KARRATHA VISITOR CENTRE

Montebello Islands

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The Montebello Islands, with their natural land and seascapes, barrier and fringing coral reefs, wide variety of wildlife and rich maritime heritage, appeal to divers, snorkellers, fishers and sea kayakers. Three British atomic weapons tests were carried out at the Montebello Islands in 1952 and 1956. Concrete bunkers, monitoring stations, roads and scrap metal can still be found on some islands, and the former military operational headquarters can still be seen on the southern end of Hermite Island. As slightly elevated radiation levels still occur at test sites on Hermite and Alpha islands, visitors should limit visits to one hour per day. Do not disturb the soil and do not handle or remove relics associated with the tests.

The Montebello Islands are offshore and relatively remote. Navigation to the islands should only be attempted in favourable weather conditions and in suitably sized and equipped vessels. Visitors are urged to be vigilant for cyclone warnings, especially from November to April.

Camping

Camping is permitted (except during turtle nesting season from October-April) on Northwest, Primrose, Bluebell, Crocus, Hermite and Renewal islands, to 100 metres inland of the high-water mark, and for no longer than five nights. Select a site that has been used before. Take a portable fuel stove as open fires are not permitted. Park visitors must bring adequate fuel, water, food and first aid supplies as no services or facilities are available.

Fishing

Fishing is permitted in most parts of the marine park but, to protect marine biodiversity, there are restrictions on certain types of fishing activities in different areas so please make sure to read the Montebello Islands brochure and know your zones or visit the Department of Parks and Wildlife website for more information at http://parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/.

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