Montague Island Nature Reserve
Montague Island (Barunguba) is a nature reserve 9kms offshore from Narooma.
Montague island is a mecca for wildlife and a top destination for whale watching, seal viewing, penguin tours, scuba diving, snorkelling, seal dives, grey nurse shark dives, wildlife cruises and bird watching trips.
It’s maritime history is evident in the architecture of the Lighthouse precinct but the island is also a significant landmark in an ancient indigenous songline.
Access to land on the island is managed by the National Parks and Wildlife Service, who have stewardship over the island’s extraordinary natural features and Aboriginal history.
The lighthouse on Montague Island was first lit in 1881, and converted to a fully automated system in 1986. It remains a part of Australia’s coastal navigation system and nautical history. Since 1881, visitors have landed here to inspect the island’s renowned lighthouse and enjoy a tour of this scenic area which boasts colonies of seals and fairy penguins. Staying on Montague Island in the Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottages is an experience for those wanting to get away to this unique place, learn about its environment and its history, and enjoy it all at their own leisure.
Looking back towards the Tilba region on the mainland from Montague Island you can’t help but feel watched by the imposing Gulaga (Mount Dromedary).
There’s a local Indigenous tale of a mother and her two sons that adds to the mystery. In this story, Gulaga’s youngest son Najanuga (Little Dromedary), stayed behind with his mother while his brother Barunguba (Montague Island) went out to sea on an adventure and never came home.
Wildlife Hot Spot
Arguably the jewel in Eurobodalla’s crown, Montague Island is a sanctuary for wildlife.
Seals, penguins and birds
The island is home to NSW’s largest colony of Australian and New Zealand fur seals and one of the largest little penguin breeding sites in Australia.
The rounded grey and orange granite of Montague is
home to thousands of pairs of nesting birds such as little penguins, crested terns, silver gulls and shearwaters while peregrine falcons patrol the skies.
Migrating whales favour the waters around Montague Island for the abundance of krill. Spotting them is just
about guaranteed during the spring migration season.
Eurobodalla’s whale watching season runs from September to November. The waters off Eurobodalla’s coastline become a thoroughfare for migrating whales, providing some excellent whale watching opportunities. Humpbacks, southern rights and orcas can all be spotted while aboard a professional whale watching tour.
Montague Island Nature Reserve Tours
Montague Island is only accessible by boat and is a focal point in Eurobodalla for whale watching, seal viewing, penguin tours, scuba diving, snorkelling, grey nurse shark dives, wildlife cruises and bird watching trips.
A large colony of mostly male fur seals will be the first to greet your boat as the captain steers you into the small harbour. Tours of the island must be booked through a charter operator who is licenced by NPWS.
Overnight island stays
NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service offers the opportunity to stay in wither the Head Lighthouse Keeper’s cottage or in the Assistant’s cottage. The heritage cottages have been restored with modern conveniences that will make your stay comfortable and relaxed.
This is a genuine bucket list experience and one that offers a unique package of almost complete solitude, magnificent ocean vistas, an amazing variety of wildlife, and luxury heritage accommodation.