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Monkey Mia Dolphins - Australia

Close Encounters of the Cetacean Kind

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Dolphin at Monkey Mia, West Australia

At Monkey Mia: a close encounter of the cetacean kind

© Australian Tourist Commission 2000

The friendly Monkey Mia dolphins in Australia come close to shore and interact with people.

It's not quite like Dances with Wolves with Kevin Costner among the Sioux people in the US Midwest; more like Dances with Dolphins on the shores of Monkey Mia, except the dancing is more figurative than real.

You walk out to sea and meet with the Indian bottlenose dolphins who "talk" to you and whom you can touch -- and your heart dances with joy.

For landlubbers like me and those of us who glimpse dolphins only at a distance on "dolphin watch" cruises, these are amazing close encounters of the cetacean kind.

World Heritage area

So strong and so unique is this experience that travelers go kilometres out of the main highway to Monkey Mia on the West Australian coast. There is, of course, some concern whether this "disruption" of dolphin life is at all justified.

Monkey Mia, in the Shark Bay World Heritage area, is more than 840 kilometres north of Perth.

At an average clip of 100km/hr, this trip from Perth takes close to nine hours — longer if you take in the Pinnacles on the way.

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