Guide to Montague Island
Immerse yourself in the intriguing ocean-bound wilderness of Montague Island with unique wildlife encounters, fascinating maritime and Aboriginal history, and endless natural wonders.
By Destination New South Wales
Situated off the far South Coast of New South Wales, Montague Island Nature Reserve is instantly recognisable with its iconic lighthouse rising up over an undulating green landscape dotted with boulders and fringed by turquoise waters. Renowned for its unspoilt environment and abundant wildlife, this destination is one of few places in the world where visitors can observe whales, seals, little penguins and many other bird species in the one place.
- Get up close and personal with fur seals and little penguins
- Explore historic Montague Island Lighthouse and stay overnight
- Visit the many significant Aboriginal sites on the island
How to get there
Montague Island is nine kilometres (5.5 miles) off the coastal town of Narooma on the far South Coast of New South Wales, approximately four hours south of Sydney and 2.5 hours from Canberra. You can also fly from Sydney to Moruya Airport and rent a car for the short drive south. The island is a 20-minute boat ride and only accessible via one of NSW National Parks & Wildlife contracted commercial vessel tour operators. Various tours depart from Narooma for the island.
Things to do and top attractions on Montague Island
Swim with the seals
Marvel at playful pods of fur seals in their natural habitat by snorkelling or diving into the pristine waters off Montague Island. One of the most memorable experiences on Montague Island, there are lots of different tours to choose from. New Zealand and Australian fur seal colonies are at their peak in spring (September to November) on Montague Island and you might spot whales and dolphins too. Montague Island Adventures offers a visit to the largest seal colony with snorkelling in a sheltered bay; Island Charters have a Meal with a Seal cruise, and with Narooma Charters you can embark on a chartered fishing adventure as well as diving with fur seals.
Take a guided tour
Montague Island offers diverse and fascinating tours from history trails to wildlife encounters and Aboriginal cultural tours. Known as Barungaba to the first inhabitants, the Yuin people, Montague Island has particular Aboriginal significance with important sites across the island. Montague Island is also home to the largest colony of little penguins in New South Wales and 15 other species of birds, many of whom nest on the island. Bird watchers can observe three species of shearwaters, birds of prey such as raptors, as well as sea eagles. In coordination with National Parks and Wildlife Service you can experience the wildlife, history and remarkable vistas at Montague Island with Narooma Charters.
Stay in a lighthouse
The lighthouse on the southern end of Montague Island is a significant historical landmark, having remained unchanged in architectural form since construction began in 1881. The granite lighthouse tower and keeper's quarters signify over 125 years of lightkeeping, and visitors to the island can immerse themselves in the fascinating history with an overnight stay. There are two accommodation options, the Montague Island Head Lighthouse Keeper's Cottage, with five bedrooms or the three-bedroom Montague Island Assistant Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, both commanding stunning views of the ocean and remote landscape. Boat transport and a 2.5-hour tour of the island are included in the tariff.
Enjoy great reef and game fishing
The waters of Montague Island are a hot spot for coastal fishing. Enjoy a fishing trip with Charter Fish Narooma and and Montague Island Game Sport and experience fishing for marlin, yellow fin tuna or kingfish, reef fishing all year for snapper and blue morwong, and deep water fishing for blue eye cod and hapuka. Keep your catch and have it cleaned and filleted for a meal fresh from the ocean.