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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Week 46/52 - Shark Bay & Moneky Mia - wading with dolphins

Hi everyone, and welcome to Week 46 of our 52 week Tour Downunder Western Australia.

This week we continue south from Coral Bay and arrive at Denham at Shark Bay on the Peron Peninsula. Home of the dolphins that come to the beach at Monkey Mia (I'll show them to you a little later), there is also lots of other things to see and do at Shark Bay. With the current push in eco-tourism, Shark Bay offers a great deal for both off-roaders and those with conventional vehicles.

On the way into Denham, we'll stop at Hamelin Pool Marine Nature Reserve where stromatolites, the oldest life form on earth, grow in the warm shallow water. Stromatolites are living layered limestone rock built by single celled cyanobacteria (blue green bacteria) (similar to the first forms of life on earth) which trap and bind sediments. Marine stromatolites only exist in Hamelin Pool and the Bahamas. The existence of the stromatolites contribute to Shark Bay's World Heritage Listing.


From Western Australia

 We'll also visit Shell Beach, where tiny Cardiid cockleshells flourish in huge numbers creating a beach of shells built up over 4000 years.


From Western Australia


From Western Australia

And we'll spend a lazy afternoon on the beach front in Denham - the only township on the Peron Peninsular. Denham has a laid back friendly atmosphere.

From Western Australia

Here we are at Cape Peron at the northern tip of the Francois Peron National Park, located on the Peron Peninsula, which makes up the mainland of Shark Bay.

Named after a French naturalist, who visited Shark Bay with the Geograph expedition in 1801 and 1803, the Peron Peninsular was a sheep station between the 1880’s and 1990, and supported a pearling camp in the 1800’s. Bought by the WA State Government in 1990, the National Park is one of only 16 natural World Heritage sites around the world that meet all four criteria for World Heritage listing.

The contrast of the red bluff, the white beach sand and the blue of the ocean and sky is amazing.

From Western Australia

The first thing on the list of most visitors to Shark Bay is Monkey Mia to see the world famous bottle nose dolphins. The Reserve is managed by the WA Dept of Environment and Conservation to ensure the dolphins continue to live in their natural environment and at the same time interact with humans.

There are strict guidelines controlling visitors’ interaction with the dolphins. Dolphin feeding, three times a day between 8am and 1pm, is carefully controlled and supervised in the special interaction area on the beach front near the jetty. The early morning feedings provide the best chance to see the dolphins. By the number of languages we heard spoken, it was obvious that Monkey Mia is an international destination for overseas tourists.

From Western Australia

The dolphins come right into the shore and lay on their sides to look up at you with a grin. Although you are discouraged from touching them, the experience is one you will never forget. When we first came to Monkey Mia years ago, you were able to camp on the beach. Any time of day you walked into the water the dolphins would come swimming up to you. It was a beautiful experience.

From Western Australia

Another beautiful Western Australian sunset over the Indian Ocean....

From Western Australia

Dolphin with sunshine sparkles..........

From Western Australia

Another Monkey Mia resident..........

From Western Australia

The Shark Bay Tarmara Wild Rose which we saw near Shell Beach

From Western Australia

And another glorious sunset...........this is one of my favourite photos..........

From Life Images by Jill

This is at Eagle Bluff on the way into Denham. Shark Bay has the biggest seagrass meadows in the world - also contributing to their World Heritage Listing. An endangered species, the Dugong, feeds on the seagrass meadows. There is a boardwalk where you can look out over the ocean from the bluff.

From Western Australia

Here is something else you sometimes see when tall trees are scarce.....a birds nest on a power pole.....this one was on the road into Hamelin Bay.

From Western Australia

Thanks for looking! Next week we continue south. I hope you have enjoyed these photos - I always enjoy hearing from you.

5 comments:

  1. Once again you astound me with your images and where you live!..
    BuddhaPi, Jupiter, Florida

    ReplyDelete
  2. it`s gray, it`s cold, there`s frost on the cars, but there is sunshine in your pictures Jill, I will think of your warm pictures as I go about my day.
    Billmac, Scotland

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jill - As always, another great set!!! Love the dolphins!!
    Shelly M, Las Vagas

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great article with excellent idea! I appreciate your post. Thanks so much and let keep on sharing your stuffs keep it up.

    Exmouth Sailing

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Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this tour around Western Australia. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to comment.