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Montague Island


In the 1990s, local tour operators Narooma Charters brought visitors to the island. In coordination with National Parks & Wildlife service, Narooma Charters made guided tours available to the public on this very special nature reserve.

Montague Island Tours

You can experience the wildlife, history & remarkable vistas at Montague Island with Narooma Charters. The trip out is a comfortable twenty five minute trip, where you’ll see pods of whales (September-November) and dolphins. Before stepping not the island at the jetty, your skipper will show you a colonies of seals playing about the shore. Prepare to be amazed with the surrounding crystal clear water. You can see so much just from the boat, and it’s even better with a dive or snorkel!

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Public Access

Before 1953, the island was easily accessible by all. However, an initiative by the determined Miss Judith Cassell caused authorities to restrict access to the island, as it became a Wildlife Sanctuary in 1953. The NSW National Trust then managed the island, which became its first ‘property.’

However, the island was declared a Nature Reserve in January 1990, which meant it was then under management of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. The only area of the island not under this management was the area which contained the lighthouse. This area is controlled by the Australian Maritime Sea Safety Authority (AMSA).

There are several reasons to declare an area as a nature reserve. The act defines this reasons as: "(a) the care, propagation, preservation and conservation of wildlife; (b) the care, preservation and conservation of natural environments and natural phenomena; (c) the study of wildlife, natural environments and natural phenomena; and (d) the promotion of the appreciation and enjoyment of wildlife, natural environments and natural phenomena."

The declaration of an area as a nature reserve not only allows the area to be preserved, but allows the phenomena and wildlife of the area to be studied by experts. Nature reserves are different from national parks because they are not areas for recreation. However, the provisions of (d) in the act allow guided tours of the area. In 1990, Montague Island tours began on the island and have continued to grow.

The tours of the island are lead by a guide trained by the National Parks & Wildlife Service to ensure the safety of the tours, both for those in the tour group and the island itself. The only way to visit Montague Island is via one of these guided tours.