Boating & Fishing
Boating & Fishing (Townsville and surrounds)
Marine Safety Queensland figures state that as of June 2017, there were 22,891 recreational vessels registered in the Townsville region. These figures reflect the Townsville community’s embrace of its unique surrounds and the importance of the city’s waterways and the boat industry to the region.
That there is at least one boat registered to every 8.25 local resident, making Townsville one of the most densely populated boating regions in the state, and for good reason.
Townsville offers many great recreational boating and yacht charter options. The range of experiences on your doorstep allows boating enthusiasts to explore the many reefs, islands, inlets and isolated beaches, fishing, water skiing, snorkelling and scuba diving the crystal clear waters that surround Townsville.
Wheeler Reef is rated as one of the premier outer reef dive sites in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. This reef has lots of shallow areas which is perfect for snorkelling and introductory diving. And the best thing is that it is completely accessible from the Townsville region on a crewed sailboat, or a more personal bareboat charter.
Fishing Charters in Townsville are highly rated by everyone that has experienced it; this is because that the fishing grounds here are exciting and different from anywhere else in the world. There is plenty of sports and reef fishing opportunities in Townsville where there are over 75 species waiting to be caught including giant Blue and Black Marlin, Sailfish, Mackerel, Wahoo, Giant Trevally, Dogtooth Tuna, Coral Trout, Mahi Mahi, Tuna, Red Emperor and Sea Perch. Within the local rivers and estuaries you can target the legendary barramundi. While tackling the inshore systems will bring you face-to-face with Queenfish, Mangrove Jack, Fingermark, Trevally, Threadfin-Salmon, Tarpon, Permit and a host of other species too numerous to mention.
Hinchinbrook Island is Australia’s largest National Park Island. It is uninhabited except for the award-winning, environmentally friendly Hinchinbrook Island Resort. The resort is one which blends into the beautiful surroundings. The resort itself gives you the chance to enjoy the laid-back and peaceful atmosphere with easy access to beautiful rainforests.
Located just off the coast of Townsville is Bedarra Island. Bedarra Island offers unspoilt rainforests and palm tree lined beaches. This private island retreat provides many leisure activities taking advantage of the natural setting and is perfectly positioned close to the Great Barrier Reef. Guests can board a fast catamaran for a day trip to explore the wonders of the coral reefs or charter yachts are also available for sailing expeditions around the scenic water.
Other aquatic activities include snorkelling, fishing, paddle-skiing and catamaran sailing is also on offer. One of the most romantic ways to spend the day on Bedarra is to take a delicious gourmet picnic, complete with chilled champagne, and venture off in a motorised dinghy to find one of the many private beaches.
Magnetic Island is the island playground of Townsville featuring prominently in the profile of the city. The island is only 25 minutes from the city centre by fast cat ferries. There is a vast range of activities available including: boat trips around the island, parasailing, water sports, golf, diving expeditions, jet skiing, and plenty of great fishing.
Dunk Island a beautiful island just off the coast of Mission Beach close to Townsville. Most of the island is national park, with unique tracts of rainforests, immaculate beaches and abundant species of wildlife. While Dunk Island is great for boat and yacht day trips, there are a few campsites in the national park and there is also a resort on the island, Dunk Island Resort, if you’d like to stay for a couple days or more.
Orpheus Island is well known for its beautiful fringing reefs. These reefs are excellent for snorkelling and scuba diving. You’ll also be able to visit the large coral bommies in Little Pioneer Bay, and Cattle Bay on your boating trip there.
Mission Beach is a relaxed, yet vibrant beach front town with over 14 kilometres of magnificent golden sandy beaches. Here two World Heritage areas, The Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics Rainforest, come together to form a tropical paradise. In many places, the rainforest literally fringes stretches of pristine golden beach, giving the destination reputation as an ideal natural holiday choice.
The Great Barrier Reef is only 38 kilometres away from Mission Beach the closest mainland access to the Reef, just an hour or so by boat. This means you get more time to experience and explore Great Barrier Reef. Several creeks end at Mission Beach and locals can often be found fishing for barramundi and mangrove jack. Good fishing is also to be had at Clump Point jetty and the rock wall at Clump Point boat ramp. For a more private fishing spot, try Brooks Beach or Garners Beach at the northern end.
Whether it be a fishing, island cruises, yachting, or water sports, the Townsville area offers a wide variety of experiences catering for seasoned boating enthusiasts and day adventurers alike. There is something for everyone. All you need is a sense of adventure and your sunscreen.
It’s no secret that Australia has some of the best fishing spots in the world.
We’re spoiled for choice when it comes to beautiful locations that are teeming with fishing. It’s no wonder then that fishing is one one the most popular recreational activities in Australia. But with so many options, where do you decide to dip your line? Easy. Even among world-class fishing, Townsville stands out as having some of the best fishing spots in Australia.
Townsville boasts a vast array of beautiful and lush surrounds that delight the senses. With tropical islands, rugged hinterland and lush rainforests, Townsville is a fantastic place to explore.
You can immerse yourself in the beautiful scenery that Queensland has to offer. Having grown into a coastal metropolis, Townsville is a wonderful spot to spend some time taking in the sights and indulging in some of the best fishing that Australia has to offer.
Eager to find out where the locals wet a line? Consider the following hot spots to improve your chances of taking home that prize catch.
North Cardinal is one of the most overlooked fishing spots just outside of Townsville. It’s an offshore fishing location that requires a boat to get to. North Cardinal is approximately 10nm from the Townsville harbour boat ramp.
Being the only obvious structure in the immediate area, the marker pylon can attract massive shoals of fish, including herring and scad. Plan for a full day out on the water to really make the most of this spot.
The sea can get quite choppy with winds above 10-15nm. Always check your conditions before you head out for the day.
Located just south of Townsville, Alligator Creek is a fantastic spot to go fishing in the warmer months. The hotter temperatures bring in plenty of fish to make it worth a day trip.
Alligator Creek is often muddy so bright and easy to see lures work best here.
Some of the more prolific fish found here include Barramundi, Dusky flathead, Grunter, Mangrove Jack and southern black bream.
Flowing right through the heart of Townsville, the Ross River is a must-visit fishing location. Suitable for both land and boat fishing, Ross River is the perfect place to go if you’re looking to catch some Barramundi.
Look for the rock walls and jetty at the mouth of the river. They provide some fantastic places to cast your lures for all types of fish. You can even throw your lines over several of the bridges that span the river’s length.
Be sure to check for signs that you are allowed to fish in your chosen spot as some areas are off-limits to fishing.
A firm favourite among Townsville locals, Crocodile Creek can be found just south of Alligator Creek. Catching the right tides here is key to hauling in a good catch so be sure to check these before you leave. With everything from deeper holes, open flats, a deep bottom and good structure to the creek, you’re sure to have a good day fishing.
Remember that it’s called Crocodile Creek for a reason; always fish with a clear view of the water in front of you.
For anyone lucky enough to spend some time on Magnetic Island, you’re in luck. Magnetic Island is packed full of beautiful bays, all with unique features. Of the 23 different bays, 14 of them can be fished. The other 9 are Green Zone protected bays. These protected bays are the perfect spots to go snorkelling, so be sure to explore them if you have the chance.
Always consult a zoning map so you know where you can and cannot fish on Magnetic Island.
Take advantage of all that Townsville has to offer!
There’s no doubt that Townsville has some world-class fishing spots for you to explore. With great locations that range from creeks and rivers to the open ocean, you’re sure to find somewhere that resonates with your fishing style.
A great perk of fishing in Townsville and the greater Queensland state is that you don’t need a recreational fishing license. So, with nothing in your way, why not head out and see what fish you can wrangle up? You’re sure to have an absolute stunner of a day partaking in Australia’s favourite pastime.
Black Weir boating permits
Due to high demand, all water ski vessels require a permit to operate on Black Weir. General boating and fishing vessels do not require a permit.
You can book a permit for Black Weir online via the Black Weir site. The booking system allows you to book up to seven days in advance.
Townsville has a number of boat ramps available for launching your boat. Townsville City Council is the managing authority for all of these ramps, with the exception of the Ross Creek Boat Ramp. *Ross Creek is managed by the Townsville Port Authority.