The Māori name for this island may be Motu Ngarara (Lizard Island), although this name is also associated with nearby Mabel Island.1
Following the arrival of Pākehā (non-Māori), it was known as Goat Island due to the release of goats and sheep by farmers.
Eventually the island was re-named Allports Island after Thomas Allport, a Picton boarding-house keeper who farmed and built on this island.2
Thomas and Rachel Allport moved to Picton in 1874 and set up the Panama Boarding House in High Street. Thomas leased the island and built a small shed there for recreational purposes.
In the early 1900s, the Department of Agriculture set the island aside as a breeding place for angora goats.3
The island was designated a scenic reserve in 1927 and the bush has since been regenerating. Native birds including South Island robins, little blue penguins and kiwi have made their home or been released on the island.4
1. Loreen Brehaut, “Allports Island”, the Prow, accessed November 16, 2019, http://www.theprow.org.nz/yourstory/allports-island/#.Xa6yhOgzbIU .
2. H. A. H. Insull, Marlborough Place Names, (Wellington: A. H. & A. W. Reed, 1952) 24.
3. Brehaut, “Allports Island”.
4. “Sound spotlighting 'bloody unnerving’” – Marlborough Express, 31 January 2009”, Stuff, accessed November 13, 2019, http://www.stuff.co.nz/marlborough-express/652009/Sound-spotlighting-bloody-unnerving .