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November 30, 2012

Visit the ecologically unique Montague Island

Montague Island is located on the South Coast of New South Wales. Originally sighted by James Cook, it wasn’t until a convict transporter identified it as an island that it was named after the English Earl of Halifax.

The coastline of Montague Island is generally rugged, with steep cliffs, especially around the northern section. A few small bays have sandy beaches only a few metres wide at low tide.

The island is of great interest ecologically, and is protected, coming under the jurisdiction of Bateman’s Marine Park. Some of the features include a lighthouse with 125 years of working history. The island is also home to thousands of years of Aboriginal heritage.

Montague Island

Montague IslandFurthermore, Montague Island is famed for its rich marine environment and diverse island ecology. It’s also famously home to New South Wales’ largest Little Penguin and Fur Seal colonies, which is one of the most popular attractions of the island. There’s also seasonably variable wildlife to see, so your experience will differ depending on when you visit.

Narooma Visitors Centre offers a variety of Montague Island tours (several kilometres away on the mainland), as does other local charter operators. There’s the two-night Eco Tour deal for individuals, couples or groups looking for a unique experience, where everything is included in the package.

Each stay at Montague Island provides the opportunity for guests to participate in surveying 120 Penguin Nest Boxes, and contribute to the long-term protection of the island’s Little Penguin Colony. Participation is optional and no previous experience is required.

Birds are observed, not handled, during the surveys. Numbers vary through the different times of the year. All participants must be able to climb the Montague Island jetty’s ladder and the reasonably steep hill, which means you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness.

Holiday accommodation on Montague Island is available in the beautifully restored Lighthouse Head Keeper’s Quarters, a historical building constructed in 1881 that features five bedrooms with a variety of configurations. The building was completely renovated during 2003, fitted out as a guesthouse, and re-decorated in period-style.

Groups of up to 12 persons can stay in the 5-bedroom restored Head Keepers Quarters at Montague Island. It’s a great experience for those wanting to explore the island’s environment and history, discover its unique animal and plant life, and enjoy the privacy of the historical accommodation.

For more info on this delightful destination, take a look at their website.

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