Day 51

Trip Start Sep 23, 2012
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Australia  , Western Australia,
Sunday, November 11, 2012

Today we arrived at Monkey Mia and it is a long way from anywhere! You leave the North West Highway and drive 150 kilometres straight out onto a long peninsula. The drive in was spectacular with a wonderful coastline eventually on show. The largest town of any size near Monkey Mia is called Denham. We visited the local tourist information centre to find as much as we could before driving the last 26 kilometres. One interesting fact is that Dirk Harthog was one of the earliest European visitors in 1616. He liked the place so much that he named an island after himself. To explore the Shark Bay area properly you really need a 4WD and Terry Territory doesn't do non bitumen roads. To enter the Monkey Mia Reserve you need to purchase a visitor's pass costing $30. During the drive in, we passed many of the tourist hotspots but some of these were 100 kilometres away so we will do them on the way out. The resort was half full but there was still plenty of people around. It wasn't long before our German friends arrived too. As we were setting up we had a visit from an emu (we christened him Ed) who just wanders around the park looking for food. As you can imagine Kelli was not very receptive of Ed's presence. We checked out the dolphin feeding board which shows when the dolphins were fed and how many came in. We were surprised to see that most times it is only two or three and it is the same five or six dolphins all the time. I imagined that it would be more judging by the brochure pictures.
Our site was right next to the beach and the resort had everything. Kelli took the girls to the pool but it was too cold and windy. We found out that there is some dispute over the name Monkey Mia. The Monkey bit could be because of an early ship in the area called Monkey, or early European visitors bought monkeys as pets with them or monkey was a slang name for the locals used for sheep. The name Mia means home in the local Aboriginal language.
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