Montague Island is only one of two island lighthouses in New South Wales. In 1873 a decision was made to build a 'First Order Fixed and Flashing Light' on Montague Island. Construction of the lighthouse and keepers' quarters, designed by Colonial Architect James Barnet, started in 1878. The kerosene lamp and optical apparatus were constructed by Chance Brothers of Birmingham. The lighthouse was first illuminated on 6 October 1881. The intensity of the light increased when a new lamp was installed in 1910, and again in 1923. Then in 1969 a new electric lamp, powered by a diesel generator, raised it to one million candlepower. Having shone every night for almost 105 years, Montague's light was turned on manually for the last time in September 1986. The original apparatus, including the lens, was removed and replaced by a new automatic light powered by solar panels.