Our Latest News

New lease of life for original lighthouse vents


As part of the ongoing conservation of the Cape Bruny and Maatsuyker Island lighthouses, a team effort has been underway to restore the original bronze vents from the lighthouses' lantern rooms.More

Record visitor numbers at Highfield Historic Site


Visitation numbers at Highfield Historic Site in Stanley have reached a record high, with 12,535 people visiting in the 12 months ending March 2018.More

Cradle Mountain shuttle bus tender awarded


A new bus fleet featuring environmentally friendly technology and vehicles with improved accessibility and increased capacity will help to meet increasing visitor numbers following the awarding of the tender to McDermott Coaches.More

Governor Island Marine Reserve


Warning: The waters around Governor Island are deep and subject to strong currents and swells. Diving is recommended for experienced divers only, or those under the leadership of an experienced diver. Swimming and diving is not recommended in The Gulch. This is a busy harbour with a popular boat ramp. Safe snorkelling and diving can be enjoyed in nearby Waubs Bay.

Governor Island

The best way to dive in the reserve is from a live boat as the depth and reef are not well-suited to anchoring. If you have to anchor, make sure it is on the kelp in water shallower than 20 metres to protect the sponge gardens from damage. It is a very good idea to have someone in the boat at all times in case the anchor doesn't hold. While it is possible to swim across the Gulch to access the reserve, boat traffic in the Gulch and currents in the Gulch and on the eastern side of Governor Island can make this impractical and even unsafe.

Underwater, the spectacular scenery of sheer rock walls, deep fissures and caves, is home for an unusually diverse range of colourful and captivating marine communities.

The rocky reef drops steeply into deep water in an area with strong ocean currents. This creates an environment of great scientific interest and provides some of the best scuba diving in Australian waters.

Water temperatures range from 11°C in winter to 20°C in summer. The cool winter waters are usually clear, with visibility often more than 30m! Spring plankton blooms can reduce visibility to 10m.

Governor Island Marine Reserve is an important sea-bird rookery. One of Tasmania's largest breeding populations of crested terns nest on the island. These striking birds can usually be seen from the boat launching ramp. Black cormorants, pied cormorants and Pacific gulls frequently rest on the craggy outcrops and Alligator Rocks.

The surrounding area is used for commercial fishing, recreational boating, fishing and other water sports. See our detailed map of the reserve.

The reserve is like a national park. Please 'Look But Don't Take' and enjoy the features of this special environment.  However, please DO NOT:

  • Collect living or dead material, harm or remove plants or animals. Dead shells often become a home for another creature.
  • Fish or set nets or pots within the reserve.

Please care for our coast and 'Don't Rubbish Our Sea'.

  • Try to avoid anchoring boats within the reserve. If you must anchor, do so on kelp-covered reef or, preferably, sand. Avoid anchoring on sponge gardens or seagrass.
  • Stow your rubbish, don't throw it. Plastic, ropes and fishing tackle can injure and kill marine life. Dumping rubbish at sea is illegal.
  • Please take care with liquid wastes such as detergents, fuel and oil, and sewage. These can be toxic to marine life.
  • Try to walk around plants and animals along the shoreline.
The Reserve is jointly managed by the Parks and Wildlife Service and Marine Resources.