History of Smugglers Cave on Snapper Island, near Batemans Bay

by Geoff

When Batemans Bay was a major logging port with 13 timber mills along the river and the logs were floated down river as big rafts to the Perry's Mill site, (now Spinnaker Reach Units), the cave was used for smuggling because of its big opening to the north and the escape route out the "back door".
Steamships from Sydney would come to the Bay with contraband which was thrown overboard at Snapper Island, picked up by the local boys and stored in the cave, then rowed to shore in the dead of night to Corrigans Beach which is safe for row boats, (no rocks).

The contraband was sold to timber cutters along the Clyde River.

Smugglers Cove at Lilli Pilli was another drop off point where loot could be taken up Runnyford Road to the mills on the Clyde, Nelligen pub and Currowan Creek etc.

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Snapper Island - access

Snapper Island provides habitat for the Little Penguin and Sooty Oystercatcher. At the southern entrance to the cave on Snapper Island there are penguin burrows. These can be easily damaged by trampling.
Little Penguins can spend up to 3 months of the year occupying these burrows for egg incubation, raising chicks and moulting.
Snapper island is also an important home to grey nurse sharks during summer.
Great care is required when visiting this island.
This island is managed by the NSW Lands Department. Local experts say that the island should be a Nature Reserve and managed by the NPWS.
Snapper Island can be viewed from the shore or water only as no land access is allowed.

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