Montague Island Lighthouse was included in the Commonwealth Heritage List in 2004. It has played a significant part in the history of Australian shipping and it is known for its offshore position, design and craftsmanship, association with renowned architect James Barnet and its contribution to the development of marine Aids to Navigation (AtoN) on the New South Wales coast. The lighthouse is well regarded for its social values as a prominent site for tourism and its aesthetic qualities.
The Montague Island Lighthouse was placed on the NSW State heritage register in 1999 for its historical, aesthetic and social significance, and for its research potential, rarity and representativeness. The site holds immense cultural value for the Yuin People and the island is a gazetted Aboriginal Place.
Situated approximately 10 kilometres south-east of Narooma, NSW, and approximately 350 kilometres south of Sydney, NSW, the lighthouse is located in the centre of Montague Island. Montague Island Lighthouse was built in 1881 to improve vessel safety along the New South Wales coastline following the trading boom of the late 19th century. Its granite tower, tapering walls, outwardly curved platform and balustrade were designed by colonial architect, James Barnet who was responsible for a number of lighthouses on the NSW coastline at the time. As a working AtoN, the lighthouse tower remains the property of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
Although the lighthouse originally housed a 1st Order Chance Bros. lantern, the tower now exhibits a solar-powered Vega VRB-25 beacon and runs on an automated mechanism as part of our network of AtoN. The equipment is serviced by our maintenance contractor who visits at least once each year. AMSA officers visit on an ad hoc basis for auditing, projects, and community liaison purposes.
The lightstation includes the keepers’ quarters which lie outside our lease and are managed by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).
This heritage management plan is concerned mainly with the lighthouse, but addresses the management of the surrounding precinct and land. The plan is intended to guide our decisions and actions. We have prepared this plan to integrate the heritage values of the lightstation in accordance with the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act 1999) and the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Regulations 2000 (EPBC Regulations 2000).
Well-built and generally well-maintained, the lighthouse is in relatively good, stable condition. The policies and management guidelines set out in this heritage management plan strive to ensure that the Commonwealth heritage values of the Montague Island Lighthouse are recognised, maintained and preserved for future generations.