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Monkey Mia is a popular tourist destination located about 900 km north of Perth, Western Australia. The reserve is 25 km northeast of the town of Denham in the Shark Bay Marine Park and World Heritage Site.The main attraction are the bottlenose dolphins that have been coming close to shore for more than fifty years. Rangers from the Department of Parks and Wildlife (Western Australia) carefully supervise the Monkey Mia Dolphin Experience.HistoryMia is the Aboriginal term for home or shelter, while the Monkey part of the name is allegedly derived from a pearling boat called Monkey that anchored at the now Monkey Mia in the late 19th century, during the days when pearling was an industry in the region. However, the Geographic Names Committee, hosted by Landgate (The Western Australian Land Information Authority) has stated that the most likely origins of the name are that it was included in a list of Aboriginal names and their meanings supplied by the Geraldton Police Station in approx 1899 - the meaning of the name is given as "Salt or bad water", or after the pet monkeys owned by early Malay pearlers who camped at the location, or as a colloquialism for "sheep", or that it was named for a schooner called Monkey that arrived in 1834.The area was originally gazetted in 1890 and used as a base for the pearling and fishing industries. In the 1960s, a fisherman and his wife began feeding Bottlenose Dolphins when returning with their catch. As news of the dolphins coming inshore spread, visitors started to come to see them. In 1985, an information centre was built, and in 1988, a special state government grant was provided to develop roads, carparks, and facilities.Monkey Mia is in Western Australia. Plan your visit to Monkey Mia and other destinations in Australia using our Australia road trip planning site .
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