Fishing and Boating

With 2,000kms of stunning coastline, over 40 lakes and 6 major river systems, you’ll find excellent fishing and boating opportunities in NSW. 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, Australia’s longest river, or hire a 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.

An 'All Seasons Houseboat' passes a fishing boat at sunset on the Murray river, The Murray

Deep Sea Fishing

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.

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.

Boys fishing on the Tweed River at Mt Warning NP

River Boating and Fishing

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. Fish living in these rivers include Murray Cod, Catfish and European Carp.

In the North of NSW is the Clarence River, where you can find the largest species of bass in Australia. Beautiful rainforests, sugarcane fields and historical towns line the riverbank, making it an excellent boating destination.

Father ad daughter enjoying a morning of fishing at Glasshouse Rocks, Narooma

Fly Fishing

Take a guided fly fishing trip and try your hand at catching trout in the Blue Mountains and Southern Highlands, and Murray Cod on the Murray River. The Snowy Mountains also has great fly fishing opportunities and each year hosts the Snowy Mountains Trout Festival. Visit Eucumbene Trout Farm and cook your catch on the BBQ straight out of the lake.

Beach Fishing

Cast a line from gorgeous beaches, such as near The Entrance on the Central Coast, or in national parks. Further north in Yamba, you can catch flathead, bream and snapper from one of the beautiful beaches including Whiting Beach, Main Beach and Pippi Beach.

All recreational fishers in NSW require a licence. 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


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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