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Monkey Mia, Kalbarri, Geraldton

No monkeys but plenty of Pinnacles??

Mia is an Aboriginal word meaning "place." Despite what one might think, this is not "the place of monkeys." The Monkey was the name of a ship which brought surveyor Henry Ommanney to Shark's Bay to check out the fishing prospects. The spot where Ommanney's ship docked became known as "Monkey Mia."

The day we arrived the ocean looked like a lake! It was late afternoon and people were sitting on the beach 'cocktailing' and watching the sun set - as you do!
an ocean that looks like a lake!

an ocean that looks like a lake!

sunset at Monkey Mia

sunset at Monkey Mia

us at the resort!

us at the resort!


Exmouth to Monkey Mia

Exmouth to Monkey Mia


Monkey Mia is actually the name of the resort where you go to feed the dolphins - like Tangalooma is, in our neck of the world. The area is national park and the ocean around there is Shark's Bay. We stayed 3 nights there and went to view the dolphin feeding once. It is done a bit differently to Tangalooma. At a certain time in the morning you are asked to stay away from the water's edge until you get 'the call' from the rangers to move towards the sea. We are waiting for the arrival of the dolphins who have already been there earlier and people have seen them.
on dolphin watch!

on dolphin watch!


Once they have been spotted we can then move to the shallows of the ocean - ankle depth only because the dolphins don't like it if you go in too deep. They have a habit of nibbling/biting you.

up close with the dolphins

up close with the dolphins


Unfortunately only 5 people (out of the hundreds that are there) are selected to feed the dolphins and then they only get one fish to give them. Very controlled. What is nice though is that you can view them from the shallows of the ocean up close. The dolphins follow the ranger whilst she is giving her talk up and down the crowds. They also like to show off to people. There are only about 4-5 dolphins that can be fed and 2 babies. Not as many as Tangalooma has.
the dolphins - one of them is called Nicky

the dolphins - one of them is called Nicky

my namesake

my namesake


This happens 3 times a day in the mornings when the dolphins appear and if you are persistent enough and hang around you might get a chance to feed one sometime during the morning.

The next day I went on a boat cruise to see guaranteed sightings of dugong. There are huge areas of seagrasses here at Shark's Bay and I was not disappointed. They are rather difficult to photo and very shy so this is the best I can do on a photo.
dugong at Monkey Mia

dugong at Monkey Mia


We also had the dolphins follow us. Another thing was the floating farm - 'black pearl'. This was the workplace of 'farmer Jamie' from the show 'Farmer wants a wife'. There was a young, blonde girl helping out there in the shop which I think ended up being the farmer's choice. I guess if you have to live on a farm then a pearl farm is not a bad way to go!
black pearl farm

black pearl farm

Again the desert met the ocean and the colours are amazing.
the colours of Monkey Mia

the colours of Monkey Mia


swimming at Monkey Mia - is it a lake?

swimming at Monkey Mia - is it a lake?

Another unusual sighting on the beach.
emu at Monkey Mia beach

emu at Monkey Mia beach

Apart from the dolphins which attract the tourists, this place is another 'gem' on this coastline.
When you arrive and leave Monkey Mia there is a lot of beautiful National Park and coastline to see. The road is a mini version of the 'Great Ocean Road'. A small town of Denham has fantastic views of the ocean and there is a lot of new housing going up. Well worth an investment if you had spare cash. One unusual building was made of cockleshell bricks.
restaurant made of cockle shells brick

restaurant made of cockle shells brick

In fact on the way out we drove into 'shell beach' where there was a beach load of these cockle shells. It looks like a normal white sandy beach but it is not.
cockles and mussels...

cockles and mussels...

cockle shell bricks

cockle shell bricks

this sign explains it!

this sign explains it!


We also drove into a place called Hamelin Pool that had stromatolites. What are they? They look like rocks, you'd think they were rocks
but they are in fact living things, believed to be the oldest living organisms on earth.
stromatolites

stromatolites


I also visited an aquarium with a huge collection of live sea life caught by the guides themselves who were marine biologists or similar science degree.
baby shark in aquarium

baby shark in aquarium

box fish at aquarium

box fish at aquarium

Our next destination was Kalbarri.
Kalbarri to Perth

Kalbarri to Perth


We missed out on 'wildflower' season by a month due to the early summer weather they have been experiencing here. I went to a wildflower park and took some photos. Beautiful and also amongst the dunes. A unique scenery.
wild flower park

wild flower park

wildflowers

wildflowers

wild flower

wild flower

unusual name - I didn't taste it!

unusual name - I didn't taste it!

lambswool wild flowers

lambswool wild flowers

cauliflower wild flowers

cauliflower wild flowers

wild flowers

wild flowers


Kalbarri also enjoys stunning views and you can walk in the heathland along the cliffs. This was also the first beach on our whole trip that had surfable waves. We also had delicious fish and chips here. It is a small fishing village where the Murchison river meets the ocean. It is surrounded by National Park and heaths with all the wildflowers. We could see the ocean from our caravan park. Again a rugged coastline and beautiful lookouts to see all this.
Kalbarri cliffs - years of erosion and also a whale lookout

Kalbarri cliffs - years of erosion and also a whale lookout

my rock!

my rock!

the cliffs lookout at Kalbarri

the cliffs lookout at Kalbarri


I also went to a place called 'Parrotiso'. This place has the largest collection of parrots in Australia. Some can talk and my favourite was a 'Cocky' at the entrance. He could say so much and was a real character. He had all the tourists in stitches. If you weren't in the area he would call at the top of his voice 'Mum' and expect a reply. If you say 'what do you want' he would reply 'come here'! Hilarious. Another parrot says 'hello beautiful' when you aren't expecting it - I thought it was Geoff talking to me!
parrot

parrot

black cockatoo

black cockatoo

parrots

parrots

parrot

parrot


and then there were the unusual sculptures
another unusual creature at 'Parrotiso'

another unusual creature at 'Parrotiso'

unusual sculpture at 'Parrotiso'

unusual sculpture at 'Parrotiso'

After leaving Kalbarri we also have to mention the unusual 'Pink lake'. My photo doesn't do it justice but it is full of beta carotene and this gives it the colour. Hopefully our video will have captured it better.
Pink lake

Pink lake

pink lake of beta-carotene at Kalbarri

pink lake of beta-carotene at Kalbarri

Going down the coastline - Geraldton is a larger town which is being developed big time! It is also a port for iron ore. The memorial for the people who lost their lives on HMAS Sydney during WW2 was well done.
the seagulls on the memorial at Geraldton - commemorating loss of lives on HMAS Sydney

the seagulls on the memorial at Geraldton - commemorating loss of lives on HMAS Sydney

the mothers looking for HMAS Sydney to return

the mothers looking for HMAS Sydney to return

After leaving Geraldton we stopped in at Cervantes where the Pinnacles are. I thought it would be just another bunch of rocks. They were unique and once again unusual. They were in the middle of the heaths and wildflowers and there was this desert full of these rocks that look a bit like all the termite mounds we have been seeing in our travels. There were thousands of them in this area.
the Pinnacles desert park

the Pinnacles desert park

more Pinnacles!

more Pinnacles!


You can 'tiptoe' through the Pinnacles which come in all different shapes and sizes.
Pinnacle peekabo!

Pinnacle peekabo!

weirdo behind a pinnacle?

weirdo behind a pinnacle?


At this point we have to mention the flies which were driving everyone crazy. There was a lot of 'Aussie saluting' going on.
the show must go on!

the show must go on!


We could have sold our nets several times and made a fortune. If we had known we would have bought a box load! You can also drive through the Pinnacles which goes for 4 kms.
the Pinnacles desert drive - 4 kms.

the Pinnacles desert drive - 4 kms.

Posted by blondnomad 23:00 Archived in Australia Tagged beaches

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