– English explorer William Dampier named
Shark Bay in 1699 due to the number of sharks in the area.
– There is debate over where the name Monkey Mia (pronounced My-ah) came from. Mia is the local Aboriginal word for home/camp/resting place. Some people believe Monkey refers to the name of a ship that visited the area in the 1800s. Others say it refers to the Malay pearlers who camped in the area and kept pet monkeys. – Denham is the most westerly settlement in Australia and was originally a pearling camp named Freshwater Camp. Its streets were once paved with pearl shells.
– The WWII naval battle between HMAS Sydney and HSK Kormoran took place 200km off the coast of Shark Bay in 1941.
– Francois Peron is named after a French zoologist who accompanied an expedition there in 1801 and documented some of the earliest details of Shark Bay’s wildlife and first people.