Thursday, 22 November 2018
Family and fishing fun in Darwin
So you’re looking for a sneaky way to convince your family to spend a short stay in Darwin so you can take advantage of the incredible barramundi and blue water fishing? Well the news is good – selling a Darwin trip to your family is as easy as the fishing itself.
The Northern Territories capital is one of my favourite tropical cities - without even leaving the CBD you’re in for a treat. For a start Crocosaurus Cove offers cage diving with giant crocs, kids fishing for baby crocs (they snap at food on the end of a stick), plus a massive range of reptiles and fish on display (including absolutely giant barramundi). It’s easily one of the top 5 reptile parks in the world that I have visited.
Like great food? I hope so - Darwin is closer to Asia than Sydney so there’s some 30 cultures cooking up a storm in places like Mitchell Street, Stokes Hill Wharf and Cullen Bay. They all get off to a head start with the most amazing fresh local produce you can find - from seafood, vegetables and spices to the most tender (and large) steaks in Australia.
Right on the beach the twice weekly Mindle Beach Markets epitomize the Northern Territory lifestyle – a bit of a shopping for some interesting stuff, brilliant food, and a bevy or two to go with sunset....take me there any time!
There’s a stack of other stuff on offer too, like Outback Wrangler Matt Wrights new adrenaline filled Air Boat tours of the harbour. Get your ‘young again’ vibe pumping and see sharks, rays, mud crabs and birdlife along the way!
If you’re into history you’ll love that the city is dotted with stories and attractions showing off how this city has survived Cyclones and World War 2 attacks. You may not ‘get’ all this until you start wandering around in the glorious warmth reading the stores that will give you Darwin sized Goosebumps (everything’s big in the NT).
Then to give you an idea of the marine life in the Harbour, check out the once daily fish feeding at Doctors Gully – it will rock your world. It’s run by a company called Aquascene who can advise of feeding times (which are tide dependant – see aquascene.com.au).
Darwin is an absolutely brilliant base for an anglers day out whilst everyone else in the fam keeps working on the other the activities on the list.
For a start you can wet a line right in and around Darwin. East Point, Lameroo Beach, The Esplanade, Stokes Hill Wharf and Nightcliff yield catches of Barra, Trevally, Queenfish, Mangrove Jack, Threadfin Salmon and a whole lot more.
Anglers with intermediate to moderate experience will have a ball, just remember to drop into the local tackle shops before hand for any questions you may have. I’m also regularly uploading clips and tips to my facebook page @fishingaustraliatv and my instagram and twitter pages @robpaxevanos
Novice anglers will also catch loads ‘if’ you hire a guide and go barra or blue water fishing. Pick up is avail from anywhere, and a half day trip will see you catching all of the above along with Mud Crabs! You can even target Marlin and Sailfish in a full day trip if you have the time and budget to suit.
Whatever guide you choose the key is to talk to them first – they all want to see you catch what is on offer on the day, which will come down to the season, tides and weather. Rest assured the guides love their jobs – they will look after you.
Kakadu, Litchfield, Nitmuluk and other iconic national parks beckon. But for anglers you just have to consider Dundee Beach – the new road means it’s 1.5 hours of easy drive rather than 3 hours of dirt road. The fishing for Barra, Jewfish, blue water speedsters and anything that swims in warm water is absolutely exceptional! Furthermore there are a dozen guides to choose from.
Just a little fishing nous, a handful of soft plastics, some 7 gram jig heads and a 6 kg spin set up will get you sorted. If you don’t follow this jargon – you probably need a guide...or you need the new Barramundi Adventures Darwin! Just 45 min drive this new set up is budget friendly, user friendly, and has shade for mum while she sips a cocktail and makes fun commentary about the fishing. You’re all but assured a barra, and you can take one of the plate sized 60cm ones home for the table (#yum). If you hook one of the resident meter plus giants they deservedly goes back after a quick pic for bragging rights.
Million Dollar Experience
If you’re heading up you’ve just got to enter the million dollar fish comp-registration is FREE! Tagged Barramundi have been released across the Northern Territory, some are worth $10k, one is worth $1million! Who’s not buying a holiday house up here if you hit the jackpot? Details are at milliondollarfish.com.au
I know plenty of people that have used this comp as an excuse to finally book their trip to the NT, but quite simply if you don’t catch a tagged barra you still get the million dollar experience (I fish all over the world – the NT is the bomb).
One last bit of advice – you’ll be plenty safe from Crocodiles in the Northern Territory ‘if’ you’re crocwise – you can learn more at becrocwise.nt.gov.au/
I hope I’ve helped you with your trip or inspired you to book your family in –my gang keeps going back and find new cool things every time #SoGood.
To learn more visit northernterritory.com
See you on the water.
Rob Paxevanos, host of Fishing Australia