When deciding on your ultimate fishing destination, the NT has some amazing fishing lodges to choose from. The best of these usually operate in remote locations and can differ greatly in terms of accommodation, equipment, facilities, food and of course the fishing.
If you’re keen to escape the crowds then a short flight out of Darwin into Arnhem Land is a popular choice. Arnhem Land has arguably some of the best fishing in the NT, it's Aboriginal Land and the reserve is larger than some European countries! The region is known not just for it's world class fishing but also it's abundant wildlife and specky landscapes. Arnhem Land really does offers a fishing experience like no other.
Map of Northern Australia (note Arnhem Land in orange)
One of the most untouched regions of Arnhem Land is the Cobourg Peninsula, on it's north-western tip. This areas sees majestic red cliffs meeting turquoise seas and white sand beaches, transected by dozens of gutters and tidal rivers. It's wild, remote, vast and inaccessible, except to a limited number of visitors, who through a strict permit system are permitted to access. Cobourg Coastal Camp and Seven Spirit Bay are the two lodges that operate on the Cobourg Peninsula.
Getting out on the water in Arnhem Land is an adventure in itself!
After arriving into Darwin you will be transferred to the Darwin Charter Airport, then you'll travel by private light aircraft to Arnhem Land. Next, it's a quick 4WD transfer to the lodge and the final piece of the puzzle; the fishing boat! Cobourg Fishing Safaris operates the fishing charters from Cobourg Coastal Camp. Accommodation there is in safari-style permanent tents, each siting on a raised platform with ocean views. The camp operates between the months of April – November and the warmer months are generally best for fishing (that's April, May, October & November). Hosting only small groups, operators like Cobourg Fishing Safaris are in high demand so make sure you book early. Don’t just take our word for it, check out what Paul Worsteling from IFISH had to say below.
One of the best things about fishing on the Cobourg Peninsula is the variety of environments/fishing habitats at your door step = less time travelling & more time fishing! At Cobourg you can fish the creeks and gutters for barra, jacks, groper, salmon etc. but if you want to mix it up just 15 minutes away is a great spot for reef species (think Jewies, golden, snapper, coral trout) and just past that there's the pelagic spot and just past that...you get the drift!
After a big days fishing you'll then get back to Cobourg Coastal Camp to sunset nibbles, often oysters shucked only hours ago off the reef, sushi with freshly caught tuna (you’ve got to catch the tuna first 😊) or perhaps some local chilli mud crab. You can pair this with your favourite tinnie (XXXX is the local favourite) or with a vintage to your liking - doesn't get much better than that! All alcohol is purchased by guests before departure at bottle-shop prices and the guys will collect and put it on the ice for you. Once you’re out at camp, everything is taken care of, so put your wallet away there’s no expensive bar tabs out here (phew!)
This is one place tucked up in the north-west corner of Arnhem Land, where you really are away from it all. A long way. With locals, food, wildlife and trophy-size fish that you’ll remember long after your Arnhem Land fishing charter is over.