4 Tips for Florida Newbies

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If you’re a relative newbie to this glorious, sun-soaked state, and you’re planning on sinking some roots into Miami, Orlando, Cape Coral or Palm Bay (or anywhere else for that matter!) you’ll probably take some time adapting. Florida is one of the most upbeat, laid-back and positive states in America. From theme parks to dazzling beaches, buzzing nightlife to serene natural wonders, Florida has everything to encourage you to stay. So, to get you well on your way to seeing Florida as your permanent home, settling into whichever community you choose, here are some top tips to ensure your incubation period here is pleasurable and drama-free.

Prepare for Sun

There’s a reason it’s called The Sunshine State. In most places, well over two-thirds of the year see sunshine shine down from the happy heavens, meaning you’ll be well topped-up on vitamin D and all those positive wellbeing elements that come with exposure to sunlight. However, you should take precautions as the sun can feel relentless to those without the appropriate clothing and creams. Invest in these early on and make sure you and your family are protected from the elements so that you can fully enjoy their glory!

Familiarize Yourself with the Sights

There’s plenty to see and do in Florida; the relatively compact state is punching well above its weight in attractions. The upshot of the many theme parks, beaches, restaurants, bars, nature reserves and areas of astounding natural beauty is that there should rarely be a moment you don’t feel compelled to hit out and see the state. Getting to grips with all Florida has to offer will mean you’re never out of ideas of what to do on the weekend.

Get Cultural

Besides the burgeoning list of tourist sights on Florida’s books, there’s also a side to the state that only residents can fully appreciate, and that’s the unique culture of a region that’s assimilated Cubans and African-Americas, and folk from all walks of life, be they young artists or retired beach-goers. Get out and explore your local area and you’ll find everything from Tiki bars to book groups, all with a welcoming, accepting atmosphere that comes with a state known for its open-mindedness.

Know the Services

Florida is seen by much of the US as a chilled-out and welcoming community. But in part, this is a community that rests on the institutions and services that hold us together and propel us forward. Whether you’re looking to yacht, broker, buy some land or simply make the most of your years here, there are services a Google away that’ll make life a lot easier and introduce you to the fine people of this state. There are even legal experts in the Florida Ticket Firm that’ll fight your case when you’ve picked up a ticket.

Welcome to Florida: now you have the basics under your belt, it’s up to you to act on them and get out into the state to explore, make friends, and become part of a large yet close-knit community that truly cares for one another.

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Is There Such A Thing As A Perfect Family Holiday?

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Is it possible to have a perfect family holiday? To be honest, we don’t need to tell you, as you can probably give us an answer yourself. And that answer is probably….no! Don’t stop reading just yet, however, as we do have some useful tips for you in a moment. But the reason why a perfect family holiday isn’t possible is because…

  1. a) there is no such thing as perfection
  2. b) you are travelling with other human beings

Think about your family vacations. Did any of the following things happen?

– Your kids didn’t want to go to your chosen destination.

– Your children squabbled with you, each other and at the world itself when they discovered there was no wifi.

– Your accommodation didn’t quite match the brochure.

– You ran out of money, probably because your kids wanted to do absolutely EVERYTHING!!

Did any of the above sound familiar? If not, then you must be doing something right. Still, if you have yet to find perfection, there are ways you can attain some kind of holiday nirvana. Not everything will go perfectly – such is family life – but you can make life easier for yourself. For example, you should put the following into practice.

– Talk about where you want to go as a family. It’s no good choosing somewhere that the kids will find ultra-boring (another walking holiday) and you shouldn’t only focus on what the children want (yet another theme park). Choose somewhere that will tick the right boxes for all of you, providing something approximating a stress-free holiday. It is possible, kind of!

– Plan the journey. The more preparation you can do, the better. Bring snacks and games along for the kids, work out rest-stops if you’re travelling by car, and pack a first-aid kit for any health emergencies, such as bee stings, sunburn, and travel sickness. If you plan for disaster, you can reduce disaster.

– Stay in a family friendly hotel. Unless you are planning on spending your holiday as a family in a tent or caravan, you should probably book a hotel. Not every hotel is accommodating of children, so find a place where your little ones are welcome, such as the Albany Marriott. Ensure there are facilities to keep your kids entertained, such as a swimming pool or games room, and book a separate room for your children so you’re not crammed together in one living space.

– Don’t spend a fortune. You don’t have to give your family the best that money can buy, as there is more to a holiday than luxury and shopping. A camping trip can be a great bonding experience, for example, as you toast marshmallows over a fire and enjoy somewhere scenic. Money is the source for a lot of stress, so visit somewhere where you won’t be forced to break the bank.

– Unplug from the world. A family holiday is about creating happy memories, and you won’t have as many if you are all glued to your smartphones for the duration. Limit your internet use to your private time, and spend the rest of the time plugged to each other rather than the wifi.

And so…

Don’t strive for perfection. The higher your expectation, the more disappointment you will feel. It’s unlikely the holiday will be 100% perfect, but you should go with the flow, no matter the ups and downs. You can have a great holiday, but see beyond the squabbles and mishaps that befall you. They are all part of the experience anyway. Still, if you do have ideas of your own for a perfect holiday, be sure to let us know!

 

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What To Do If You Get Injured While Traveling

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When you’re planning a trip, getting injured probably isn’t on your itinerary, but it happens sometimes. Dealing with the after effects of an injury is difficult enough when you’re at home but those challenges are doubled if it happens when you’re abroad. But if you plan for it properly when you’re organizing your trip, you can make it far less stressful. Here’s how to deal with getting injured when you’re traveling.

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Get Insurance

This is the most important piece of planning that you need to do before you set off. If you don’t have travel insurance and you get injured, you’ll end up having to find a hospital and pay a lot of money for any treatment that you need. Make sure that you take out a comprehensive insurance policy that covers you for both illness and injury while you’re away. It’s also worth paying a little extra for a policy that will refund you the rest of the accommodation costs if you have to cut your trip short.

Have A Plan For Getting Home

If you get a serious injury while you’re away you might end up being in hospital for quite a while. Spending that time in hospital abroad causes all sorts of problems. The doctors don’t have any of your medical history so treating you is harder. If your family wants to stay out there with you that’s going to cost a lot of money as well, but they can’t just leave you alone. Check out the air evac links page to find out how you can get medical evacuation services. They’ll be able to pick you up and transport you back to a hospital back home where it’s easier to get treatment and your family can be close by.

Know The Dangers Of The Country

The best way to deal with injuries abroad is to avoid them in the first place. That’s not always possible but you can take steps to reduce the risk. Before you go to a country, look into what dangers are there. For example, if you’re going to a country with a lot of colorful wildlife there’s a danger of insect or animal bites that you should be aware of. Or if you’re going to a country with extreme temperatures, take measures to protect yourself against that. You should also work out where the nearest hospitals in the area are so you can get there quickly should one of you get injured.

Learn The Language

If you do end up getting injured, you’ll need to get yourself to a hospital right away. Knowing where it is is a good start but if you’re seriously injured you’ll need an ambulance. That means speaking with operators that might not necessarily speak English. It’s always handy to learn a bit of the language anyway, but it’s particularly important that you learn a few basic phrases that you’ll need if you’re calling an ambulance.

Nobody likes the idea of planning for an injury while they’re away, but if it happens and you’re unprepared, you’ll kick yourself.  

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Making History Interesting On Vacation

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When you go on vacation with the kids, it can often feel like you’re dragging them around. Unless you give up and go on a kid’s break, it can be impossible to make your child enjoy their holiday. Thankfully, though, this doesn’t mean you have to succumb to a vacation based around play. Instead, you just have to make the history on your holiday a lot more interesting, and this post is here to help you do it.

Choose The Right Landmarks: The very first part of this is choosing the landmarks you’ll be visiting. Most people will find it hard to decide where to go using appearance alone. Instead, using the right factors, you can base this decision on the logic and thought. Along with this, though, you should also do some research along the way.

 

  • The Kids: First, you have to consider what you children will enjoy, especially if you’re going to historical places. For example, a child will prefer a battleground over a museum, as this will give them more to imagine. To understand what they might like, it could be worth looking at some options like with the kid.

 

  • The Knowledge: Along with the people the place is aimed at, you should also consider the sort of knowledge it will be spreading. In some cases, you won’t be interested in one war over another, and this will make it hard to enjoy it. Always make sure to read through some of the information before setting off. A lot of the time, people don’t realise quite how bad the service stations are.

Work Together: When you’re on holiday, the learning everyone’s doing doesn’t rely on age. Instead, you get the chance to work together on your education, with the kids helping you to solve the issues you can’t do on your own. You can give your kids a very strong drive to learn on their vacations if you trick them into enjoying it. Of course, though, you will also have to think about how much you enjoy this sort of vacation, as well.

Use Good Tours: Finally, as the last area to think about, the professionals you rely on for your vacation will be very important. Click here to take a look at some of the offerings you have, along with doing some research for yourself. Not a lot of people realize how much a tour can enhance their vacation. But, with the right effort, you could find an example which lets you get to know the place very well.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into your historical holidays. Kids will always put up a fight when they have to learn out of school. But, with the right effort, you can make sure that they enjoy this sort of trip, embracing it more than they ever take to their education.

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Holiday Accommodation For A Hotel Hater

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Whether you’re planning a big family vacation or heading off on your own to travel the world, we all need somewhere to rest our head at night. Hotels are seen as the most popular type of holiday accommodation, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone likes them. They also tend to be quite expensive, especially if you’re staying in or around a hot tourist spot. If you’re not a fan of hotels or are simply on a budget, one of these hotel alternatives might be for you.

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  1. Camping

Whether you are camping in a tent or caravaning, there are lot’s of places to stay, especially in areas with lots of countrysides. Sharing a tent or a caravan with your family not only helps to bring you closer to one another but will also save you a lot of money too. Camping is also a great option for a lowly traveler on their own, as you are close to a lot of other holiday goers, and may be able to make some friends. Campsites are very rarely fully booked, especially the smaller ones, so you may be able to just pop into reception and ask for a pitch.

  1. Home/Apartment Rentals

Websites like Airbnb are very popular nowadays, as they offer entire houses or apartments for you to stay in during your holiday, usually for much cheaper than a single hotel room. This is great if you’re traveling with family or some friends, as you’ll all be together, but will still be able to have your own space. It also means that you can save money on food, as you’ll have a kitchen to prepare your own meals, rather than having to spend out on meals at your hotel.

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  1. Volunteering

If you wanted to give something back while traveling the world, then volunteering might be right up your street. Some places offer you accommodation and food for your work, whereas others will require a donation for your housing. Either way, it’s still likely that you will be paying much less than you would to stay in a hotel for the night. Just be sure that you’re volunteering because you genuinely want to help, and not because you want a cheap holiday.

  1. Hostel

We’ve all heard the horror stories surrounding hostels, but really, as long as you do your research, you can easily find somewhere clean, warm, and comfortable to stay. If you’re not too keen on sharing a room with strangers, you can often find hostels that provide you with a private room and an en-suite for much cheaper than even budget hotels. As long as you read up on a place before you turn up there, you should be completely fine.

If you’re not a fan of hotels, I hope that one of these options will suit you well on your next getaway. If none of these are for you, there are plenty of other alternatives to hotels, so do your research before settling on one place or another.

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How To Survive A Big Family Vacation

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Going on vacation with your entire family can seem like a lot, and more often than not, it is. But, that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great idea. Getting all of the generations together can be both and enjoyable and an excellent way to make memories. We never know what the future holds, so spending precious time together while we can is always worth it. Get your parents, children, siblings and extended family members together and start to plan – because a big family vacation is calling.

Pick Neutral Territory

If your parents and siblings are based all across the country, you’re going to want to pick somewhere that is easy for you all to get too. Likewise, you’re going to want to decide on a kind of vacation that you can all look forwards to. Whether that’s a beach holiday, ski trip or city escape, choosing neutral territory often ensures that your vacation gets off on the right foot, even before it’s started. If you’re prone to arguments, this could be one way to keep them to a minimum.

Plan Ahead

Next up, you’re going to want to make sure that your family vacation is completely planned before you leave for it. You might think that leaving your days free always for spontaneity, but when you’re vacationing in large numbers, it can cause chaos. You can find that people are waiting around a lot and no one can agree on times and places. So, cut that out by planning activities before you get there. That way, everyone’s ideas and tastes can be catered for and everyone knows what to expect with the agenda.

Pack Well

To make this work, everyone is going to need to make sure they have packed smart. Not only will you need the right equipment and accessories for your little ones, but you’re going to want to make sure that your parents have their hearing products and accessories to be able to enjoy themselves. Also, you’ll need to advise everyone on things like swimwear, skiwear, or even hiking or activity gear should they need it.

Mix Things Up

When you’re trying to coordinate a lot of personalities and ages, you may want to keep everyone happy. One way of doing this is to ensure that your agenda has a mix of everything. Some people may want to lay by the pool while others may want to play tennis. Either way, ensuring that your planned days and activities have a good mix of everything, you’ll do a much better job at keeping the children, adults, and seniors all happy.

Split Up

Even though this is a family vacation, there’s no reason why you all have to do everything together. In fact, splitting up is often a good way to ensure that everyone gets a vacation that they love but still enjoys their time together. When some of you are enjoying the sun, others can be out shopping or head on an adventure. It’s often the best way to avoid friction and ensure that everyone has a good time.

 

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The Best Cities In Florida

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Florida is a wonderful state to live in. It has great weather, friendly people and it’s a safe area to raise a family in. Why wouldn’t anybody want to live there? That doesn’t mean that every single corner of the state is lovely, though. There are obviously going to be some parts that should be avoided and some parts that are much better than others. If you are considering a move to Florida, or if you are just thinking about relocating to a different city in the state, you should know which cities are best. Here is a handy list of some of the best cities in Florida.

Naples

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Naples in southwest Florida is a very quiet and peaceful city to live in. It has a population of around twenty thousand but most of the homeowners have it as a second home, so during the summer months, it will be very empty. If you are a keen golfer then this is probably the best place for you as it has more golf courses than any other place in the whole country. It is also home to a historic downtown area that offers great dining experiences as well as a rich cultural scene. Having said that, you are at higher risk of damage during hurricanes and storms, so you’ll need to weigh that against the positives.

Tallahassee

Tallahassee is the capital of Florida State and is an incredibly popular city indeed. The large Cuban population has given birth to hundreds of delicious fusion restaurants all over the city. It also has a vibrant arts and music scene, with lots of great galleries and performance venues everywhere. Each year the city hosts a number of different festivals and parades showcasing all of the brilliant talent in the city. If you are considering a move to Tallahassee, there are plenty of homes for sale at Joe Manausa real estate, so why not have a look and see what you can find.

Winter Springs

Winter Springs is a small town just outside of Orlando. It’s a great location because you get all of the benefits of being close to Orlando without having to be at the heart of the busy city. The crime rates are also a lot lower than they are in Orlando. If you enjoy all of the theme parks and other attractions that are in Orlando then you should definitely consider Winter Springs. You’ll even be close enough to commute if you wanted to work in the city. You are at lower risk of hurricane damage here and the schooling is very good. However, accidents on the routes into Orlando can cause major traffic incidents.

Palm Beach

Most people think of Palm Beach as being exclusively for the rich, but that isn’t the case. You can still enjoy the rich social lifestyles of the people in Palm Beach without shelling out millions of dollars for an expensive house. In fact, some condos will cost as little as $200,000, so not really much more expensive than anywhere else. During the winter months, the city really comes alive, but you will be exposed to the risk of flooding.

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When Travel Plans Fall Through

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Going traveling is always exciting, whether you go alone or travel with family or friends. It gives you new experiences and allows you to see the world or just your country. However, there’s one experience that you don’t want to put up with, and that’s having your travel plans canceled or changed. You’ve spent time planning your travels perfectly, but now things won’t go to plan because of a delayed flight or a canceled tour. It can be extremely inconvenient and even upsetting, but it’s also a chance for you to learn something new. If you have to deal with your plans being changed, here’s how you can keep your head.

Rearranging Your Plans

Your first thought is probably what you’re going to do next. When your plans are suddenly canceled, they could be months away, or you might already be in the middle of them. You could be stuck at an airport or traveling toward your destination. Or perhaps you had a vacation planned for the future that is no longer possible. If rearranging your plans is a pressing matter, you need to start coming up with a new plan right away. You might be able to find someone to speak to, either in person or over the phone. An airline representative or travel company rep might be able to help you deal with your issue. Think about what you want or need to do next. Perhaps your next step is to arrange tickets for a new flight, or maybe it’s to find different accommodation.

Covering the Costs

No one expects things to go wrong, but some people prepare for it anyway. However, if you haven’t ensured you have extra funds, you might be wondering how you’re going to pay for your change of plans. In some cases, perhaps you’ll get your money back in time to make new plans. But there are other times when you could be stuck in an airport or somewhere else, and you can’t leave without paying your way out. If you don’t have any spare funds, you’re going to have to get the cash from somewhere. One option is to consider payday loans, which you can apply for online and even using an app with some lenders. You can also ask family members or friends to help you. Or you can use your credit card if you have one.

Staying Calm

It can be very stressful when your travel plans fall through, especially if you’re in the middle of your travels. It’s normal to feel upset and perhaps even panic a bit, but staying calm will help you get things sorted quickly. It might feel like a disaster, but if you take a couple of minutes to think about everything logically, you’ll soon realize that you can sort things out. Take some deep breaths and consider who you can ask for help if you need it.

Find Out Your Rights

It’s always worth knowing your consumer rights if your travel plans fall through. If you experience a cancellation or delay, you might be able to get compensation. Your airline or travel company might be required to offer you another flight, somewhere to stay, or perhaps vouchers for food. If you have travel insurance, you should also check what it covers. You might be able to claim back the money you have to spend.

Work Together

If you’re traveling with a group of people, make sure it’s not left to one of you to sort everything out. You can work as a group to put your heads together and figure out what you’re going to do next. Everyone can have a task so that you can come up with a new plan and carry it out. Be supportive of each other too, so that you can get through it together.

Make the Most of Your Changed Plans

Don’t let your change of plans ruin everything. If it alters the course of your travels, use it as an opportunity to experience something new. Maybe you’ve had to book different accommodation, travel with a different company, or even put your trip off until later in the year. Whatever happens, you can use it as a learning experience. Perhaps you originally intended to do one thing, but you ended up having to try a completely different type of traveling. You might find that you enjoy it more than you expect to.

Changes to your travel plans might be annoying, but you can view them as something positive once you’ve worked out what to do next.

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Jet-Set And Ready: What You Must Do Before You Travel

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There are plenty of stresses brought to us by modern life. The constant buzz of work and a boisterous family. How does one get away from it all? The rush and stresses of life?

Travel

It’s the great get-away to places unknown (or known). It’s an excellent way to give back, find yourself and develop new skills. Travel might very well be a key part in your personal growth. Not only that, but you can flee the stresses of your normal life for an adventure in a distant land.

No matter if it’s an all-expenses cruise or a backpacking holiday where you have to really get your hands dirty, travel is an amazing way to truly escape into a world of wonder.

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But hold your horses! It’s all good having your head in the clouds thinking of your next destination, but there’s some serious groundwork you have to lay before you can jet off. Not only that, but there is a lot you have to consider.

Firstly, plan your luggage and pack lightly. Don’t be the guy/girl carrying eighteen packs around. Traveling isn’t really about carrying stuff. It’s about enjoying yourself and exploring, and you can’t do that under the strain of heaving loads of luggage. If you can afford to leave something at home, leave it at home. There’s no excuse for bringing a laptop, a tablet, a camera and a smartphone when just the small smartphone will suffice for every job! Having your luggage packed well before your departure will save you a lot of issues.

Plan well for your getaway – this will make your journey so much easier if you know exactly where you are going and when. Have your routes to and from the airport planned out and pre-book your trips to the airport via taxis or transfers if you can. It’s all about putting in the work before it actually becomes a headache!

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There are two forms of research you must do – once for fun and once for coping. Fun research involves having a long look at your destination and planning your itinerary – where will you visit, what will you do? This is essential as you’re not going away to stare at a wall for a week! Find some fun activities to take part in and have a look at the restaurants around your hotel. Google Maps can help here as it can recommend the best food and restaurants near your hotel based on reviews. The other form of research here is coping – do you understand the language? What are the local customs? Is there any danger? Do you need to get vaccinated for or protect yourself from diseases like hepatitis c sofosbuvir? This is important to know!

Planning, preparation and research are three things you must do before your next vacation. Yes, it’s work, but performing it in advance is going to make sure you have the getaway of a lifetime!

 

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Western Australia: A Magical Land Down Under

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When people think of taking a trip to Australia, they usually think of Sydney, Melbourne, the Gold Coast or the Great Barrier Reef. Though these are all great places to visit, they are missing out a huge chunk of Australia. And when I say huge, I mean huge! Western Australia is the largest state in the country, covering over 2,400 kilometres of land from north to south. This part of the world is prime for an unforgettable road trip, and here are some of the places you won’t want to miss if you decide to journey to this incredible part of the world.

Perth

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Hands up if you knew that Perth is the world’s most isolated city?! Despite being so far away from the rest of civilization, this is where over a million people call home and it is the fourth largest city in the whole country. Many people fall in love with this area, and even decide to make it their home when they find good land packages in locations throughout Western Australia.

An unforgettable experience to have here is visiting Perth Zoo, where you and your family can see some kangaroos first hand. They even wander around on the visitors paths so you can really get up close and personal!

Perth’s beaches are some of the best in the whole country, but if you are heading here, make sure to stock up on sunscreen and insect repellent. Scarborough beach is one of the most popular amongst visitors, while Cottesloe is also fun for all the family.

If you are travelling with older kids, why not take a trip to Adventure World, the only theme park in the area complete with roller coasters, water slides and go-karts. They also have a few rides to keep younger kids entertained as well.

Margaret River

South of Perth, this is the place to go to enjoy the great outdoors including hiking, biking, surfing and other water sports. The other thing this place is best known for is its incredible wineries and vineyards. I’m sure that has caught your attention! A more family-friendly activity is whale-watching, which is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many people. There are plenty of tour companies in the area that offer this experience so don’t miss out if you are in this part of the world.

Monkey Mia

Spotting some wildlife is a must-do activity while in Western Australia. I’ve already mentioned kangaroos and whales, but another magical experience in seeing the dolphins at Monkey Mia. The overall area is known as Shark Bay, and access to the Marine Park here is totally free. You will want to arrive at Monkey Mia as early as possible for your best chance to see the dolphins. It’s even possible to feed them which is an experience you and your family will never forget!

Though the dolphins steal the show, there are plenty of other fantastic native creatures to spot during your time here including the woylie, mallee fowl, southern brown bandicoot and bilby. Though these may sound like creatures from Harry Potter, they are very real and here is one of the only places in the world you can come to see them!   

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