Monkey Mia – The Australian Paradise That Dolphins Visit Daily

If you’ve ever wanted to see a dolphin up-close in its natural habitat, and, if you’re lucky, even hand feed it a tasty treat, there’s no place to do it at than Monkey Mia, the only beach in Australia that dolphins visit every day.

The wild dolphins of Monkey Mia, on the coast of Western Australia, started getting used to people in the early 1960s, when local fishermen started throwing them fish. It didn’t take long for rumors of friendly bottlenose dolphins hanging around Monkey Mia to spread, and before long the popularity of the resort reached new all-time highs. However, by the 1980s, marine researchers noticed a disturbing trend – as adult dolphins became more dependent on humans for food, their calves’ mortality rate grew. Things got so bad that, according to some experts, 90 percent of the calves failed to reach adulthood. Luckily, conservation authorities started regulating dolphin feeding.

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Today, only a handful of dolphins visit Monkey Mia beach every day, and they are only fed a fraction of their daily needs, to make sure that they still go out hunting and teach their young the skills required to survive. Lucky visitors are only allowed to feed the dolphins under the supervision of authorized staff.

“We only feed them around 10 percent of their daily food intake,” Marine park coordinator Luke Skinner told ABC News. “This ensures they have to still forage for themselves and go and hunt for 90 percent of their food sources. We go out there with a bucket of fish and, if they show interest, we can offer them one.”


The dolphins that visit Monkey Mia every morning draw more than 100,000 visitors to the beach each year, and for good reason, there’s really no place like it in the world. Visitors can get up close to the dolphins, interact with them and learn about them and their environment.

Monkey Mia is home to about two hundred bottlenose dolphins, but only five of adult females are fed by humans as part of the famous Monkey Mia dolphin experience. If some of the regular customers stop showing up for long periods of time, other wild dolphins are trained to visit the beach daily, because the show must go on.


Feeding wild dolphins is somewhat of a controversial issue, as research suggests it can negatively affect the animals’ birth and survival rates, but there are experts who believe that the Monkey Mia dolphin experience does more good than bad, and that any negative impact is on the individual, not the larger population of dolphins.

If dolphins aren’t cool enough for you, or if you simply prefer seals for entertainment, check out this secluded seal waterfall in New Zealand.