Shark Bay, Monkey Mia

On the way into the Shark Bay area the folks were keen to see the Stromatolites at Hamelin Pool. I’ve got to admit I thought they were rocks when I saw them, but they are actually colonies of microbes formed into a variety of mats and towers depending on the depth of water and other factors. The Sparrow recons they are one of the most primitive lifeforms on the planet. There was a nice 2km walk around the Hamelin Pool area which also went past the historic Coquina quarry where blocks of compressed shells [Coquina] had been cut by early settlers for use as a building material. In the nearby town of Denham we saw some old building made of these blocks.

Just before we got to Monkey Mia we stopped at Little Lagoon for a swim. This is a designated dog off leash area. A bit of swimming went down a treat after our recent sand river camping experiences. We also saw a family of Emus going for a paddle at the other end of the beach, so the Sparrow went off to photograph them while the Silverback and I played ball.

The folks had decided to set up camp at the newly renovated Monkey Mia Resort run by the RAC, and what a great decision that turned out to be. We stayed for four days. It’s a very dog friendly place. Dogs are allowed most places other than the Dolphin Interaction Area [a short stretch of beach next to the jetty]. The caravan park facilities were new and generally ‘hotel quality’. The camp kitchens looked like the set of Masterchef. They were the best caravan park amenities we had seen so far on our travels.

It seemed we met a few people who had left their dogs at home and flown in. They were all keen for a bit of doggy time and for a while there I had a part time job getting my head patted and tummy tickled. It’s a tough job being a travel dog sometimes! The beach at Monkey Mia was just beautiful and we walked there several times. The folks ate a couple of times at the Boughshed Restaurant. They had been somewhat restaurant deprived with our off-grid travels and were making up for lost time. A couple of excellent doggy bags came home with us, I can definitely vouch for the food!

Every morning Dolphins come into the water’s edge next to the jetty. They call this The Dolphin Experience. People stand on the waters edge to get a close look. Dogs are not allowed in the water’s edge but are allowed up on the jetty, where the view may have been even better! I’ve decided I like dolphins.

I had a bit of a staring competition with a juvenile Emu one morning. Not sure what he was up to, but he seemed keen on having a look inside the campervan. He was a determined young fella! In the end it took all three of us standing resolutely shoulder to shoulder to block his path. Happily, he eventually wandered off. One to team Enzotraveldog!

On the last morning we went on the Monkey Mia Marine Life Cruise on Aristocat 2 [dogs are welcome!]. This was a top experience. Previously, I’ve only ever been on ferries, but this was a catamaran with sails. The sea was flat, the winds were light, it was a perfect morning for cruising. We went out to the sea grass beds a couple of km off-shore and saw dugongs, loggerhead turtles, dolphins, one shark and a few pied cormorants. It was a super experience. I even got to go up top for a photo with the crew. How dog friendly is that? There was another dog on the trip, a Labrador called Jude, we shared the water bowl. On the way in, some of the younger travellers decided to ride the net that hangs off the back of the boat. Being an adult dog now, I thought I’d give that a miss. It was Shark Bay after all.

Looking out for dugongs
Me and Jude looking out for dugongs
Green Turtle, the loggerheads were too quick to photograph.
Juvenile Dugong

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