Northern Territory fishing accommodation

Bookmark this page if you are planning a Northern Territory fishing trip. Fishermen taking bluewater charters out of Darwin can stay anywhere in the city as it is invariably a short trip to where the charter boats embark.

Most barramundi tours also leave from Darwin, although there are also regional operations.

An exciting option is to stay on a mothership at the fishing location.

If touring in a vehicle, Katherine, 350km south of Darwin, is central to the the Victoria, Roper, Katherine and Daly Rivers.

The NT’s Million Dollar Fish promotion runs each year, usually from October to March.

There are 100 x $10,000 tagged barra to be caught each year!

Accommodation list for fishing out of Darwin … or use the map at the bottom of this page
Adina Apartment Hotel Darwin Waterfront …. details here.
Alatai Holiday Apartments …. details here.
Argus Apartments Darwin …. details here.
Argus Hotel Darwin …. details here.
Bali Studio …. details here.
BeachLife Apartments …. details here.
BIG4 Howard Springs Holiday Park …. details here.
C2 Esplanade Service Apartments …. details here.
Cardona Crt …. details here.
Casa on Gregory …. details here.
Chillis Backpackers …. details here.
Chique Chaque …. details here.
City Gardens Apartments …. details here.
Club Tropical Resort Darwin …. details here.
Coconut Grove Holiday Apartments …. details here.
Crab Claw Island Resort …. details here.
Crocodilly Inn …. details here.
Crocs on Cavenagh …. details here.
Crown Point on Cullen …. details here.
Cullen Bay Luxury Suites …. details here.
Cullen Bay Resorts …. details here.
Darwin Central Hotel …. details here.
Darwin City B&B …. details here.
Darwin City Chic@Kube Apartments …. details here.
Darwin City Edge Motel & Suites …. details here.
Darwin City Hotel …. details here.
Darwin City Point Hotel (Poinciana Inn) …. details here.
Darwin Deluxe Apartments …. details here.
Darwin Esplanade Escape …. details here.
Darwin Executive Stay …. details here.
Darwin Executive Suites & FREE CAR …. details here.
Darwin holiday home …. details here.
Darwin Waterfront Apartments …. details here.
Darwin Waterfront Luxury Suites …. details here.
Darwin Wharf Escape Holiday Apartments …. details here.
Discovery Parks Darwin …. details here.
DoubleTree by Hilton Darwin …. details here.
DoubleTree by Hilton Esplanade Darwin …. details here.
Down Under Hostels …. details here.
Eagles Nest Waterfront Retreat …. details here.
Frogs-Hollow Backpackers …. details here.
Frontier Hotel Darwin …. details here.
H Hotel …. details here.
H on Mitchell Apartment Hotel …. details here.
Heritage Apartment …. details here.
Hidden Valley Holiday Park Darwin …. details here.
Hilton Darwin …. details here.
HiWay Inn Motel …. details here.
Jewell Apartment …. details here.
Kakadu @ the Kube (Darwin City) …. details here.
La Marina Waterfront Villa …. details here.
Luma Luma Holiday Apartments …. details here.
Mandalay Luxury Stay …. details here.
Mantra on The Esplanade …. details here.
Mantra Pandanas …. details here.
Marrakai Apartments …. details here.
Melaleuca on MitchellDarwin YHA …. details here.
Mercure Darwin Airport Resort …. details here.
Metro Advance Apartments & Hotel …. details here.
Novotel Darwin Airport …. details here.
Novotel Darwin CBD …. details here.
Oaks Elan Darwin …. details here.
One30 Esplanade …. details here.
Palms City Resort …. details here.
Parap Village Apartments …. details here.
Paravista Motel …. details here.
Peninsular Apartments …. details here.
Pips Esplanade Hideaway …. details here.
Quality Hotel Darwin Airport …. details here.
Quest Berrimah …. details here.
Quest PalmerstonDarwin …. details here.
Quest Parap …. details here.
Ramada Suites Zen Quarter …. details here.
RNR Serviced Apartments …. details here.
Rydges Palmerston …. details here.
Saltwater Suites …. details here.
Seabreeze on Nightcliff …. details here.
Sky View …. details here.
Skycity Darwin …. details here.
Skytower Central …. details here.
Sunset on Nightcliff …. details here.
The Bali House …. details here.
The Cavenagh …. details here.
The Leprechaun Resort …. details here.
The Lookout …. details here.
Travelodge Resort Darwin …. details here.
Value Inn …. details here.
Vibe Hotel Darwin Waterfront …. details here.
Villa Frangipani …. details here.
Wagait Beach Bush Retreat …. details here.
Youth Shack Backpackers Darwin …. details here.

Accommodation for people fishing Bynoe Harbour ….
Crab Claw Island Resort …. details here.
Sandpalms Roadhouse …. details here.

Accommodation for people fishing the Adelaide River ….
Goat Island Lodge …. details here.
Mt Bundy Station …. details here.

Accommodation for people fishing Kakadu ….
Cooinda Lodge Kakadu …. details here.
Kakadu Lodge …. details here.
Mercure Kakadu Crocodile …. details here.
Aurora Kakadu …. details here.

Accommodation for people fishing out of Nhulunbuy ….
Bremer Island Banubanu Beach Retreat …. details here.
Walkabout Lodge …. details here.

Accommodation for people fishing out of Katherine ….
Cicada Lodge …. details here.
ibis Styles Katherine …. details here.
Katherine Motel …. details here.
Katherine River Lodge …. details here.
Knotts Crossing Resort …. details here.
Paraway Motel …. details here.
Pine Tree Motel …. details here.

Accommodation for people fishing the Daly River ….
Woolianna on the Daly …. details here.
Daly River Barra Resort …. details here.
Banyan Farm …. details here.

Accommodation for people fishing the Roper River ….
Roper Bar Caravan Park …. reopened in 2021.
Tomato Island Campground (Munbililla) only vans and tents …. details here.

Accommodation for people fishing the McArthur River ….
King Ash Bay Fishing Club …. details here.

Accommodation for people fishing the Mary River region ….
Corroboree Park Tavern …. details here.
Mary River Houseboats …. details here.
Mary River Wilderness Retreat …. details here.

Remote NT private camps ….
Wiligi Arnhem Land …. details here.
Cobourg Fishing Safaris …. details here.
Lorella Springs Station …. details here.
Limmen Fishing Camp …. on the Limmen Bight River has fuel, riverside camping and very basic accommodation 25km from the Savannah Way Cox River crossing. Ph 08 8975 9844.
Seven Emu Station …. details here.

Manangoora Station …. access to the Wearyan River, Gulf of Carpentaria and Vanderlin Island. Phone: 08 8975 9549.

Accommodation for people fishing out of Dundee Beach ….
Dundee Beach Holiday Park …. details here.
Mermaid Rest …. details here.
Rustic Retreat …. details here.
Skippers at Dundee …. details here.

Darwin and NT boat hire services ….
Barra Boat Hire …. details here.
Darwin Boat Hire …. details here.
Top End Boat Hire …. details here.
Outback Boat Hire …. details here.
Corroboree Boat Hire …. details here.
Offshore Boat Hire …. details here.
Mary River Houseboats …. details here.
Katherine Boats and Floats …. details here.
Mixed Bag Boat Hire …. details here.

Bluewater fishing charters out of Darwin ….
Arafura Bluewater Charters …. details here.
Equinox Charters …. details here.
Humbug Charters …. details here.

Barramundi fishing guides out of Darwin ….
Spring Tide Fishing Safaris …. details here.
Darwin North Australia (DNA) Barramundi Fishing Tours …. details here.
Darwin Barra and Crab …. details here.
Obsession Fishing Safaris …. details here.
Insight Fly Fishing …. details here.
Daly River Barra Resort …. details here.

Aerial tours with fishing ….
Outback Floatplane Adevntures …. details here.
Helifish …. details here.

Remote NT charters ….
Cobourg Fishing Safaris …. details here.
Cannon Charters …. details here.
Humbug Charters …. details here.

Burrum River, Queensland

Burrum River sanctuaries ... there are boat ramps at Burrum Heads, Buxton, Walkers Point and Pacific Haven
Burrum River sanctuaries … there are boat ramps at Burrum Heads, Buxton, Walkers Point and Pacific Haven

Burrum Heads tides
Burrum Heads coastline at Beachsafe
Great Sandy Marine Park Zoning Map
Queensland dam water levels
Queensland stocked impoundment permits
Queensland fishing regulations

The Burrum River flows to sea into the eastern side of Hervey Bay at the town of Burrum Heads.

The river is impounded by Lenthalls Dam at the joining of watercourses Harwood Creek, Woolmer Creek and Duckinwilla Creek, near Burrum.

Below Lenthalls Dam the river is impounded by Burrum River Weir No.2, built in 1951, and Burrum River Weir No.1, built in 1900.

The river flows under the Bruce Highway near Howard and past Pacific Haven.

The Isis River joins the Burrum River at the Burrum Coast National Park.

Together, these rivers eventually join with the Gregory River and discharge into Hervey Bay at Burrum Heads.

The river descends 27m over its 31km course and the estuary is 12km long and up to 2km wide.

The catchment area is low and flat and is located between the Burnett and Mary River catchments.

Most touring fishos fish the river at Burrum Heads. From the Bruce Highway take the Torbanlea exit, turn left onto Burgowan Road, and then turn onto Burrum Heads Road.

There are two boat ramps at Burrum Heads, with the larger one having multiple lanes and a pontoon and much more parking than the smaller ramp on nearby Ross St.

There are boat ramps also at Buxton, Walkers Point and Pacific Haven.

The lower river is broad but shallow, quickly forming drying flats, channels and gutters as the tide falls.

Flathead, bream and whiting are king here, but there’s plenty more. Barramundi are a chance.

A fair list includes jacks, grunter, queenfish, salmon, cod, trevally, dart, gar, tailor, jewfish and pike.

Marine fish and mud crabs move far upstream during dry periods, and heavy rain pushes them back down.

The river has a run of prawns, with numbers changing each year.

Livebaiting the upstream holes is a great way to find cod, barra, flathead and jacks, but note that the upper river and its tributaries are sanctuaries, part of the Great Sandy Marine Park.

Fishing flats edges produces flathead and whiting.

Any rock patch might have jacks, cod and bream.

Nippers are available on the flats and these are the best bait for big whiting.

The Black Bank north of Burrum Heads itself has grunter.

Outside the river mouth, Hervey Bay produces a mix of temperate and sub-tropical species, with seasonal pelagics such as tuna and mackerel.

The river is known for its tidal current so be sure to anchor crab pots well or put them in eddies or otherwise out of the current.

Expect chop to appear quickly on the biggest tides.

The best time to fish is before holiday periods, as Burrum Heads becomes busy during these times and many visitors are fishing.

If are fishing during a holiday period, be sure to book holiday accommodation early.


Email us any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed around Burrum River are featured below.

Fishing Burrum Heads

Burrum River crabbing

Catching Burrum River gar

Hinchinbrook, Queensland

Lucinda tides
Cardwell tides
Hinchinbrook Island National Park
Great Barrier Reef regional zone map
Queensland dam water levels
Queensland stocked impoundment permits
Queensland fishing regulations

Hinchinbrook’s appeal lies mainly in the 45km channel that runs between Hinchinbrook Island and the mainland.

This is a vast, relatively sheltered area with hundreds of kilometres of mangrove-lined creeks and flats, located away from major population centres which lessens fishing pressure.

While the channel is the main attraction, visiting fishos can also enjoy beach fishing, wharf fishing at Lucinda and Dungeness, freshwater fishing in the Herbert River, and offshore fishing out to the Great Barrier Reef for the full gamut of tropical species.

As well as great fishing, this area has superb scenery, with a backdrop of rainforest-covered mountains.

Hinchinbrook is about 200km south of Cairns, about half way between Cairns and Townsville.

The northern end of the channel has the tiny township of Cardwell, on the highway, with the smaller Lucinda at the southern end.

This is a true tropical location, with heavy rainfall and high humidity in summer, and cooler dry weather in winter.

The area is sometimes hit by summer cyclones, which bring prolonged heavy rain that is good for fishing on the long term.

Species caught in the channel and island creeks include barramundi, queenfish, salmon, jacks, trevally, permit, fingermark, grunter and cod.

Mud crabs and prawns are usually abundant, with seasonal variations.

The channel is a huge area, about 6km across at its widest point, so there are usually places to fish away from other boats.

Prevailing winds at the time may help choose your location.

Casting baits or lures to the mouths of mud drains as the tide flows out is an effective method for catching barramundi during bigger tides.

Trolling quietly up creeks also works well on smaller tides when the water is clear. An electric motor is useful for this.

On a large incoming tide look for baitfish or predator activity along flats edges.

Drifting along creeks with the current and casting lures to snags is a very popular fishing method for catching barramundi, jacks and cod.

Rocky foreshores and rock walls are always worth fishing.

The water in the channel, depending on prevailing winds, can be quite clear on the flats, allowing for good sight fishing.

Local sardines, herring and small mullet are the ideal livebaits and will almost always produce fish if dropped at a creek mouth or near a decent snag.

Deep grounds yield fingermark and jewfish.

Though Hinchinbrook tides are not huge, with 3m of movement being a big tide within the channel, strong currents flow, so fish deeper areas at the turn of the tide.

Use a sounder to locate bottom fish.

The channel really fires after big wet seasons, when the freshwater has subsided.

Dry years bring slower fishing as the bait cycle winds down.

Cyclones produce fallen mangrove timber, and the horizontal logs often hold a barramundi or two, or jacks.

Missionary Bay on the north-west end of the island is a series of creeks and flats that produces good fish, but should only be visited in calm weather.

The southern coast inside the island has the Herbert and Seymour River mouths, with mangrove islands and channels. The upstream freshwater sections have sooty grunter and jungle perch.

From Lucinda it is a 38km run out to the first Great Barrier Reef, which is Bramble Reef

Most local fishos head the extra few kilometres to the larger and more complex Britomart Reef.

Britomart has an extensive plateau and reasonable shelter for anchoring.

The bommies have trout and tropical lobsters (crays), and deep water around the edges holds red emperor, trout, nannygai, sweetlip and more.

Britomart fishes best on big tides, although some fishermen prefer fishing the deep water between the reefs on small tides where hard bottom can produce fish such as nannygai and red emperor.

Expect mackerel and trevally around the reef edges.

Closer to Dungeness, the Sea Hound trawler wreck is a popular spot, but it can be busy on weekends.

The Sea Hound is about 17km north-east of Lucinda, at approx 18 24.433S 146 25.742E.

This area has large crocodiles, so take care when fishing. Crocs can show up on seaward beaches too.

While Hinchinbrook is located far from major cities, expect local van parks to be overflowing during holiday periods.

There is no nearby stocked dam in this area, the nearest is Koombooloomba located further north towards Cairns.

Get the best Hinchinbrook fishing spots in the North Australian FISH FINDER book of fishing maps.

Hinchinbrook boat ramps

Dungeness, Lucinda – four- lane concrete ramp, pontoon, wash-down area, trailer parking, security lighting, toilets. Gateway to Great Barrier Reef and Hinchinbrook Channel.

Mona Landing, Halifax, on the Herbert River – single-lane gravel ramp and small gravel car park. Access to the Herbert River and 15-minute run to Hinchinbrook Channel.

Taylors Beach – Double-lane concrete ramp, wash-down, security lighting, toilets.

Forrest Beach – Single-lane concrete ramp, large bitumen carpark, toilets, washdown, exposed to wind and waves.

Cassady Beach – Single-lane concrete ramp, small car park, washdown, no good at low tide.

Hinchinbrook coastguard

Ingham Volunteer Coast Guard – VHF Channel 16 or VHF Channel 81


Email us any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos filmed around Hinchinbrook are featured below.

iFish visits Hinchinbrook

Hinchinbrook lure fishing

How to catch Hinchinbrook mangrove jacks

Jungle perch fishing

Hinchinbrook fly fishing

Hinchinbrook coast fishing

Great Barrier Reef fishing wide of Lucinda

Hinchinbrook Island circumnavigation

How to catch fingermark bream (golden snapper)

Fingermark (Lutjanus johnii) distribution map

Fingermark bream (Lutjanus johnii), called golden snapper or “goldies” in the Northern Territory, are a fish of coastal rocky reefs and rockbars.

They are truly desirable fish, having excellent eating and fighting qualities.

Big fish are heavy shouldered, with a golden sheen.

This species should perhaps be called only golden snapper because the name “fingermark” is often used for moses perch, a species with a more obvious dark spot on its flank.

Goldies have been recorded from roughly WA’s Pilbara across the north to the central Queensland coast around Gladstone, but are most common in the far north.

They are essentially an estuary and coastal fish, nonetheless they grow to 10kg on Australia’s East Coast.

Small fish are found in tidal creeks, especially creeks with a lot of rock, and as they grow they move out onto coastal reefs and headlands.

The biggest fish often loiter near the edges of sloping rock shelfs where the rock joins a mud bottom in 25m to 35m of water.

Big fish can be caught in shallower and deeper water. The tops of sloping rocky reefs, about 5m to 15m deep, tend to have a lot of coral growth on them and hold parrot fish, spanish flag, coral trout and the like, but goldies will show up in these places.

Rocky reefs are the go-to spots. Look for rock patches around deep channels.

In creeks, fish the rockbars.

Goldies are also caught over flat rubble grounds and around wrecks and artificial reefs.

These fish will show up around wharves and headlands, and big ones are caught off beaches at Cape York Peninsula as they patrol at night at high tide.

Smaller fish will move over mudflats with a rising tide.

Goldies have good eyesight and can be a tricky fish – in clear water the big ones are best fished at night.

Always use fresh bait for these fish. Live squid will fool the biggest ones in clear water areas.

Dead baits should be as fresh as possible. Thawed packet squid can work when the fish are biting well.

Big tides tend to produce a better bite. They often feed fast and furiously at the turn of the tide.

Goldies will take lures, but bait usually works best.

These are a tasty species but also very slow growing and it is therefore important to stick to bag limits to ensure their fishing future.


Email any corrections, additions, pictures or video here.

Some external videos about how to catch fingermark are featured below.

Catching big fingermark

Catching fingermark on soft plastics

When to catch mackerel in Moreton Bay

Spanish mackerel are usually most abundant in south-east Queensland waters and Brisbane’s Moreton Bay between January and May.

Spotted mackerel are usually best in Moreton Bay from December to June, but are often caught in the bay all year.

Doggie (school) mackerel are caught all year in Moreton Bay.

The key to finding mackerel is to find bait schools.

Mackerel will also be found around verticle structure such as shipping pylons.

Spotted mackerel often feed near the surface and seabirds can give away their presence.

Unlike spotted mackerel, doggie mackerel aren’t usually found at the surface.

Instead, they can be found using a sounder, and are often found over the best winter (diver) whiting grounds.

Most of Moreton Bay will produce mackerel, and deep water is not required.

In more northern waters spanish mackerel are caught all year on the wider reefs.

The central and northern Queensland coast sees good spanish mackerel fishing between July and November.

Moreton Bay Artificial Reefs – Curtin Artificial Reef

Curtin Artificial Reef is Moreton Bay’s biggest artificial reef in terms of the sheer number and size of components.

The reef is north of Cowan Cowan on the west side of Moreton Island in depths ranging from 16m to 27m.

The site was created in 1968 by the Underwater Research Group of Queensland, whose members have sunk vessels, cars, tires and pontoons over several decades.

The reef is a “junk reef”, meaning it is not made from purpose-built components.

The first wreck sunk was the Amsterdam barge in 1968, and the last installed was the Hustler in 1998.

The largest wreck is the 50m coal barge Bremer.

The smallest wreck is the concrete 10mk yacht Solace.

Other wrecks include two whale chasers from the former Tangalooma whaling station on Moreton Island.

A total of 32 ships, car bodies, buoys, concrete pipes and tyres were installed.

While there are many structures to fish, this site gets very busy on weekends.

Strong currents flow through this area and heavy sinkers are required.

Anchoring off the wrecks on sand and dropping baits back can work well the tide is flowing.

The turn of the tide and night are the best times to fish.

Curtin Artificial Reef Fish Species

This site attracts a huge range of fish, including large rays, sharks and groper.

Boaters can expect kingfish, cobia, trevally, pink snapper, tricky snapper (“grassies”), bream, flathead and spotted, school and spanish mackerel.

Barracuda school on the wreck, and wobbegong and leopard sharks are often present, as well as passing whaler, hammerhead, bull and tiger sharks.

Curtin Artificial Reef Fish Species GPS Marks

The reef is marked with buoys and the components are spread in a rough north-south direction.

The site is at WGS84 mark 27 06.700S 153 21.780E.

Sound around and mark the various lumps before picking a spot to fish.

This reef was created by divers and is still popular with divers, so take care when dive boats are using the site.

North Stradbroke Island Artificial Reef, Queensland

North Stradbroke Artificial Reef
North Stradbroke Artificial Reef

North Stradbroke Island Artificial Reef is 1.5km north of Adder Rock Camping Ground on North Stradbroke Island.

The reef consists of 38 reef modules deployed in five clusters.

It was built in 2018, covering an area of 30ha in waters about 12m deep.

This site is quite protected from southerly winds, but is exposed to easterly and northerly winds.

North Stradbroke Island Artificial Reef Fish Species

This reef produces pink snapper, tricky snapper (“grassies”), trevally, cod, flathead and squid, with mackerel in season and occasional yellowtail kingfish and cobia.

North Stradbroke Island Artificial Reef GPS Marks

Reef modules

27 24.598S 153 30.318E
27 24.546S 153 30.387E
27 24.567S 153 30.428E
27 24.598S 153 30.528E
27 24.653S 153 30.404E

Moreton Bay Artificial Reefs – Scarborough (Turner) Artificial Reef

Turner Artificial Reef
Turner Artificial Reef

Scarborough (Turner) Artificial Reef is a shallow site 1.6km east of Redcliffe Peninsula’s Scarborough.

The reef area includes six clusters of 17 concrete modules.

The site is in just 6m of water, making it Moreton Bay’s shallowest artificial reef.

Because it is shallow and the water is often clear, the fish can be easily spooked.

This reef is best fished at night on big tides during the week, when boating traffic is less.

Turner Artificial Reef Fish Species

Like much of the shallow rocky reef off Redcliffe Peninsula, this reef produces pink snapper, bream, cod, flathead and squid, with school mackerel in season.

During daylight hours you must fish with fine tackle and fresh bait to catch fish.

Turner Artificial Reef GPS Marks

Small concrete modules

27 11.660S 153 07.804E
27 11.705S 153 07.732E
27 11.703S 153 07.813E
27 11.834S 153 07.724E
27 11.851S 153 07.783E
27 11.887S 153 07.747E

South Stradbroke Artificial Reef, Queensland

South Stradbroke Artificial Reef
South Stradbroke Artificial Reef

South Stradbroke Artificial Reef is east of South Stradbroke Island, 3km north of the Gold Coast seaway.

The reef consists of four clusters of large concrete modules called “fish boxes” over a 208ha area, at an average depth of 22m.

This reef produces pelagic and reef fish, including large mackerel, cobia and mulloway, as well as snapper, flathead, cod and more.

South Stradbroke Artificial Reef Fish Species

Trevally, mackerel, kingfish and cobia are the main catch, but other species show up as the modules attract bait schools.

Snapper, cod and flathead are also caught around the structures, but most boaters chase bottom fish on the deeper natural reefs in the region.

South Stradbroke Artificial Reef GPS Marks

Fish box clusters

27 52.416S 153 27.334E
27 52.784S 153 27.316E
27 53.141S 153 27.400E
27 53.279S 153 27.588E