Premier eco-tourism experience
Travel guru Catriona Rowntree once described Montague Island as “a nightmare to film because every aspect is so good”. The island has twice been voted Tourism Australia’s top eco-tourism destination and gained membership of NSW Tourism’s Hall of Fame in 2008 for winning three consecutive ecotourism awards.
It is an important breeding ground for around 12,000 Little Penguins which can be seen coming ashore at dusk after feeding at sea.
The island is home to the largest fur seal colony on the NSW coast and is a breeding ground for around 15 bird species – while dolphins, whales and endangered grey nurse sharks can all be seen at various times of year.
Tours & overnight stays
The NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service now run a range of tours of the island covering its heritage-listed buildings, wildlife and history.
Morning afternoon & evening tours
Depending on the time of day and year, you may be able to combine a half day or day trip to Montague Island with whale watching, seal watching and/or the evening penguin parade.
You will need to contact Narooma Visitor Centre to arrange this on 1800 240 003. The morning tour is 2 ½ hours on the island, disembarking at Montague Island at 09:30am. The tour is available daily year-round and begins with a visit to the seal colony on the northern end of Montague Island.
After landing on the island, walk through our revegetated areas up the hill, then through the quarry to the Lighthouse station. Follow this by a walk up to the top of the lighthouse (weather depending), then be guided through an exploration of the history of the Aboriginal cultural heritage and connection with the island. On this tour you will also get to experience all that the island’s wildlife has to offer.
The afternoon tour is 1 hour on the island disembarking at Montague Island at 1pm. This tour is a shortened version of the morning tour, with a walk up the hill to the top of the lighthouse and back to your boat. On this tour your guide will show you evidence of our conservation activities on the island, with revegetation programs visible along the way.
Then, accompanied by your guide, you will go to the top of the Montague Island lighthouse for a spectacular 360 degree view of the surrounding sea and land before returning to your boat for the short voyage back to Narooma.
The departure time of the evening tour will change with the season, as the little penguins return to their burrows on Montague Island with the setting of the sun. You will first be taken for a tour to the top of the lighthouse to see the sun set over Gulaga (Mount Domedary) before returning to our viewing platform to watch the antics of the little penguins as they return from their daily foraging. Click here for more details on Montague Island.
Montague nature escape
On this two night tour you can assist the National Parks and Wildlife Service with one of the many conservation activities on the island. Contribute to Little penguin monitoring on the island, to see if the kikuyu eradication program is resulting in greater numbers of penguins in expanding areas. We also have extensive ongoing revegetation programs on the island that would benefit from your assistance. Imagine planting a tree on the island that would be there for many years to come!
You can join a scheduled Montague Nature Escape, or book a date for your own group (subject to minimum numbers). Tours are fully catered and guided, scheduled through the year.
For enquiries and questions regarding a Montague Nature Experience please contact Conservation Volunteers Australia Link on 1800 032 501.
Montague lighthouse experience
Either the Head Keepers Quarters (sleeping 12), or the Assistant Lighthouse Keepers Quarters (sleeping 8) can be booked for a self-guided stay on Montague Island. This type of stay is ideal for people wanting to explore and enjoy Montague Island at their own pace. Generally, stays are for two or three nights, and you cater for yourself in the fully equipped kitchen. All linen and towels are included in the price. You also receive a 2 ½ hour tour of the island for your group as part of your package.
Boat transfers are also included in the cost and a NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service guide will provide an orientation and briefing on your arrival.
As well as bird and wildlife viewing, there are self-guided walks to enjoy on Montague Island, with plenty of time to enjoy this wonderful environment at your leisure. Stays are for ages 12 and over, with younger children by arrangement. Stays are available all year round.
Cost for a two night Montague Lighthouse Experience:
Head Lighthouse Keepers Cottage: $3600 (up to 10 people)
Assistant Lighthouse Keepers Cottage: $2400 (up to 8 people)
Price includes boat transfers to and from the island, all linen/towels and a 3.5 hour tour of the island. Additional nights are available on request. Click here for more details on Montague Island.
Operators authorised by NPWS to land tours on Montague Island include:
• Narooma Charters – 0407 909 111
• Island Charters – 0408 428 857 (pictured)
Tours can also be booked through the Narooma Visitor Centre on 1800 240 003.