Montague Island is an island off the South Coast of New South Wales. It is known as a nesting ground for birds (including penguins) and as the home of a fur seal colony.
Travel to the island is restricted to organised tours and there are no lodgings or facilities independent of the tours. Tours are guided by a National Parks and Wildlife ranger. You arrive by boat from Narooma (9 kilometers). Book a single day tour through Narooma Visitor Information Centre, ☎ +61 (0)2 4476 2881, .
The bar exiting Narooma is the most dangerous in New South Wales, and it is not uncommon for boat journeys to Montague Island to be called off. Flexible plans will be helpful in eventually getting you there. Even when the tour does run, crossing the bar can be an exciting experience. Expect to have to wear a life jacket and remain seated for that part of the journey.
- The lighthouse, built in 1881 and still active. It was automated in 1986 and in 1987 the last keepers were transferred off the island. Tours of the lighthouse are part of the single day tours of the island.
- Whales migrating south from September to November each year. They can be seen from the island, and whale watching tours to the surrounding waters leave from Narooma.
- Take the 3.5 hour walk from the landing to the lighthouse and then to the penguin breeding boxes. This is the standard day tour of the island.
- The boat trip will usually take you past the fur seal colony, to see it from the water.
- Participate in conservation research, mostly surrounding the survival of the bird colonies that nest on the island. This is a core part of the overnight tours.
- Scuba dive with the fur seal colony that lives in the surrounding water in winter and spring, or with the temperate and tropical sealife brought south by the currents during summer. The seal colony is an all male colony consisting of young male seals without a harem: there are no female seals or pups that live there. The lack of pups mean that sharks are rare. Scuba diving day trips leave from Narooma and Bermagui. Overnight visitors can scuba dive or snorkel as an optional extra part of their stay.
- Scuba Diving Narooma, .
There are no independent restaurants or food outlets on the island. Meals will be provided as part of your tour.
The only drinking you'll be doing is over dinner at the keeper's lodgings.
Overnight stays on Montague Island are only organised as part of conversation volunteer trips. Volunteers stay in the lighthouse keeper's quarters for up to two nights. Conservation Volunteers Australia, ☎ +61 (0)3 5330 2600 ([email protected]), . Bookings include the boat trip, all meals and all tours. one night is $415 per person twin and $475 single, two nights is $550 per person twin and $670 single.
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