Monkey Mia

Coral Coast, Western Australia

About Monkey Mia

RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is situated midway up the West Australian coastline within the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, home to one of the world’s best-known dolphin encounters.

We offer holidaymakers a truly unique experience in unspoiled surrounds. With beachfront accommodation situated on the pristine shores of Shark Bay, you won’t have to go far to feel the sand between your toes. Our protected, north facing bay makes RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort the perfect holiday destination year round.

Inside the resort, we have accommodation options to suit all travellers. From dormitories to campsites, caravans to campers, we’re giving holidaymakers the opportunity to experience the natural wonders of Shark Bay, regardless of their budget.

We look forward to welcoming you to Monkey Mia soon.

Read more about local life at Monkey Mia from our Resort Manager, Martin Grenside.

The Dolphins

The story of Monkey Mia and our world famous dolphins goes back many, many years. In 1982 the American researchers, Richard Connor and Rachel Smolker, visited Monkey Mia and discovered a small group of wild bottlenose dolphins that would swim to the shoreline to be fed by humans nearly every day. Since then, visitors from all over the world have been flocking to Monkey Mia to experience these beautiful creatures for themselves.

Today, the Monkey Mia Dolphin Experience is managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, along with a team of researchers who monitor the experience and provide guidance to the team of friendly rangers.

At the RAC, we have been proud supporters of dolphin research at Monkey Mia for over a decade and, as a visitor, you get to play a part, too. The small fee you pay to enter the reserve goes directly to our dolphin interaction program.

Why not come and have a look for yourself?

Nowhere else in the world can you interact with dolphins in the wild on an almost daily basis. In the last five years, the dolphins of Monkey Mia have only missed four days.

dolphin in water as a tour guide talks to a group of people on monkey mia beach
group of people in monkey mia water interacting with dolphin

Monkey Mia world-leading research

Established in 1992, Monkey Mia is the number one behavioral research site in the world for bottlenose dolphins and tiger sharks and often works in collaboration with the West Australian Government. Dolphin research includes male association, female to calf association and juveniles.

The Resort has provided hosted accommodation for film crews from numerous programs including National Geographic and the Discovery Channel and has also accommodated the filming of the Blue Planet while it produced a documentary on Shark Bay with David Attenborough.

The Resort 100% supports the world leading research conducted off the beaches of Monkey Mia.

Since its humble beginnings, research has developed hugely at Monkey Mia, and to this day we still host and support a team of dolphin researchers under the direction of Dr. Janet Mann, a professor of Georgetown University, USA

Hundreds of dolphins are surveyed and cataloged each year, they survey their behavior, ecology, genetics, development, communication, social structure, predators and prey, providing a huge insight into dolphin life. All of this research is accomplished non-invasively without tagging or capturing the dolphins.

dolphin in monkey mia water with people and jetty in the background
dolphin trainer talking to crowd as two dolphins swim behind her in monkey mia

In 1982 Richard Connor and Rachel Smolker initiated dolphin research in Shark Bay. From those humble beginnings, Monkey Mia has developed into the top research site in the world for the behavior and ecology of bottlenose dolphins and tiger sharks. This research, supported by the resort, has produced well over 100 scientific publications and discoveries of such import that film crews from all over the world have flocked to Monkey Mia to film the extraordinary dolphin behavior and other phenomena that have given Shark Bay World Heritage listing. The resort has enjoyed hosting crews from the National Geographic Society, the Discovery Channel, and the BBC’s Blue Planet with David Attenborough, to name a few.

Today we still host and support teams of dolphin researchers, including one run by Janet Mann, a professor at the University of Georgetown in the US, that focuses on female dolphins and infants. The other, focusing on male alliance formation, is an international collaboration led by Michael Krützen (Swiss) at the University of Zurich, Stephanie King (British) and Simon Allen (Australian) at the University of Bristol in the UK, and Richard Connor (American) at the University of Massachusetts.

Reserve Entry

A charge is made on arrival by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for entry into the Monkey Mia Reserve where RAC Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is located.

This fee is not paid to the Resort but paid direct to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for the continual care, welfare, management and research of the Monkey Mia dolphins and is not included in any accommodation costs. Department of Biodiversity, Conservations & Attractions fee payable upon entry to the resort.

Thank you for your support in sustaining the valuable wildlife at Monkey Mia.

For more information on the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions fees visit:

Our commitment to sustainable tourism

The Management of the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is mindful of its obligation to ensure that the precious resource that is Monkey Mia and the Shark Bay World Heritage Region is protected.

Treatment of the public and the Resort’s own waste water is only part of that commitment. We carefully monitor the use of all chemical substances and use only bio-degradable cleaners and solvents. Organic fertilisers only are used on the grounds alleviating any risk of contamination of the bay’s pristine waters.

We are committed to maintaining this beautiful piece of earth…