Catch your own fresh seafood: food adventures in Australia
Surrounded by sea, and with lakes and rivers aplenty,
Australia is a fisherman’s heaven.
Kiss the fish, eat the fish: your call. If you're dropping in to drop a line in, here are a few tips for fishing in Aus, part of Tourism Australia's campaign to invite the world to dinner with Restaurant Australia.
Surrounded by sea, Australia is one of the world’s largest islands and has more than 8,000 smaller islands around it, which means it’s a fisherman’s heaven. Drop a line in a quiet brook, cast for trout across a calm river or chase the big ocean fish – marlin and tuna. The locals say you’ve got to think like a barramundi to catch Australia’s craftiest fish. Hunt for lobster and crabs or go rock-hopping on the pools along the continent’s shore. Seafood lovers or catch-and-release sports fishermen, the choice is yours.
Black Marlin, Cairns, Queensland
North Queensland is the home of the legendary Black Marlin, the fighting fish of the ocean that is found on the fringes of the Great Barrier Reef. Departing from Cairns’ busy marina, head out for a day’s fishing or sleep on a boat to squeeze every minute out of your holiday. Lovers of serious luxury should snap up Cairns Reef Charters’ package that includes a stay at Lizard Island Lodge during September to December, when the marlin are in town. Curious anglers may also be keen to try saltwater fly fishing on the reef.
Trout and salmon fishing, Tarraleah, Tasmania
Swap the buzz of the city for the serenity of Tasmania’s highlands. Listen to the singing of the line on the lake as you indulge in some of the world’s best freshwater fishing. Discover secret beauty spots where Atlantic salmon as well as brown, rainbow and American brook trout can be found. The brown trout season runs August to May, with early December the peak period.
Tiwi Adventures, Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory
Most anglers make the journey to chase the mighty barramundi, Australia’s great sporting fish.
If your idea of a holiday is somewhere less inhabited and remote, the Tiwi Islands are the place. A 30-minute flight from Darwin, most anglers make the journey to chase the mighty barramundi, Australia’s great sporting fish. Other species that will give you a run include blue salmon, saratoga, mangrove jacks and estuary cod. Off-shore the waters teem with another great fighting fish, queenfish, as well as jewfish and snapper. Australia’s first barramundi base, Bathurst Island Lodge, reopened in March 2013. There are two other lodges on the Tiwi Islands, which are also famous for their indigenous art and culture.
Trout Fishing, Snowy Mountains, NSW
Learn to fly fish in rivers and streams, pick up the tricks of trolling, spin the lakes and hear the secrets of the best lures for trout with fish guru Steve Williamson, who has been fishing the waterways of the Snowy Mountains for 25 years. Williamson is based in Jindabyne, two hours’ drive from Canberra. From beginner fishing lessons to weekend adventures, it’s a year-round fishing destination, but best during summer when the brown, rainbow and brook trout come out to play.
Lobster Shack tours, Cervantes, Western Australia
Watch the skipper pull lobster pots from the deep blue sea and cook it up for your lunch. Lobster Shack Tours launch from Cervantes, two hours’ drive north of Perth, to sail into the Jurien Bay Marine Park to the isolated Cervantes Islands, home to colonies of raucous sea lions and pods of dolphins. The locals have been fishing these waters for generations, and are happy to share their favourite beach fishing spots including Hangover Bay and Thirsty Point; or just drop a line off Cervantes jetty.
Hunt and Gather Tour, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia
You reap what you sow on this tour on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. Dive for abalone, fish for salmon straight from the beach, hunt for oysters and gather ‘pipis’ – sweet little shellfish found on the seashore. Your personal chef will prepare the catch of the day on this safari, staying at waterfront accommodation in Coffin Bay. Too tame? Add a cage dive with a Great White shark, swim with Blue Fin tuna, sea lions and dolphins, or head into the outback, flying over Lake Eyre and the remote Oodnadatta Track.
Queenscliff fishing, Victoria
“Life’s short, fish hard” say the fishermen of the Bass Strait, the stretch of sea that separates mainland Australia from Tasmania. Game Rec’s charters depart from Queenscliff and Sorrento, either side of the bay that encircles Melbourne, and your hook should snare seriously big snapper, kingfish, barracouta and squid, not to mention delicious local flathead. They’ll clean your catch ready for the barbecue, or you can kiss the fish and send it back to sea.