If you’re looking for that perfect Australian vacation, popular tourist destinations like Sydney might be the first thing that pops into your mind. However, if you want to see the best of New South Wales, you’ll find that Montague Island, located off its South Coast, is a place you’ll love spending some time in. As part of the Montague Island Nature Reserve, it offers scenic beaches, amazing architecture and, above all, fascinating wildlife. If you’re wondering precisely why you should visit Montague Island, here are 4 strong reasons for you.
Spend a Night in the Lighthouse
The famous historical landmark of the island, the granite lighthouse, called the Montague Island Light or the Montague Island Lightstation, is something you shouldn’t miss while on the island. Its construction began in 1881 and its architectural form has stayed the same since. Climbing up to the lighthouse will allow you to observe what’s probably one of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll ever see. Being that it’s still active, it makes for an especially marvelous sight at night. Fortunately, you can actually get to see that, as you can stay there overnight with up to ten of your friends. There are two lovely cottages to choose from, the Montague Island Head Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage and the Montague Island Assistant Lighthouse Keeper’s Cottage, both with superb views of the ocean and the surroundings and both equipped with a nice kitchen and a barbecue. Staying in one of these cottages will make it possible for you to take on the island’s walking track or you simply watch humpback whales appear above the water surface and fur seals resting on the rocks from the cottages’ patios.
Swim with the Whales
If you’re an animal lover who also likes swimming, diving and snorkeling, you’ll be thrilled to know that you can literally swim next to the impressive fur seals. Herds of these glorious animals playfully swimming in the clear waters will be a memorable sight, but swimming along with them in a charming sheltered bay might just be the highlight of your vacation. There are several colonies of seals there and you can see them all year round, while they stretch lazily on the rocks or show off their smooth swimming skills. Of course, the colonies are normally at their peak during the spring, between September and November, making this the best time to opt for such a tour, and more particularly so due to the dolphins and whales which can be spotted then as well.
Tour the Island
To truly explore and experience all that this extraordinary island has in store for you, you should take one of the incredible Montague Island tours. That way you can go through each part of the island with the guidance of local enthusiasts who’ll love showing you what Montague Island is all about. They’ll take you to places which are as unique as they are spectacular and they’ll let you in on where you can see whales. They’ll also provide you with the best fishing charters in the area and tell you all about the history and the heritage of the island. Look for agencies that offer bigger boats with fewer clients aboard, for a more intimate and customized island adventure. You’ll learn all you ever wanted to know about the first inhabitants, called the Yuin, but also about why the island has always been important to the Aborigines. Finally, they’ll know exactly where you can get the best views of different parts of the island and the ocean around it.
See the Penguins
There is an abundance of different fauna species on the island and they’re all amazingly interesting to see. Among them are several species of birds, such as shearwaters, crested terns and little penguins, which are in fact the ones that tend to attract more attention than most other animals there. Their colony now counts more than 10,000 birds, which is an dazzling number for an island of this size. They usually spend their day at sea, fishing for food, after which they return to the island and spend their night there. They tend to get back at dusk, which is the ideal time to see them. Of course, you’ll have to be on a boat to approach them as close as it’s allowed, where they might appear mere meters from you, in all of their cuteness. It’s important, though, to keep in mind that these gorgeous birds don’t like to be disturbed by the plethora of flashes from phones and cameras, so keep a reasonable distance and refrain from doing anything to scare them. You’re likely to get the rules from the ranger present, so remember that these rules exist for a good reason and always obey them to the best of your ability.
If you’re always seeking new destinations to satisfy your desire for nature and all its bounties, Montague Island is the place to be this year. So, wait no longer and book your tour of this glorious island today, so that you don’t skip on anything exciting once you get there.