put some juice back into the camera battery before heading back to the jetty to go on the sunset cruise. The problem with this cruise was that due to daylight savings the boat now departs an hour earlier so you don't actually get to see the sun set anymore which seemed to be missing the whole point of the trip. We didn't mind though as they showed us the speed that the boat is capable of. It was also nice and relaxing and it was free!!!
Back on land the five of us headed out for a pizza before heading down to the beach to see if we could see any dolphins as Michelle had been told by someone that they sometimes came inland just after sunset. Unfortunately we didn't see any, but did see the millions of crabs that were on the beach.
The following morning we were up at 6 am to head down to the beach again to try and catch a glimpse of the dolphins before their feeding time as we heard it became very crowed. We also went with the idea of having an early morning swim in the hope they would come up to us but we soon realised that it was too cold and too early for that!
After a 20 minute wait we spotted a couple of dolphins near the jetty and managed to get some nice photos before the crowds arrived. Around 10 dolphins appeared in the 'interaction area' including a mum and her 2 week old calf who was still learning to swim straight. The dolphins weren't intimidated by us at all and swam right up to with a couple of meters of us on the beach which was amazing to get so close to them. We then listened to a talk by one of the rangers and watched them being fed.
After breakfast the five of us hired out a car to explore the local area. The only car available to hire was a small Hyundai Getz so it was very 'comfy' within the car. Our first stop was Ocean Park. Here they catch local sea life and place them in artificial lagoons for a brief period and are then released back into the sea and replaced by another batch. Here we got to see turtles, including one that tried to bite your fingers. We also saw stingrays, various reef fish & they had a shark enclosure which had small 'nervous sharks', lemon sharks and a 2.5m long tiger shark. Here the guide dangled a dead fish over the side and we got to see the sharks attacking the fish.
From here Helen took over the driving and within 2 minutes managed to get us stuck deep in some soft sand. The rest of us had to get out and push the car out while she sat cool & comfortable in the car!!! After that mishap we headed to Shell Beach which believe it or not is a beach made up of ...shells!!! This was really pretty but very strange as there was shells and nothing else, and this extended out to the sea. Here we went for a paddle 50m out and we were still only knee deep!
From Shell Beach we went to see the Stromatolites - living rocks!!! These date 1900 million years and provide 20% of our oxygen. I did wonder why we'd driven all this way to see some rocks, especially as the temperature had just reached 40C but once we were out on the boardwalk I could see why. The crystal clear seas really emphasised the rock formations and you couldn't help but be impressed.
From here we headed back to Monkey Mia with a stop at Eagles Bluff which was a lookout point at the top of the cliff where you could look down into the shallow waters below to spot sea life. Here we saw 2 sharks, although what type we have no idea as we were so far away. Back at the resort we had dinner and packed up our stuff ready for the 3:30am departure the following day down to Perth.
Hope everyone is well
Gavin and Helen