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Montebello Islands Marine Park and Conservation Park

Experience the beautiful Montebello Islands off Western Australia's North West coast

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Strenuous
Duration: Multiple days

Overview :  The Montebello Islands Marine Park, about 20 kilometres north of Barrow Island and 120 kilometres west of Dampier, protects one of the... more »

Tips:  Visitors must take adequate fuel, water, food, first aid communication equipment as no services or facilities are available. Visitors ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. British Military Headquarters 1952, Hermite Island

The Montebello Islands achieved international notoriety when three British atomic weapons tests were carried out there in 1952 and 1956. The former military headquarters building is a highly visible landmark located high at the southern end of Hermite Island.

Constructed as the command post for Operation Hurricane in 1952, this building is the... More

2. DPaW Research Facility, Hermite Island

This hut is a research facility owned by the Department of Parks and Wildlife (DPaW.

It was installed in June 1993 to support management and monitoring programs on the island conservation reserves.

The Montebello Renewal program commenced in 1994 to remove threats to native fauna and return original species to the island. The program was part... More

3. Thomas Haynes hut site

In 1882 Mr Thomas Haynes began diving for pearls on the North West Coast, including the Montebello Islands, from the schooner Telephone.

Along with his business partners Captain Edward Chippendall and Mr George Streeter, they went on to establish a business in Broome.

In 1902 Mr Haynes took up a pearling lease in the Montebellos and in 1906... More

4. Experimental Pearling Pool, Campbell Island

The inscription on this Pearling Pool reads "The Montebello Experimental Shell Pool, Constructed 1906, Continued 20 Sep. 1981 by R.P. Morgan and crew".

The original pool was constructed by Thomas Haynes, who along with his business partners Edward Chippendall and George Streeter were early pearlers at the islands.

Mr Haynes took out the first... More

5. Nuclear test site 3 - 1956, Alpha Island

On 19 June 1956, a 98 kiloton device was detonated on Alpha Island. It was the largest atomic weapon tested on Australian soil.

Extensive testing and monitoring was carried out around the islands and debris from this is still visible.

CAUTION: As slightly elevated radiation levels still occur close to test sites, visitors are asked to limit... More

6. Nuclear test site 1 - 1952, Trimouille Island

On 3 October,1952 a 25 kiloton device was detonated in the hull of HMS Plym as part of Operation Hurricane. This explosion marked the start of British nuclear weapons testing in Australia.

The Plym was a 1,370-ton river class frigate, built during WWII, when the vessel served during Battle of the Atlantic. She was anchored in 12 metres of water... More

7. Nuclear test site 2 - 1956, Trimouille Island

On 15 May 1956, a 15 kiloton device was detonated on the northern end of Trimouille Island. This was the first of two devices exploded by the British as part of Operation MOSAIC.

The bomb was detonated from a specially constructed tower. Today a concrete plinth marks the location of the explosion.

Extensive testing and monitoring was carried... More

8. North West Island

North West Island is completely surrounded by the Northern Montebellos Sanctuary Zone. It is a great place to dive or snorkel but please remember that it is a no take area, so you must look but don't touch.

9. Wreck of the Trial, Tryal Rocks

The Montebello and Barrow Islands have a long history of European contact, which began with the wreck of the English East India Company vessel, the Trial on what are now known as Tryal Rocks in 1622. The 46 survivors from the wreck who landed on the Montebello Islands are the first Europeans recorded landing on the islands. The wreck is outside... More