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The Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve is found at Coffs Harbour. This island, connected to the coast of New South Wales at Coffs Harbour, is extensively tunneled by over 20 000 muttonbirds (Wedge-tailed Shearwaters) that breed on the island each year. Muttonbird is just one of the Solitary Islands group that are part of the Solitary Islands Marine Park. To get to Muttonbird Island, travel to The Jetty at Coffs Harbour and follow the walk across the breakwall.
The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service have provided a 1.5 km track and a viewing platform to observe the birds, as well as providing protection to the colony itself. Please keep to the track, as wandering off the track may cause you injury by falling in a burrow and will damage the breeding grounds of the muttonbird.
At the end of the track the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service have provided another viewing platform to enable visitors to view the Solitary Islands group and to watch passing Humpback Whales. This is best done in both June and October.
The Muttonbirds return from South-East Asia to the Solitary Islands in order to breed from August each year. They use the same burrow each year, with a single egg laid in the burrow by December. By mid-May, the muttonbirds have begun their annual migration, with the adult birds leaving before their chicks.
To view photos of Muttonbird Island Nature Reserve and surrounding areas, visit:
Muttonbird Island and Surrounds
Kevin's Wilderness Journeys Homepage
New South Wales
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