Fishing at Lake Illawarra

The second largest saltwater lake in Australia, Lake Illawarra is a haven for fish, and a very popular spot for fishing, prawning and crabbing. This coastal lagoon is also ideal for swimming and snorkelling, and with its moderate waves, watersports like sailing, rowing, canoeing, water skiing and windsurfing.

  • Bushrangers Bay, Shellharbour
  • Killalea State Park, Shellharbour

About Shellharbour

You’ll find Shellharbour on the NSW South Coast between Wollongong and Kiama, less than 2 hours’ drive from Sydney. Nestled around the harbour, its two main beaches are Shellharbour Beach and Shellharbour South Beach. Bass Point sits to the south of the village, with Barrack Point to the north. This unspoilt natural setting provides plenty of ways to relax and explore its beaches, towns and villages.

The serene Lake Illawarra is nearby, a vast aquatic playground offering great fishing and watersports. A saltwater lagoon with mild waves, it's a magnet for keen recreational fishers, and is also known as a good spot to grab a feed of freshly-caught prawns. Fishing, sailing, water skiing, and rowing are also very popular water sports on the lake, and the surrounding parkland is ideal for picnics, walks and cycling.

Bass Point Reserve is the region's only marine aquatic reserve. Walk along this 72 hectare coastal gem and take in the stunning coastal views from the lookouts at Bushrangers Bay and Maloneys Bay, and go for a dip or a snorkel. Bushrangers Bay Aquatic Reserve is a standout South Coast snorkelling spot, featuring an underwater cliff face with hundreds of small cavities that shelter sea urchins, sea dragons and vibrant tropical fish. You can ask a local where the fish are biting and cast your line here too.

One of the highlights of the area is the Killalea State Park, which features 8 km of pristine coastline including beaches, headlands, wetlands and coastal rainforest remnants. The national surfing reserve of Killalea Beach (also known as ‘The Farm’) is part of the park and very popular with surfers and recreational fishers. The beaches are not patrolled, however, there are beautifully landscaped picnic areas nearby. There’s also a camping area, walking tracks that take you through rainforests and wetlands, and a kiosk.


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