The Gascoyne   WA  
Population: Area- 14,500  
Total Area: 138,000 sq. km.
Latitude: -22.2900,  Longitude: 115.0200
Location: North of Perth 600km along the coast between Wannoo Billabong Roadhouse and Exmouth
Highway: North West Coastal Hwy 
Nearest Major Town: Area north of Perth
Nearest Airport: Carnarvon
Touring Area: WA - Gascoyne
An area of northern Western Australia

Hand feed dolphins at Monkey Mia

Swim with Whale Sharks on Ningaloo Reef near Exmouth

Colourful coral at Coral Bay



  • Carnarvon
  • Coral Bay
  • Denham
  • Exmouth
  • Gascoyne Junction


  • Denham Map
  • Exmouth Map

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    © Copyright Peter W. Wilkins


    The Gascoyne region takes its name from the Gascoyne River which flows through Carnarvon from its source hundreds of kilometres to the west.
    It rises in the arid lands around the Mount Augusta National Park which is, in fact, Australia's largest rock, much larger, but not as spectacular or accessible as Ayers Rock (Uluru). This region is hot and dry with the mining towns of Newman and Tom Price just to the north.
    It flows through the tiny setlement of Gascoyne Junction, occasionally flooding, to the coast at Carnarvon where it joins the unofficial touring region of the Coral Coast which includes Ningaloo Reef and Monkey Mia.
    It is a fascinating and sparsly populated area of Western Australia, but contains many of the state's most visited attractions.

    EXMOUTH AND NINGALOO REEF: Swimming with whale sharks.

    Ningaloo Reef is located off the north west coast of Western Australia, approximately 1,200 km north of Perth and around 260 km long. It is Australia's largest fringing coral reef and the only large reef positioned very close to a landmass, being less than half a kilometre offshore in some areas, such as Coral Bay.
    Although most famed for its whale sharks which feed there during March to June, it is also rich in coral and other marine life and part of the migratory routes for dolphins, dugongs, manta rays and humpback whales.
    The sandy beaches are an important breeding ground of the loggerhead, green and hawksbill turtles which depend on the reef for nesting and food. The Ningaloo supports an abundance of fish (500 species), corals (300 species), molluscs (600 species) and many other marine invertebrates.
    The reef and surrounding waters were designated as the Ningaloo Marine Park in 1987 due to its unique properties and in 2011 was world heritage listed by the United Nations.

    Whale Shark (Rhincodon Typus)
    This fish, the largest of the shark family and the largest fish in the world, is a harmless plankton eater. Reported to reach 18 metres (60ft) but averaging 12 metres (40ft) in length, it is easily identified by its huge size, wide mouth and is monitored by its distinctive skin patterns of white spots.
    Thought to mainly inhabit worldwide temperate and tropical seas, it is rarely seen in shallow coastal waters, but is a daily visitor to the Ningaloo Reef every year between late March to July when up to 30 have been spotted close to the reef feeding on the plankton in the nutrient rich waters.
    You can experience an unique ocean experience from late March to July each year by swimming with the largest fish in the ocean. The Exmouth Diving Centre can take you on a sensational day of adventure that you will never forget.
    If you can swim and snorkel, you can safely experience the excitement and wonder of swimming with the world's largest fish. If you can't snorkel, the staff can teach you.
    Tours operate daily from late March to July. (Prices at 7/3/14) Go to website for current prices.
    Snorkellers only: $385, Children under 16: $245 , Observer: $240 , Family 2 adults-2 children : $1,200

    MONKEY MIA and SHARK BAY: Interact with Dolphins.

    Monkey Mia is one of the famous places in Australia and renowned for the friendly dolphins which have come to shore to interact with visitors for over 40 years. It is also the most reliable open sea venue to see these playful mammals and there have anly been 4 days in the past 5 years when the dolphins have not appeared. The experience is free.
    Opposite Denham in the mid north coastal region of Western Australia, there is resort accommodation, a caravan park and camping facilities.
    The name comes from the schooner Monkey which visited Shark Bay in 1834 the 'Mia' is from the aboriginal for .home'. Hence, Home of the Monkey.
    The whole area is fascinating and Shark Bay is a World Heritage area.
    See Shark Bay World Heritage Area

    It is one of the world's premier natural dolphin sighting areas; a destination of magical encounters, recognised natural beauty, a World Heritage Landmark and a Gold Winner of the 2006 Western Australian Tourism 'Major Tourist Attraction' Award,
    In addition to the dolphin experience Monkey Mia also offers cruising, sailing, snorkelling 4 Wheel Driving and beach camel rides.
    Crystal clear waters and flawless blue skies with sunshine 320 days of the year make Monkey Mia an ideal and untouched. Mediterranean-style, holiday region for a leisurely getaway, romantic escape or an outback adventure.

    Monkey Mia is located 830km north of Perth off the North Coastal Hwy (1) on the West Australian Coastline in the heart of the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. The Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is the only accommodation at Monkey Mia and has been a proud supporter of the Monkey Mia Dolphin research for more than a decade. The Resort offers accommodation to travellers of all budgets. Other hotels, motels and caravan parks are located in Denham, 25km west.
    With its untouched natural surroundings both onshore and off, Monkey Mia is the leading behaviour research site in the world for bottlenose dolphins, tiger-sharks and dugongs (sea mermaids). This support of animal behaviour research helps maintain up-to-date with the latest information on the mammals and fish that dwell in our surroundings.