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- The Lighthouse

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Montague Island - The Lighthouse
Montague Island Lighthouse.Management of the island started from the 1880s with establishment of a lighthouse, weather recording and coastal surveillance. In 1953 it became a wildlife sanctuary under the control of the National Trust of Australia in conjunction with continual functions associated with the lighthouse. In 1987, after automation of the lighthouse, management of the island was transferred to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service and it was dedicated as a nature reserve in January 1990, except for a small area containing the lighthouse which remains under the control of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority. The other lightstation buildings, the lightkeepers quarters and sheds, are dedicated as part of the nature reserve.
The lighthouse is built on the southern island, today being a historic place with over 120 years of lightkeeping. It was the last manned island lighthouse in NSW and is the only remaining occupied island lightstation on the NSW coast. The lightstation retains most of its original form and fabric and has changed little from the time of construction to the present day, enhancing its historical character.

Lighthouse on Montague Island.

The modifications that have been made reflect progressive changes in lighthouse technology and the living standards and working conditions for lighthouse staff and their families.

Since 1881, many visitors have landed here to view the lighthouse, built from granite blocks quarried on the island. The lighthouse was designed by James Barnet, who is also responsible for the construction of several other historic lighthouses along the NSW coast. Some of the granite was used in the construction of the Sydney General Post Office. The lightkeepers quarters demonstrate the Georgian style that James Barnet was to perfect during his career. You can visit the lighthouse-keepers’ quarters, the two cottages and a small Victorian schoolroom, and still sense the isolation and hardship that the families had to endure. There is even a small graveyard, that include the graves of two children, John and Isabella Burgess, who died from meningitis.

Source: Montague Island Nature Reserve, Plan of Management (November 1995)
- NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

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