motebello 2

Montebello Islands Safaris

Situated approximately 75 nautical miles north of Onslow, off the West Australian coast, the little known Montebello Islands present a rare opportunity for adventure, fun and relaxation.
With over 100 small islands in the group, all within easy reach by our charter vessel, ‘Kylin’, the Montebello’s are surrounded by magnificent virgin coral reefs with water temperatures perfect for snorkelling, fishing, swimming and scuba diving. The many reefs in the area also create fantastic wave conditions for surfing. We are very keen to accommodate everyone’s needs so please let us know if there is anything in particular that you would like to do whilst at the Montebello’s.

After arriving in Exmouth, take to the sea with us for a week of fresh air and good cheer as we set sail from the mainland around midday of the first day aboard our 62′ charter boat ‘Kylin’. This boat transports you to the Montebello’s and once there becomes the “activities boat” to take you fishing, diving, sightseeing, surfing or whatever it is you have in mind. Spend six nights and five action packed days exploring the natural wonders of the islands before returning to Exmouth on the seventh day.

Your “Floating Accommodation” is a pontoon style twin hull house boat, appropriately named ‘The Full Monte’, which is permanently moored in Claret Cove, an extremely sheltered horseshoe bay on the southern point of Hermite Island. The houseboat provides a stable comfortable home to prepare meals and reminisce on the events of the day. Accommodation for the trip is provided for 14 people.
We have 4 x 2 bunk cabins and 2 x 4 bunk cabins, 3 bathrooms, a large galley, dining area and most importantly, a large outdoor area leading down to a transom board – Everything you require for a great holiday!!!
Dinghies’ are available for you to explore the Islands’ mangrove swamps and isolated beaches. A recreational Skipper’s ticket is now required under current legislation to take the dinghie’s out. You must have the ticket with you to show the skipper or crew prior to taking the dinghies out.

The crystal clear waters surrounding the islands allow for amazing visibility of the reefs and their inhabitants.

The shallow depths (from 3-10 metres) offer the underwater photographer a unique chance to capture on film the beautiful coral outcrops, exquisite shells and many species of plant and marine life that abound in the area (as can be seen by some of the photos on this website).
The fishing is arguably the best in Australia – the catch usually consisting of Spanish Mackerel, Red Emperor, Coral Trout, North West Snapper (Spangled Emperor), Trevally and Cod. There are also plenty of Crayfish just waiting to be caught, cooked and feasted upon.

All the food whilst on Safari is supplied and prepared by our resident cooks in a congenial, homely atmosphere – the ocean adds all the fresh seafood delicacies that you could eat.

The Montebello Islands are a group of more than 100 Islands off the north-west coast of Western Australia. They achieved international notoriety in 1952 when the British, in an operation code named Hurricane, detonated an atomic weapon in a bay off one of the major Islands Trimouille. Two further atomic tests were carried out in May and June of 1956 on Alpha and Trimouille Islands.
In 1952 the British joined the exclusive nuclear club by detonating their first atomic weapon on H.M.S. Plym, moored in Main Bay, close to Trimouille Island. Further atomic bombs were exploded on Trimouille and Alpha Islands. Many relics of the infrastructure and detonation remain today.
Life After the Bomb

The marine and coastal environments of the Montebello/Barrow/Lowendal islands region represent a unique combination of offshore islands, intertidal and sub tidal coral reefs, mangroves, macro algal communities and sheltered lagoons.
In 1994 it was recommended that the waters encompassing the Montebello Islands, Biggada Reef on the western side of Barrow Island and Bandicoot Bay on the southern end of Barrow Island be considered for reservation.
In May 2000, the then Minister for the Environment appointed a community-based committee, the Advisory Committee for the Proposed Montebello/Barrow Islands Marine Conservation Reserve, to assist the then Department of Conservation and Land Management in developing a management plan to guide the conservation and management of the marine environment in this area. The advisory committee met five times before finalizing its advice to the Minister in May 2003.
The Management Plan for the Montebello/Barrow Islands Marine Conservation Reserves provides a detailed description of the ecological and social values of the area, management objectives, strategies and targets. The goal of the plan is to facilitate the conservation of the marine biodiversity of the area and to ensure that the existing and future pressures on the reserves’ values are managed within an ecologically sustainable framework. The plan also provides mechanisms for the community and visitors to actively participate in the day to day management of the area.

H.M.S. Plym

H.M.S. Plym

In 1952 the British joined the exclusive nuclear club by detonating their first atomic weapon on H.M.S. Plym, moored in Main Bay, close to Trimouille Island. Further atomic bombs were exploded on Trimouille and Alpha Islands. Many relics of the infrastructure and detonation remain today.


The Kylin was built in 1997 by Freeman Bay boats as a 57ft Westcoaster and in 2004 was extended to the current 62ft.
New Twin Scania motors have been installed in November 2007 with a cruising speed of 16 – 18 knots with a full speed of 23knots.
The wheelhouse was greatly lengthened to accommodate passenger needs but this still left enough working deck for 14 passengers to fish in comfort.

Built in 1999 has accommodation for 14 people, mattress, blanket and pillow provided. You must bring single sheets and pillow case. (Both items are essential for hygiene reasons – Note: A sleeping bag or swag is not acceptable as an alternative to sheets- If you wish to bring a sleeping bag you must also have sheets.)
There are now 3 bathrooms with a toilet and fresh water shower in each, so there is no queuing up for showers or the toilet.

‘NEMO’ is a 9 metre aluminium centre console runabout which is capable of accessing the shallow areas around the Montebello Island, therefore, allowing our guests to more fully appreciates the unique environment.
It is surveyed for 14 people with full undercover seating and can travel up to 30 knots with a full load.

Food (Prepared by Our Resident Cook)
Is varied from charter to charter depending on the requirements, if any, of each particular group. If due to dietary requirements you require anything special please let us know at least two weeks in advance (as you can appreciate, all food is ordered in advance ) and we will try our best to assist. Tea, coffee, cordial and breakfast juices, are supplied but all other beverages are strictly BYO. If you would like specific foods such as lollies, chocolates we suggest you also bring your own.
A typical menu includes: Eggs, bacon, sausages, savoury mince, cereals, bread, milk, fruit juice, for breakfast. Cold meats (ham, silverside, and chicken), and salads, freshly made hamburgers, beef & gravy rolls are typically served for lunch. Evening meals include steak, mixed grill, roast (which includes choices of beef, lamb, chicken & pork) with oven roasted vegetables. It is also anticipated that fish would be served 2 to 3 times during the week, depending on the individual desires of each group. If groups desire more or less evening meals comprising fish, then just let our cooks know. One evening a week comprises the chef’s specialty – Seafood Platter. Squid and crayfish are part of the treats on this platter when available. All meals are served with fresh salads or freshly cooked vegetables. Sweet biscuits, cake, savory snacks, & delicious pre dinner nibbles are provided. Sweets such as ice cream, custards and fruit are also available. A basket of fresh fruit is always available for everyone to enjoy.
Everyone is expected to contribute with the cleaning up.


Houseboat (The Full Monte)
Has accommodation for 14 people – a mattress, blanket and pillows are provided – you must bring a single sheet set and pillowcase. Both items are essential for hygiene reasons. A sleeping bag or swag is not acceptable as an alternative to sheets. If you wish to bring a sleeping bag you must also bring sheets. There are 3 bathrooms with a toilet and fresh water shower in each. The galley is a large open area with freezer, fridge, stove, sink & microwave. A large outdoor area accommodates a barbeque and is ideal for outdoor dining & relaxation. ‘The Full Monte’ is moored in a protected bay and the “Kylin”, our charter vessel, ties alongside it each night. It is also self sufficient with its own generator.
For those who wish to view their catch or stunning photographs from their digital camera we now have 37” TV and DVD player to do so, also please feel free to bring any appropriate DVD’s along for a little night time relaxing. We supply a satellite mobile number which is located on the Kylin. You are welcome to provide this to family in case you need to be contacted in an emergency. If you have a Next-G phone it does have areas & times where it has reception.

Charter Boat (Kylin)
Is a 62ft West coaster and has the latest in comfort and technology. It has a traveling speed of approximately 16-17 knots depending upon weather. It has a large on deck brine tank plus a large freezer for efficient handling of the catch. Access to the water is made easy by large opening doors with steps leading down the marlin board. A large percentage of the rear deck is covered to provide protection from the elements.


Fremantle Charters
During November through to March each year the Kylin is available for Chartering from Fremantle/Perth. We are available for various charters including:

•Day or night River cruises
•Day cruises to Rottnest Island, Carnac Island or Garden Island
•Birthday parties, Bucks or Hens shows, Weddings, Corporate functions

The Kylin can accommodate up to 60 people in comfort.

Clients are to organize all food, paper plates, drinks, glasses (for wine) and ice (large chiller room keeps everything extremely cold). Cans are the preferred storage form for all other drinks. There is a large barbecue for your use along with a large esky for your drinks plus large under deck refrigeration. The galley has plenty of fridge and work space, including a full oven plus microwave, plus a trestle table on back of deck.

We supply BBQ facilities and staff is more than happy to do the cooking, and put out the foodstuffs for everyone. They more or less wait on people whilst they are on board.

A CD player and iPod docking station linked to a good quality amplified stereo sytem allows for easy music (we suggest you bring your favourites).

Two thirds of the large back deck area is covered to provide plenty of shade and protection against the elements. There are side clip in windows to protect against wind or water should they be required.
There is plenty of seating for everyone. Should your charter be to one of the Islands we can provide a dinghy for commuting to shore if required.
If the destination is Rottnest our price includes landing fees on the Island should you wish.
As you can see, we are Versatile!! We can easily accommodate for your professional function, a relaxed sit down office party to bucks and hens parties and we have even provided for a wedding!!

We have snorkelling gear available on board for those who wish to snorkel.


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Itinerary & Schedule

The Timetable
Weather permitting the boat leaves Exmouth 11am Sunday morning. It is important not to be late.. Return is on Saturday usually arriving back in Exmouth around lunchtime. If the group needs to return earlier due to airline flights, it can be arranged that travel back to Exmouth is carried out during the early hours of Saturday morning.
Please give the Skipper plenty of warning about these requirements. No real time is lost at Montebello’s but the decision needs to be made with the consultation of the rest of the group.

Travelling to Exmouth
Flying to Exmouth (Learmonth). Skywest fly daily to Exmouth. Reservations can be made online via the internet on or by phoning 1300 66 00 88.

For those of you who fly to Exmouth (Learmonth Airport) – the airport is 34Km’s from town. There is an Airport Shuttle service provided at a cost of $30pp. It is essential that you should book this service well prior, as Exmouth is a very busy destination – especially if you are wishing to transport 14 of you to town. The contact phone number is: (08) 9949 4623

By Road – Approx 1270 Kms from Perth
The road distance between Perth and Exmouth is approximately 1,270 kilometres [794 miles] and is characterised by long stretches of straight road (50 – 60kms) running through semi-arid desert and will take approximately 13 – 14 hours to travel safely.
There are two main towns on the way, Geraldton and Carnarvon which make good places to stop. There are also roadhouses with petrol and food for the weary traveller every 200 kms [125 miles] which make convenient resting places.
Another alternative that works out quite economically (presuming you did not want to bring individual vehicles) is to hire a minibus. If you choose this option we suggest you choose a bus larger than you require as it provides extra comfort for all concerned keeping in mind the distance you are traveling from Perth.

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