Great Fishing Adventures of Australia : Part I

credit: Peter Morse ; Tourism Australia

credit: Peter Morse ; Tourism Australia

Any way you look at it, Australia is an angler’s paradise. A massive island with a sparse population, Australia’s coastline stretches 35,000 miles and is lapped by warm, clean, lightly-fished seas.

Not surprisingly, the richness and diversity of Australia’s fish life is nothing short of mind-boggling, with nearly 4,000 marine species (and still counting!) … and many of these fish are found nowhere else on earth. Included in the catalog of fishing riches are such glittering prizes as high-flying, chrome-silver barramundi, massive Murray cod with mouths the size of buckets, the world’s greatest seasonal concentration of huge Black Marlin, record-breaking Giant Trevally, succulent snapper, lip-smacking whiting and some of the finest trout fishing to be found anywhere south of the equator … and that’s just for starters!

Abundance, variety and diversity are the core characteristics of Australian fishing. Casting a line here is a giant lucky dip, and some of Australia's tropical destinations have been known to yield well in excess of 50 species per angler in less than a week of fishing.

Not that you need to travel to the more remote and far flung corners of our island continent to experience fishing bliss: there are a multitude of wonderful day-trip opportunities right on the doorsteps of our major cities. These allow you to mix the cosmopolitan pleasures of fine dining, world-class entertainment and cultural immersion with bent rods and screaming reels … Truly the best of all worlds!

Here's our first installment of fabulous independent fishing operators offering simply unforgettable experiences in some of Australia’s most inspiring and extraordinary locations;


The ultimate in blue water luxury sport fishing on the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, Far North Sports Fishing offers worldclass fishing, on-board accommodation and expert guides. With a bespoke charter from Port Douglas or Lizard Island, guests can board the 40-foot Black Magic game boat or the 70-foot mothership Martini to explore the blue waters of the Reef. Guests can fish the outer and remote reef systems in the northern reaches of the Barrier Reef, as well as the continental shelf and the iconic fishing locations of Linden Bank and Opal Ridge. Five star accommodation and dining is aboard either the Blue Martini or the luxurious 105-foot Motor Yacht Flying Fish, both catering for up to eight guests year round. There is also plenty to do for non-fishing partners who can enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving trips at world-renowned sites on the Barrier Reef.


Domestic & International Airport : Cairns, Queensland
Time to Lodge/Vessel: Depart from Lizard Island or Port Douglas, both 60 mins from Cairns
Peak Season: Year round


Nestled in the World Heritage-listed wilderness of Northern Tasmania, Driftwater is a boutique fly fishing lodge offering visitors access to the region’s rivers, streams and clear mountain lakes, all of which are packed with wild brown trout. There’s a range of fly fishing experiences
available from wading the lowland rivers, drifting in handcrafted wooden boats, targeting mayfly feeders or early morning tailing trout, or polaroiding the shores of the Highland Lakes. Every fly fishing ability is catered for with expert fly fishing tuition on hand if required, plus female guides to encourage more women to get into the sport. Accommodation is in a beautifully renovated 100-year-old homestead in a rural setting, overlooking the Meander Valley and surrounded by extensive gardens.


Domestic Airport: Launceston, Tasmania
International Airport: Melbourne, Victoria
Time to Lodge/Vessel: 2 hours’ drive to lodge/2 minutes to vessel
Peak Season: August - April


RiverFly 1864 is an award-winning family-owned business that specializes in dry fly sight fishing for wild brown trout in rivers, lakes and tarns. They offer a diverse range of fly-fishing adventures for beginners to advanced anglers, taking visitors to those lesser-known waters with the largest private access across Tasmania. Working with some of the best local Tasmanian guides in the country with decades of experience across the wild trout fishery, tours range from river-based excursions to multi-day wilderness campouts in the Western Lakes, a huge area of lakes and tarns in the Central Highlands  of Tasmania. As Tasmania’s only fly-fishing outfitter, Riverfly can also provide all the necessary gear including handcrafted  premium flies.


Domestic Airport: Launceston, Tasmania
International Airport: Melbourne, Victoria
Time to Lodge/Vessel: 15 minutes from Launceston
Peak Season: October – April (rivers) November – March (wilderness sight fishing)


Thousand Lakes Lodge is a place like no other - a boutique fly fishing lodge in Tasmania’s remote central plateau, offering some of the best trout fishing on its doorstep. East of the Walls of Jerusalem National Park, the central plateau area has been a famous trout fishery for over 100 years. Known as the land of a thousand lakes, it has many alpine tarns formed by glacial action some 8,000 - 20,000 years ago. A former training camp used by Antarctic expeditioners, Thousand Lakes Lodge has been transformed into boutique accommodation offering nine guest rooms, open-plan dining and lounge room and a slow-combustion fireplace which guests can relax around after a day’s fishing.

Domestic Airport: Launceston, Tasmania
International Airport: Melbourne, Victoria
Time to Lodge: 90 minutes from Launceston, 2 hours from Hobart or Devonport
Peak Season: Lakes - spring, summer (peak) and autumn, Rivers - spring, summer and autumn (both peak) * Note some lakes in the area have licenced fishing seasons which run from August to May.


Located in South Australia’s Port Lincoln – known as Australia’s seafood capital – Goin’ Off
is perfectly placed to offer a variety of fishing experiences, from deep sea sport fishing to beach fishing for big Australian salmon. The pristine waters of the southern ocean which surround Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay on the magnificent Eyre Peninsula are relatively untouched which makes for some amazing fishing adventures for all. Offering small groups of four to six, Goin’ Off Safaris targets a variety of fish species. Expect to be out deep, chasing tuna, yellowtail kingfish or samson fish with screaming reels or catching the prized table fish of King George whiting, flathead, garfish and trevally in the shallows.


Domestic Airport: Port Lincoln
International Airport: Adelaide
Time to Lodge: 20 minutes
Peak Season: October to May


The benchmark in remote tropical sport fishing, Kimberley Coastal Camp sits on the edge
of the pristine waters of Western Australia’s Admiralty Gulf– one of the best fishing
regions in Australia. With access via helicopter or float plane and guest numbers limited to just 16, fishing here is for the privileged few. Kimberley Coastal Camp boasts fabulous scenery, gourmet food, spectacular fishing and ancient rock art. With no pre-set itineraries, guests plan each day with their guide according to their preferences and the tidal movements. They can fish all day every day or take their catch ashore on a deserted island fringed by boab trees where a host and guide will cook it ‘bush style’ on the coals. Accommodation at Kimberley Coastal Camp is in gazebo-style cabins dotted around the camp with dining in The Shed, the communal area.


Domestic Airport: Kununurra, Broome, Darwin
International Airport: Perth and Darwin
Time to Lodge/Vessel: 2.5 hour flight, no road access
Peak Season: April to October


Kimberley HeliSpirit, the largest helicopter company in the region, offers half day to
multi day fishing adventures that combine the rugged beauty of the North Kimberley
landscape with some of the most spectacular barramundi fishing in Australia. Enjoying a bird’s eye view of the region’s amazing gorges, coastal flats and floodplains on their three day adventure, guests can experience two days heli-fishing from Kununurra with a chopper pilot who knows the secret fishing spots of the Kimberley – only accessible from the air. This is followed by an exciting one day saline boat fishing tour among some of the Top End’s biggest estuarine crocodiles along the mighty Ord River. To experience more of the remarkable Kimberley and include ocean fishing, there is a six-day option on HeliSpirit’s Luxury Kimberley Helicopter Safari.


Domestic Airport: Kununurra
International Airport: Darwin, Northern Territory and Perth, Western Australia
Time to Lodge: 10 minutes
Peak Season: April - October


Courtesy : Great Fishing Adventures of Australia, Tourism Australia

...Visit again soon for information on more extraordinary fishing operators in Part 2

Jonathan Campbell

Aussie Trip Advisor, 12H Nob Hill, Roseland NJ 07068

Aussie Trip Advisor hand-craft Australian itineraries on a fee-for-service basis