"A hidden gem just off the East Coast!"
Montague Island is the australian island for you if you want to see penguins or seals or have a distinct love for lighthouses.
This is certainly about going back to nature and is the sort of thing you can do as a day trip. But if you are keen, you can stay here overnight as part of a guided tour.
Where is This Island?
This is one of the smallest Australian islands off the east coast of Australia between Sydney and Melbourne.
It's just after Bateman's Bay (about a 5 hour drive south of Sydney)
You can get over to the island on a ferry from Narooma which is just south of Bateman's Bay on the coastal drive between Sydney and Melbourne
Things To Do On The Island
This hidden gem of an island is best visited as part of an organised tour.
You can come over for a 3-4 hour tour or stay overnight in one of the restored lighthouse keeper's cottages.
The tours focus on discovering the wildlife on this island:
The Seals and Penguins are the main attractions. The Seal colony is an attraction all year round and you usually sees these from the boat on the way to the island.
The penguins tend to make an appearance at dusk as they waddle up the beach to their burrows. There are certain times of the year when they spend more time out at sea. This is Australia's largest colony of little penguins (about 8000) so you have a good chance of seeing them if you take the overnight tour option.
It's also not uncommon to see whales during June and July or September and October. It really is an amazing site.
Tours are offered through the NSW national parks and if you want to take part in some worthwhile wildlife conservation programme to monitor the penguins, you can do this through the CVA (Conservation Volunteers Association). You'll find all the details on the Montague Island main website.
Staying On Montague Island
If you decide to take the 2 day (overnight) tour option, then you get to stay at the Lighthouse Cottages. They've been refurbished and are pleasant enough.
They are a bit oldy worldy but the stay was very pleasant. There's only space for 12 people at a time so its hardly crowded and there was a nice sense of camaraderie over dinner etc.
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