Fishing and Boating

Enjoy the reel life? Want to relax on beautiful waterways? NSW is perfect for fishing and boating, with Australia’s largest network of lakes, rivers and estuaries, and a deep blue ocean, all teeming with fish. There are plenty of fishing tours, from deep-sea charters to Snowy Mountains fly fishing.

You can skipper a houseboat on the mighty Murray River or on the Great Lakes, on the enchanting North Coast. Sailing is popular, too. Hire a skipper and yacht and breathe in the fresh salty air on sparkling blue waters, including Jervis Bay on the South Coast and Port Stephens, north of Sydney.

Deep Sea Fishing, Lord Howe Island

With Australia’s highest peaks creating a spectacular backdrop, the water catchments, lakes and rivers in the Snowy Mountains are superb for fishing. Adaminaby is home to one of Australia’s iconic ‘big things’ – the Big Trout, a symbol of the great fishing in the high country’s crystal-clear waters.

East of the Snowies is Bermagui, a game fishing destination. With the continental shelf only 20km offshore, take a charter from Bermagui Harbour to the pristine waters to hook black marlin and yellowfin tuna. You can also try your luck reeling in marlin off Port Macquarie, on the North Coast.

Fishing Boats, Ballina

From Tweed Heads in the far north to Eden in the far south, guides and charter operators can put you in the centre of the action. For that special charter, try deep-sea fishing tours on the UNESCO World Heritage-listed paradise Lord Howe Island, which allows only 400 visitors at any one time.

Beach fishing is popular, too. Cast a line from gorgeous beaches, such as near The Entrance on the Central Coast, or in national parks. Please read these fishing safety tips before your adventure. Rock fishing is also popular and can be dangerous. Important safety rules for rock fishing include:

  • Always wear a life jacket
  • Stay alert to weather conditions
  • Never fish alone
  • Never turn your back on the ocean
  • Wear appropriate non-slip footwear
  • Inform family or friends of your plans

Inland, the meandering rivers offer many opportunities for those who love to fish. The Five Rivers Fishing Trail encompasses the Murrumbidgee, Lachlan, Wakool, Edward and Murray rivers all within 30 minutes’ drive of Balranald, a former river port. All recreational fishers in NSW require a licence.

NSW Swimming safety

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, as rocks or trees could be submerged, and never run and dive into the water from a beach, riverbank or other surface.

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.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming. 

Fishing and boating in NSW

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