Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Get Hooked on Croc Country Fishing

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

Get Hooked on Croc Country Fishing

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Paton

WEIPA. It's not a very exotic name but the largest town on the very tip of Queensland has some of the very best aspects of an exotic destination.

To start with there is the distance that it lies from the major population centres in Queensland. In fact it is closer to Port Moresby than it is to Cairns.

Its place in Australian history is assured as Duyfken Point just to the north of Weipa, is now agreed to be the first recorded point of European contact with the Australian continent.

Dutch explorer Janzoon, on his ship the Duyfken, sighted the coast here in 1606. This was 164 years before Cook sailed up the east coast of Australia.

My interest in Weipa stems from the fantastic fishing that can be had in the waters surrounding the township.

Weipa juts out into Albatross Bay, surrounded to the north by the Mission River and to the south by the Hay and the Embley Rivers. My son and I have been travelling to Weipa for many years.

Access to Weipa is either via the long drive up the Peninsula Development Rd, usually only accessible during the dry season, or you can try to find a berth on one of the boats that supply Weipa, or take advantage of the two flights per day from Cairns that Qantaslink provides.

Accommodation options are limited, The Heritage Resort, the local campground or the Albatross Hotel.

We stayed at the Albatross Hotel, which is owned by Queensland Brewing Icon Bernie Power.

The rooms are basic, but they are air-conditioned and the beds comfortable. The hotel has a wonderful deck that overlooks the Gulf of Carpentaria and offers some stunning views of sunsets while you sip a cooling ale. The restaurant turns out good-quality meals and if you are lucky enough to bring home some fillets from the local waters, they will prepare them with great care for you.

On the subject of fishing, we used the services of Lee Hodgetts, from Weipa Sports Fishing. Lee has recognised the potential of Weipa as one of Australia's premier sports-fishing destinations and invested in two state-of-the art fishing boats.

You can access some stunning pelagic fishing for tuna, mackerel, queenfish and even sailfish and black marlin. …

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