Hitch up the tinnie or strap on the kayak and head to NSW’s best calm water destinations.
Topping our list is the spectacular Forster in the Great Lakes Region of the Mid-North Coast, three hours north of Sydney. When it comes to flat saltwater fishing, this place is paradise.
The town itself is perched at the confluence of the Coolongolook and Wallamba Rivers at the mouth of sprawling Wallis Lake, forming an intricate network of oyster leases, islands and sandbars. Here you’ll find whiting, flathead, bream and jewfish, and in the unlikely event the fishing is slow you’re bound to be entertained by one of the resident dolphin pods. They are abundant in this waterway, evidently wise to the fishing potential of this coastal paradise.
Flat water fishing heaven just a stone’s throw from the Sydney CBD – could it be true? See for yourself when you visit Pittwater, a sprawling tidal estuary separating the Northern Beaches of Sydney from the Central Coast.
This picturesque body of water is home to more than just swanky waterfront homes and secluded island hideaways, it’s one of the best places in the country to catch kingfish, especially in the warmer months. Other species you’re likely to encounter here include cobia, samson, amberjack and spotted mackerel.
South Coast still water magic can be found at Narooma, five hours south of Sydney. This sleepy seaside hamlet is nothing short of stunning, its sparkling Wagonga Inlet snaking lazily towards the sea as the remnants of ancient volcanic mountains stand guard.
The word ‘Narooma’ is derived from the aboriginal word meaning ‘clear blue waters’, so if its aquatic pursuits you’re after, you’ve come to the right place. There are five boat ramps here so plenty of places to launch your tinnie, or alternatively boats are available for hire.
Fishing Narooma’s Wagonga Inlet you might find flathead, whiting, bream, tailor, mullaway and the occasional snapper.
4. Snowy Mountains
If you’re inclined to head to the hills for your holidays, you’ll find a network of pristine alpine rivers, streams, lakes and dams at the Snowy Mountains of NSW. These icy waterways are abundant in brown and rainbow trout – indeed the Snowies are considered the best place in NSW to chase freshwater trout. You might also come across an Atlantic salmon, if you’re lucky. Whether you’re an avid fly fisher or a curious first-timer, the Snowy Mountains is the place for you. From the Tumut River to Lake Eucumbene and Blowering Dam, there’s a waterway here to accommodate your every fishing exploit.
Add to the mix a stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains and the pristine wilderness of the Kosciuszko National Park, and you’ve got a freshwater fishing destination that’s nothing short of breathtaking.
5. Georges Junction
A hidden freshwater oasis located 80km east of Armidale, Georges Junction is a camping reserve on the upper reaches of the Macleay River. It’s nestled amongst the towering peaks of the Great Dividing Range and fringed by the Oxley Wild Rivers National Park, considered one of the great wilderness areas of NSW.
Accessible by 4WD, Georges Junction is perfect for kayak- and land-based fishing. There’s camping available, or alternatively accommodation at nearby Bass Lodge.
Dangle a line here and you might find native Australian bass or trout.