Fishing and boating

Highlights

Waters teeming with fish

Got a taste for the reel life? Want to explore beautiful waterways? NSW is the best place for fishing and boating in Australia. With the largest network of lakes, rivers, estuaries and a deep blue ocean all teeming with fish, NSW is great for recreational fishing and boating.

  • Fishing on the beach, Bouddi National Park. Photo by National Parks and John Yurasek
  • Murrumbidgee River, Murrumbidgee Valley National Park. Photo by National Parks and David Finnegan

Explore the beautiful waters of NSW

The waters of NSW are perfect for recreational fishing and boating. You'll find plenty of places where you can hire a boat and other equipment. Deep-sea charter tours are available too; try your luck at reeling in a black marlin at Bermagui on the South Coast or at Port Macquarie on the North Coast.

South of Sydney is Lake Illawarra, popular for sailing, water skiing, canoeing and fishing. Bass Point, in Shellharbour, is a marine reserve and one of the South Coast's best scuba diving spots. All along the South Coast are great spots such as the Shoalhaven River, Jervis Bay, and Eden.

North of Sydney, guides and charter operators can put you in the centre of the action at The Entrance, on the Central Coast, and at Port Stephens, Coffs Harbour and the Richmond River, in Ballina, on the North Coast. And catch mud crabs in the Tweed River with Catch a Crab.

Fishing, Lord Howe Island

You can handfeed fish and see rare coral reefs from a glass-bottomed boat at the World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island, less than two hours from Sydney by air. Charter operators offer tours to the best fishing locations around Lord Howe, 600 km off the coast of NSW.

The tranquil lakes, estuaries and rivers of NSW offer many opportunities for those who love to fish. The mighty Murray River and the Darling River are popular with towering eucalypts lining the riverbanks. Hire a houseboat and cast off into the Murray, Hawkesbury River and Myall Lakes.

Lake Eucumbene, in the Snowy Mountains, is full of rainbow trout, brown trout and Atlantic salmon. The lake is regularly re-stocked with trout by NSW Fisheries. In the heart of Mount Kosciusko National Park, it's a fantastic spot for fishing and boating in the warmer months.

Swimming safety information

Swimming safety information

NSW has a wide range of wonderful swimming options including beaches, ocean pools, harbourside pools, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes at the bottom of waterfalls. However to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment, swimmers should follow this general advice:

Look for patrolled beaches (this is where lifesavers are on duty; you will see red and yellow flags that indicate this). You should always swim between the red and yellow flags as they mark the safest place to swim.

Never swim alone at night, or under the influence of alcohol, or directly after a meal.

Always check water depth before diving in, as rocks or trees could be submerged, and never run and dive into the water from the beach.

Check for signs regarding advice on water conditions at your chosen swimming spot and at any natural swimming hole. Always proceed with caution as surfaces could be slippery and water conditions may not be immediately apparent; particularly if the area has recently experienced heavy rain or flooding.