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Our Story

The Monkey Mia Wildsights Story


Our story begins in the mid-sixties of last century, with the founder of our business, Harvey Raven.

Harvey  began sailing and discovering marine animals when he was 15. He first learnt about dugong (sea-cows) whilst circumnavigating an island in a small sailing dinghy in Moreton Bay (Brisbane - Queensland).

Progressing to larger boats, he spent a lot of time cruising the shallow areas of Moreton Bay, and watching wildlife. He eventually learnt where,
when and which animals were to be found.  This knowledge ultimately became the foundation of the world's only daily,
scheduled dugong watching cruise at Monkey Mia.

In his early twenties and with a background of sales, marketing and multihull yacht racing, Harvey established Australia's first specialist yacht brokerage dealing in the sale of large catamarans and trimarans.

Scientists looking for suitable research vessels consulted Harvey and, as a result of the assistance he gave, offered to reciprocate if possible.  So when he acquired the 60 foot (18 metre) catamaran "Shotover", specifically for wildlife cruises in Brisbane, he had renowned scientists as advisers to help create great wildlife cruises.

In 1990 he began specialising in wildlife cruises purely under sail (and today we are still the only operator in Australia to do that).

In 1992 the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort undertook an exhaustive, 6 month, nationwide search for the highest quality ecotourism operator for their guests.  Our business, then based in Brisbane was their choice.

Co-incidentally the dolphin and dugong scientists who were our advisers in Brisbane had also done research work at Monkey Mia so we had a readymade Monkey Mia connection.

Having learnt the commitment it takes to professionally service the tourism industry in Queensland's Gold Coast and Whitsunday Islands, when we began operating at Monkey Mia we quickly established a record of quality, dependability and reliability not seen before in Shark Bay.

Over the years our cruise business has evolved to include other nature activities, so that now you can choose from: Award winning Wildlife Cruises, 4WD Tours, Limousine Service or Beach Astronomy. We also offer Beach Front accommodation for rent in Denham.

Award Winning Cruises

Superb wildlife sailing cruises with Australia 's only pure wildlife sailing specialist. The awesome 60' (18m) catamaran ‘Shotover' has a capacity for 49 guests & a choice of 4 fabulous cruises, including the world's only daily, scheduled ‘mermaid' (dugong) watching cruise.

Licensed to enter the world's most important, dolphin behavioural research site and the restricted access, Dugong Management Zone at Monkey Mia, our cruises aboard Shotover are Australia's first marine wildlife to hold:

  • Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation;
  • Warranty of no sea-sickness, you get sick, you get $100 (fare paying passengers);
  • Animal warranty;
  • Unlimited, free repeat cruises until you've see the animals to your satisfaction.

Driving You Wild

World Heritage Tours: Highly personalized tours limited to 7 guests. Tour the spectacular Peron Peninsula and National Park of the world heritage area where the outback meets the coast with a knock out contrast; a fair dinkum off-road tour in a luxury 4WD vehicle

Wild, Starry Nights

A sensory adventure on the beach exploring the fascinating jewels of our awesome universe. In the vivid blaze of Monkey Mia's stunning night sky you'll meet stars, planets, galaxies, constellations and, far fetched as it may seem, someone descended from outer space – really!

As well as being informative, all activities are casual and relaxed, with an emphasis on fun.

We operate every day, year round, with permanent staff, plus offices and workshops at Monkey Mia and Denham.

We are setting benchmarks for wildlife cruise operators worldwide through our dedication to preserve tomorrow today, using role-model Environmental Best Practices.

The environmental calibre of our business has been acknowledged by;

  • British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Award,
  • Honoree for Australia - Responsible Tourism Showcase,
  • Finalist Environmental Tourism.

Our Name

Monkey Mia Wildsights, reflects the nature of the business - observing nature in the wild.

Our Vision

Create an entertaining, inspirational insight into Nature.

Our Mission

Conduct a professional, ecotourism business, in a truly natural and unobtrusive and sustainable manner.

Our Environmental Policy

Preserve tomorrow's environment, today, by proactively developing environmental Best Practice procedures throughout our business.

Our Motto

"Do it in the wild, naturally, love it or it's free!"
It also expresses the three components of our product philosophy:

  1. That wildlife and nature is what you'll get,
  2. That we promise to provide it in a natural way,
  3. That it's 100% money-back guaranteed.

Our Logo

The hibiscus flower represents the natural, relaxed aspect of our business.

The petals are in fact images of five animals commonly found here. The stamen is a comet with the Southern Cross at the tail, to represent our astronomy.

"Shotover" - The Story


 In 1992 the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort undertook a 6 month, nationwide search for the highest quality wildlife cruise boat for their guests. “Shotover” was their choice.

She’s huge, 60' (18m) long and 31' (9m) wide. Originally built as an ocean racer, she established her reputation as the fastest ocean racer in the southern hemisphere on her maiden voyage!! Most of her subsequent many ocean racing and passage records are still unbroken. You’ll be sailing a famous champion, the fastest sailing cruise boat in the country and still one of the fastest ocean racing cats in the southern hemisphere.

The Advantages of a Thoroughbred
Naturally your cruises are very leisurely, but if the animals aren’t nearby, our unmatched sailing ability will get you around faster than any other sailing cruise boat in Australia. You’ll certainly be impressed by the size, power and effortless speed but you’ll be amazed at the smooth ride, the stability and the secure feeling of the big cat.

The Tahitian Connection
For a year she worked with the 10 Network. A seasoned ocean voyager, she's sailed all over the Pacific. For 3 years she worked in romantic French Polynesia, carrying guests from Papeete, Tahiti, to legendary Moorea and to Marlon Brando’s Polynesian atoll - Tetiaroa.

The Rich and Famous
Her previous owner is one of New Zealand’s wealthiest men, Sir Douglas Myers. The only double bunk on board was built especially for singer Diana Ross.

Our Good Luck Charms:
Equipment from Australia 2, the yacht that won the America’s Cup for Australia.

Helping Research
We provide support for the dolphin, dugong and tiger shark research projects. We also record and report significant events when there isn't a research team here. Our mammal sightings are logged and provided to the WA Department of Conservation.

Unique Experience
Shotover is unique - she’s the only one of her design in the world! This is a fabulous opportunity to do some fair-dinkum sailing, aboard a part of Australia’s ocean racing history. The sailing is an experience in itself, plus you’ll enjoy the superb experience of seeing animals in the wild, at close quarters, in an environmentally unobtrusive way. A rare opportunity for a truly unique blend of experiences.