Shark Bay and the Monkey Mia dolphins
Explore the World Heritage Listed Shark Bay
on Australia’s Coral Coast – home to the friendly Monkey Mia dolphins
and renowned for its rugged natural beauty. Enjoy action and adventure in Kalbarri National Park
and sample some of Western Australia’s freshest seafood in Cervantes
Day 1: Perth to Geraldton
Approx 420 kilometres
Begin your journey early and head north towards Shark Bay on Australia’s Brand Highway to the historic twin towns of Dongara and Port Denison
. These settlements support a large fishing fleet and boast true coastal village charm. Continue to Greenough, a National Trust town and then on to the port city of Geraldton
Treat yourself to some of the freshest seafood in Western Australia, particularly the region’s famous rock lobster. Enjoy Geraldton’s cosmopolitan vibe by eating out at one of the numerous restaurants and be sure to head up to the impressive HMAS Sydney II Memorial. Commemorating the lives of 645 sailors who died in World War II, it provides sweeping views across Geraldton and the Indian Ocean.
Day 2: Geraldton to Shark Bay
Approx 430 kilometres
Travel north to the Shark Bay World Heritage Area
– home of the Monkey Mia dolphins. Follow the interpretive signage along the Shark Bay World Heritage Drive to discover the remarkable Hamelin Pool stromatolites
– the oldest living fossils in the world – and the calm and crystal waters of Shell Beach
– a 120km stretch of beach made entirely of millions of tiny shells. Stop at Eagle Bluff for spectacular ocean views along a 100m walkway, where reef sharks, dugongs
and rays are regularly spotted. Check into your accommodation at Denham
, and enjoy refreshments overlooking the water at sunset.
Overnight: Denham – see Denham accommodation
Day 3: Shark Bay and surrounds
Today, you can choose from a multitude of activities on offer. For some rugged adventure, join a day tour to nearby Dirk Hartog Island
or François Peron National Park. Keen fisherman can try their hand at catching a prized fish off the surrounding beaches or join a fishing charter. Drive out to Peron Homestead, to explore the remarkable history of Shark Bay
and Australia’s Coral Coast and take a revitalising dip in the hot tub, fed with natural artesian water. In the afternoon, head across to Monkey Mia
and enjoy a relaxing catamaran cruise. After dinner, join an astronomy or Indigenous cultural tour before turning in.
Overnight: Monkey Mia – see Monkey Mia accommodation
Day 4: Monkey Mia to Kalbarri
Approx 380 kilometres
Spend the morning at the water’s edge for a friendly encounter with the Monkey Mia dolphins
which visit the shores daily. The dolphins are fed up to three times each day, which accounts for just one third of their daily diet. The first feeding is at around 7.30am. After you and the dolphins have enjoyed breakfast, start your journey from Shark Bay to Australia’s popular coastal holiday town of Kalbarri
, located at the mouth of the Murchison River, adjacent to the Kalbarri National Park
. Enjoy a coastal gorge walk as the sun sets over the rugged red cliffs, or sit back and relax under the stars at the outdoor cinema.
Overnight: Kalbarri – See Kalbarri accommodation page
Day 5: Kalbarri and surrounds
Spend the morning exploring the spectacular Kalbarri National Park
by hiking, canoeing, abseiling, quad biking or just enjoying the spectacular views from lookout points. Sites such as Z Bend and The Loop (Nature’s Window) are particularly breathtaking. In town, enjoy a refreshing swim at Chinaman’s Beach, indulge in some retail and spa therapy, or join an exhilarating jet boat, quad biking or sandboarding tour. Keen anglers can join a fishing charter in search of the big five, or drop a line in off the rocks. Alternatively, head out for a freshly cooked seafood feast at one of the local restaurants.
Day 6: Kalbarri and surrounds
Head down to the foreshore at 8.45am to watch as local rangers feed a fishy breakfast to the pelicans. Depart Kalbarri mid morning and head south, via Geraldton
. Be sure to stop by the Pink Lake near Port Gregory and admire the ever-changing pink hues. Enjoy the splendour of the Pinnacles
, located in the Nambung National Park. The road into the park is sealed, and there is a car park within walking distance of the limestone structures. After exploring the Pinnacles, head to the Desert Discovery Centre to learn more about these mystical formations. You can also pick up locally-made handcrafted souvenirs here. Enjoy a swim at Hangover Bay or Cervantes before making the final journey back to Perth.