16 Travel Apps for your Big Lap around Australia

 

Before you take off on an epic tour around Australia, be sure to download the Best Travel Apps on the market. There is already so much you need to consider before you set off on your Big Lap. Here is a list of apps to help make your journey safer, smoother, and more fun! Written by: Mountain Sun Sea

Campsite Apps

You may have a hard copy of the Australian campsites from Camps Australia Wide 8 (Camps Australia Wide 9 is due in February 2017) – be sure to download both the Camps Australia Wide and Wikicamps apps.

  1. Camps Australia Wide is $7.99 to download but it contains indispensable information about campsites in addition to photographs of listings from both the Camps Australia Wide guide as well as the Caravan Parks Australia Wide guide.

camps8

Camps Australia Wide – Android

Camps Australia Wide – iTunes

  1. Wikicamps basic version is free, but the full version can be downloaded for a small one-time fee of $7.99 that will grant you access to the app for a lifetime. Wikicamps is a user generated database which is kept up-to-date with the latest information. It works completely offline so you don’t have to worry about signal or a wifi connection.

You just simply download all the content you need to your device before you go! You will find information about free and paid campsites and whether they are accessible for caravans or camper trailers. It shows you where there are caravan parks, road side rest areas, public dump points and much more! Wikicamps uses your location to show you nearby points of interest so you won’t miss anything cool on your journey.

wikicamps

Wikicamps Australia – iTunes

Wikicamps Australia – Android

 

Tracking Apps

  1. TrackMyTour is great for keeping family members up-to-date on your location. This app uses GPS tracking to make it easy for you to highlight places on your trip and send photos or other fun updates to loved ones at home. It’s a great app for travel in terms of keeping in touch with friends and family. The TrackMyTour app and website are free to use, but you are restricted to the number of maps. If you wish to create more maps you can then purchase an upgrade from within the app. TrackMyTour is only compatible on iTunes.

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TrackMyTour – iTunes

The android version is called TrackMyTrip

  1. HemaExplorer – 4WD Maps costs $29.99. This app also uses GPS tracking and it literally follows the exact roads you drive. You do need to purchase maps as they only provide the most basic maps. You can upgrade to HEMA Offline for $99.99 if you are looking at navigating over extremely remote areas, with a real-time offline GPS tracking system and claims to have Australia’s best topographic mapping.

hema

Hema Explorer – Australia – iTunes

Hema Explorer – Australia – Android

WikiCamps also allows you plan your trip and if you need to – move each place as you travel. You can also view your route to help you find and plan other stops along the way. (See link above).

Budgeting Apps

  1. Track-Every-Coin is an app designed for tracking expenses in daily life as well as while traveling. It’s free for download just like you’d expect from a good expense tracker and is a very popular app for travellers.

trackeverycoin

Trail Wallet is a travel budget app designed for iPhones or iPads. It’s free for the first 25 items you track, but then you have to pay to use it.

You could also use Expedition Australia Budget Tracking spreadsheet, hardcopy, or just a book to keep track of your travel expenses.

Fuel App

  1. Fuel Map is a user generated database where the information is added and edited by users showing petrol stations and fuel prices. This app keeps the travellers around Australians in-the-know about the cost of petrol throughout the country.

fuel-map

Fuel Map – iTunes

Fuel Map – Android

Weather Apps

 To keep track of inclement weather conditions en-route to your destination!

  1. Bureau of Meteorology
  1. Weatherzone

weatherzone

Reminder Apps

Use these reminder apps to remember all the important dates and times like when to re-register your car and caravan. It’s easy to lose track of important dates when on the road day-after-day!

  1. Due – iTunes for your iPhone or iPad and E-Reminder for Android

First Aid App

  1. The Red Cross First Aid app is free and it offers access to life-saving information in an emergency.

The Red Cross First Aid app is great to have in addition to your first aid kit.

first-aid

Education Apps

  1. Australian Wildflowers is an essential field guide with more than 70 of the most common species of wildflowers found in our beautiful country! This app will assist you in quickly identifying flowering plants and is a highly valuable reference tool in all locations. This app is well structured and easy to navigate. Perfect for field guides that use picture recognition where every flower in Australian Wildflowers is described in detail showing information about its structure, location, common name, scientific name, botanical family and flowering time. You get all this information with no internet connection – and all images and information is available in real time. Australian Wildflowers is currently only available on iTunes.

aust-wildflower

Australian Wildflowers – iTunes

  1. Michael Morcombe’s Field Guide to Australian Birds app has been called the most comprehensive field guide to Australian birds available in the market today It is complimented by the eGuide featuring an extensive and detailed descriptions of almost all bird species including songs and calls, measurements and breeding behaviour.

The app allows you to save your sightings to a list to include the date and location with room for notes. There is a free ‘lite’ version of the app, but it only lists a handful of the 790 species that the full version has.

Michael Morcombe’s Field Guide to Australian Birds – iTunes Cost is $29.99

Michael Morcombe’s Field Guide to Australian Birds – Android Cost is $28.60

  1. Snakes of Australia is a great app to compliment the First Aid app. Snakes of Australia is a comprehensive electronic field guide of 167 species of Australian snakes. Detailing species profiles including photos, distribution maps, description of key characters, danger rating, similar species, conservation, etymology, pronunciation and more. The great part about this app is the introductory chapters on key aspects of identifying snakes, snake venoms and first aid, and snake biology. No network connection is needed when using this app.

The scale count feature is very handy as is the “filter by location” function cross-checks your location (via iPhone GPS) and shows you only snakes that are likely to occur within your area. This app is currently only available on iTunes

snakes

Snakes of Australia – iTunes Cost is $9.99

  1. Australia is home to many of the world’s most venomous snakes, spiders and marine animals. The free Australian Bites and Stings is an app providing education to our Australian community and will be of use to anyone planning to be out in Australia’s great outdoors – whether it be on the beach, camping, bushwalking or just playing out in a back yard!

A recent study found that despite the vast array of venomous creatures in Australia, the majority of people don’t know what to do if they’re unfortunate enough to be bitten or stung by one. This app is a must have if you are travelling with young children and is also a great compliment to the First Aid app.

bites-and-stings

Australian Bites and Stings

Exploring Apps

  1. GoSkyWatch is a trademark of Apple and as such are only available on iTunes. This app is essential for those nights where you are sitting around the campfire and looking up at the stars! You just point your phone to the sky and start exploring! No buttons to press or selecting modes. GoSkyWatch has a unique rotation scheme with touchless navigation, a red light mode for night vision and magnitude adjustment for great viewing conditions. Planets will show with relative brightness for easy identification, a heads-up information display and a full 180 degree display to see at a glance what is in the sky and where. If you are looking for a particular planet or star – just use the finder and let the arrow guide the way.

goskywatch

Sky Map is the Android alternative with fewer features.

  1. Spyglass is like an advanced compass/GPS Navigation App for iPhone and iPad. Spyglass can be used in the car, on a bike, in a boat, on an aircraft, or walking compass. Spyglass is essential for every traveller! Packed with so many useful tools such as a hi-tech viewfinder (HUD), compass, maps, tactical GPS, waypoint tracker, speedometer, and more! Save, track and share your position, multiple waypoints, and bearings, all in real time.

spyglass

Spyglass – iTunes

Spyglass – Android

Added extra…

The National Public Toilet Map shows the location of more than 14,000 public and private toilet facilities across Australia. This is a great App for families travelling with young children (especially when getting out the spade is not an option)

Using the Trip Planner function, you can plan your journey and locate toilets you can use along the way. The information provides location, opening hours, availability of baby change rooms, and accessibility for people with disabilities and the details of other nearby toilets.

toilet

National Public Toilet Map – iTunes

National Public Toilet Map – Android

One last thing before you go – help us by sharing to let others know who may benefit from this information!

We are about to hit the road ourselves in less than 4 weeks time – so if you can recommend any other awesome apps for travelling around Australia – add them in the comments.

Sharing is caring!

Happy travels everyone!

 

Written by: Mountain Sun Sea

Meet The Gibbons

We are the Gibbons family (facebook page ‘One Day We Should‘). We are a family of 5 -Kirby, Gibbo, and 3 children aged 5,3 and 2. We are from Tassie. In May 2017 we set off with no set plan, destinations, restrictions or time limit to travel and see Australia! We really are making it up as we go! We cruise about in our bt-50 towing our new New Age BigRed triple bunk with ensuite.

Our decision to travel Australia came after watching Expedition Australias DVD series a couple years ago. We decided ‘why wait? Let’s just do it now’ instead of ‘one day we should’. The biggest challenge for me personally was leaving my family while they deal with my (51yo) dads diagnosis of early onset dementia. This diagnosis has also been a huge motivator to hit the road. There’s always plenty of excuses and reasons why you shouldn’t or can’t but we just outweighed the good with the bad and there is no better time than now! You never know what the future holds for you and your little family. So don’t wait till it’s too late.

We sold our little farm in Tasmania and majority of our belongings (house settled in May but as always it didn’t quite go to plan and settled later than expected). We now own only what fits under our payload! A month before moving out of our farm we lived in the driveway in our caravan while we finished cleaning and sorting the last bits of our house before handover.

So far the kids are loving the adventure, the experience, the learning and exploring we just know we’ve made the right decision. You can’t get this life experience sitting in a classroom.

This whole experience selling and packing up and travelling has already been a HUGE emotional rollercoaster. We love having a goal to work towards and a plan and while we are travelling we haven’t got one. We have no safety net of a house to come back to. We’ve been on the verge of threatening divorce a couple times and that was only a week into the trip. We are all squished in so close to each with nowhere to hide which is a learning experience within its self.

Follow us to see how our trip pans out #thegoodandthebad

Facebook page- @onedayweshould
Instagram -@onedayweshould
Webpage- www.campersway.com/onedayweshould

Our experience at the 12 Apostles- Great Ocean Road Victoria and what we DIDN’T expect to find there

Driving along the Great Ocean Road and seeing the apostles has always been on our ‘must see list’. So glad we did, the views are breathtakingly beautiful. The colours in the sandy walls, the sound of the harsh and wild waves crashing against them is just something everyone needs to experience in person. Something I never expected to find there was the atmosphere… and not in a good way. It was like being in the middle of the Melbourne CBD. It was crazy busy with hundreds of people, tour bus after tour bus, and multiple helicopters flying overhead constantly. It just felt so commercial. I had this vision in my head of a remote place where there’s nothing but us and maybe a few others and that epic view. Instead, we were walking among hundreds of tourists who were bumping into you because they were too busy walking along staring into their phones (held out on selfie sticks) having no idea of their surroundings. We left feeling overwhelmed and decided to head back at sundown when there were less people and we could fully absorb the beauty of the place. We didn’t have to fight for a spot on the viewing platform, we weren’t bumped into and at times we really were the only ones there. Sunset was just beautiful I definitely recommend holding off till later in the day to capture the true beauty of this place 👌.

 

My name is Alyx-Jane, and this is my story.

Hello!

My name is Alyx-jane. I have spent my whole life by the ocean, I’ve always loved the simplicity and perspective the sea gave me. Stepping off the tar road that was curtained by bustling suburbia where everyone was on a mission. Making my way down a thin bush track where I could hear birds chiming and the wind sliding past the leaves that created a roof, seeming to reach through the air across the track that created a barrier between everyday expectations and the sand dunes that kissed the salt water. I was present in this space; I was conscious of every breath that passed my lips and could feel every grain under my soles, there was nothing else. As I made my way down to the beach, where I would just sit and listen to nothing but the ocean lapping; so out of control yet beautiful. I felt like even the worst day could be washed away by salt water rolling over my body.

When I was by the ocean all I had were my purest thoughts that were not clouded by a social structure or expectations. It was a place where I felt clarity and an incredible sense of freedom. To live a life where I could feel as infinitely magical as I did by the ocean is what brought me across the path of Roxanne.

Roxanne is my beloved VW transporter that I have been renovating into my cosy home on wheels. She allows me to strip back and de-clutter my life, allowing more time to really live. Just like there is the sound and vibrations of the ocean, Roxanne opens my world up to other little pleasures in life that the fast lane allows only glimpses of. Whether it’s passionately screaming my favourite lyrics with my boyfriend Angus as we drive down new roads with the sun warming our cheeks or nights spent around a campfire in a secluded location, looking at stars we have never seen before.

I am still adding touches to Roxanne. She came across my path with no camper-van features except for insulated plywood walls to keep her cosy in winter and cool in summer. This has left me with a beautiful shell to put all my seemingly endless ideas into place! So far she has a bed with plenty of drawer storage and I have also renovated the walls. This blog will share her camper van conversion journey and the adventures she takes us on.

Alyx-jane Smith

The Jeep Attachment, Made For The Campers

When it comes to off-road performance, you can’t go past the Jeep® Wrangler®. But you would never believe me if I told you that you could sleep in the tight metal shell.. Until now… For $36,000 USD.

The Action Camper© has been developed for overlanding and expeditions with two passengers. The interior is incredibly spacious and fitted with all of the amenities to have a comfortable and unforgettable expedition experience to remote areas. The pop-up roof offers in the kitchen area a clearance of 203cm (6’8″). All Dometic S4 windows come with bug screens and blinds. The honeycomb insulated roof allows to install four 100W solar panels (400W total). The roof tent has three vinyl windows; the side windows open and offer bug screens; all three come with detachable privacy covers. The mattresses, seats, backrests, pillows and part of the walls are covered with stylish coloured, cleanable Alcantara.

 

Some great camping spots for 4×4 owners in WA

There’s nothing better than throwing the camping gear in your car and getting away from the city for a couple of days. There are so many amazing places to camp at, and you don’t have to travel for hours on end to get to them. Here are 7 fantastic camp sites near Perth, where you can literally pack on a Friday afternoon, head away and still get a great weekend in.

1. Walyunga

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Walyunga National Park is probably the closest place to Perth where you are allowed to camp in the bush. Located just one hour northeast of Perth, it’s a fantastic spot to check out. I’ve often described this place as a cross between Dwellingup and Serpentine. It has the beautiful Avon river flowing through the National park, a myriad of walking trails, BBQ and picnic facilities and most importantly, a place for you to camp!

You need to book the campsites, which you can do by ringing 9290 6100 and speaking to a ranger. The camp sites are located a few minutes drive away from the main picnic and riverside area, but are in a nice cleared section of bush.

As it is a National Park, day passes apply (unless you have an annual pass). It’s $12 per vehicle. You can find out more about these here. The Camp fees are the usual $7.50 per night.

The wildflowers are spectacular here in season, and with plenty of tracks to walk on you’ll see heaps of them. If you want to know more about the national park, you can read the full post here: Walyunga National Park.

walyunga-national-park-camping

Easy access, with fire rings available.

avon-river-at-walyunga

Walking along the Avon River.

picnic-facilities-at-walyunga

Enjoy a picnic overlooking the river.

walyunga-national-park-bbq

BBQ Facilities available.

wildflowers-at-perth-national-park

Lots of wildflowers around in season.

2. Lane Poole Reserve

An hour and a half south of Perth lies Lane Poole Reserve, just out of Dwellingup. We’ve been going to Lane Poole Reserve every year for a long time now, and always love it. There are 10 different camp sites which vary from huge open areas to more private sites that only house two sets of campers.

The beautiful Murray River runs right through the reserve and is fantastic for swimming, canoeing, white water rafting and fishing.

Fires are permitted when the fire danger is low, and it is a brilliant spot to enjoy a good fire on a cold evening. It does get very cold in the middle of winter, so take your warm gear!

There are plenty of 4WD and mountain bike tracks in the area too.

Again, National Park and camping fee apply. The entry fee is $12 per vehicle unless you have a National Park pass. Camping fee’s range from $7.50 per night to $10, depending on where you stay.

You can read the full post here; Dwellingup. If you want to book a camp site, you can do so here.

dwellingup-murray-river

Fishing in a beautiful part of the Murray River.

murray-river-fog-at-dwellingup

Watching the fog come in on a cold winters morning.

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One of the huge open campsites on a busy weekend.

dwellingup-water-slide

Enjoying the little rock slides.

dwellingup-beauty

What a magic place.

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A good campfire on a freezing night.

105-series-at-dwellingup

Plenty of 4WD tracks around the place.

3. Waroona Dam

Lake Navarino, or Waroona Dam, has long been a popular place to camp. You can stay at the Holiday park, or take the bush camping option (which we do every time!) and stay nearer the dam itself. Both are booked through Lake Navarino Holiday Park.

Waroona Dam is pretty big, and is well known for skiing and fresh water fishing. There’s also fantastic 4WD tracks around the Dam and plenty of places to relax and soak up the scenery.

Fires are permitted in season, and the camping fees range from $12 to $17 per person per night, depending on where you camp, if its peak season and if you need power or not.

camping-at-waroona

Camping within 50 metres of the Dam.

waroona-dam-skiing

Plenty of room for water skiing and tubing.

waroona-moon-rise

When the wind dies off its a magic place.

waroona-dam-4wd-tracks

Exploring some of the 4WD tracks around the Dam.

waroona-dam-sunset

Sunset over the orange gravel is spectacular.

4. Belvidere

If coastal camping is more your thing, Belvidere is a great little spot we found a few years back. The actual campsite is a few minutes drive back from the beach, tucked in between Leschenault Inlet and Belvidere Beach. At only an hour and 40 minutes away from Perth, it’s easily doable on a Friday afternoon.

The beach here is soft, and you will need a 4WD to drive along it. It’s substantially quieter than Preston and Myalup Beach, but the fishing is just as good.

It’s a DPAW camp site, and the fees are $7.50 per person per night. There is also provision for camper trailer and caravan’s here, and the firewood is usually provided.

If you want to read the full post, you can find it here; Camping at Belvidere.

oztents-at-belvidere

Set up with the Oztents at Belvidere.

belvidere-camp-sites

Your typical camp site at Belvidere.

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Belvidere Beach; fishing for salmon.

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Lots of opportunity for good fish.

salmon-at-belvidere

We landed several nice salmon.

5. Honeymoon Pool

If you’ve ever seen the Collie River, you’d know it’s a beautiful spot to stop and soak up the scenery. Honeymoon Pool is a DPAW campsite located right on the bank of the river and is 2WD and 4WD accessible. It’s just 2 hours south of Perth and is a stunning part of the world.

The Lennard 4WD track is well worth the drive, but be aware that it does get closed once the rain hits, to avoid substantial damage to the track.

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Collie River just off the Lennard 4WD Track

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Amazing walks along the Collie River

Honeymoon Pool camping

You can swim, but it gets cold!

6. Martins Tank

An hour and a half south of Perth, 10 minutes drive from the coast lies Martins Tank. It’s another DPAW camp site, set amongst the peppermint trees.

This was done up in 2013 and caters for tents, caravans and camper trailers. Campfires are permitted in season, and fees are $10 per person per night.

This campsite must be booked online in advance, which you can do here.

southern-beaches

Enjoying our own little slice of the beach.

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Martins Tank Campsites.

camping-at-martins-tank

Enough shade and the usual facilities.

7. Wellington Dam

The last, but certainly not least camp site near Perth is Wellington Dam. At just over 2 hours south of Perth its a great drive to an even better location. Potters Gorge is the formal DPAW campsite, which has recently been refurbished and caters for a number of campers. This site, however, gets extremely busy very quickly.

If you have a 4WD, there are plenty of other campsites around the dam if you are prepared to do a bit of driving. Even on a popular long weekend, we had no issues finding a handful of good campsites along the banks of Wellington Dam and ended up camping in a beautiful location.

wellington-dam-camping

Could you ask for a better spot?

wellington-dam-4wd-tracks

We’ve had plenty of fun enjoying the 4WD tracks.

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Sunset over the dam; what a way to end the day.

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Huge tree’s rustling in the breeze.

Look after these places

It is a huge privilege being able to access these amazing camp sites. Don’t wreck them for everyone else; take your rubbish home, go to the toilets responsibly, have a fire with some common sense (when allowed) and don’t be a muppet.

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Is this Australia’s Best Caravan Park?

Our most recent stay in a caravan park was at the Big 4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort. We had seen all the spectacular photos online and knew that it was rated as one of Australia’s best caravan parks, so we had agreed months ago that it was on our ‘to visit’ list.

We arrived and it was a piece of paradise. Usually we wouldn’t consider staying in a park that was charging over $35 per night, however, this time, we made an exception. The facilities that they had to offer were well and truly worth the extra dollars.

A resort style pool with two waterslides, mini golf, tennis court, badminton, volleyball, two jumping pillows and an animal park – there was plenty to keep us all entertained. If the above facilities weren’t tempting enough, they are currently underway building one of Australia’s biggest resort water parks with 13 slides.

 

Throughout the year, school holidays or not; they run a daily activity schedule. During our 6-night stay, we had fun biscuit decorating, watched two outdoor movies and enjoyed pancakes by the pool for breakfast, all hosted by the resort.

 

Leaving the park was like having those dreaded ‘post-holiday blues’, “do we really have to leave?” is what we asked ourselves. It may not be an officially recognised term but you all know what we are talking about. Now… if that is not a true indication of how much we enjoyed our stay, from people who consider themselves to be on long term holidays; then we’re not sure what else is.

A park that caters for the whole family – we will be back!

Follow: The Pyke Clan

What is your favourite caravan park? Leave a comment below.

How to hook a big fish this summer on the South Coast

All roads lead to the south coast this summer.

Cars will soon be bumper-to-bumper on the Clyde and Brown mountains as Canberrans pour out of the capital to feel the sun on their backs and the sand between their toes.

If you’re lucky enough to be among them, there’s a fair chance you’ll also have a fishing rod or two stowed somewhere in the boot in between the bogey boards, beach towels and camping chairs.

The south coast, after all, is blessed with some of the most pristine estuaries and beaches in the state.

Eurobodalla (the stretch of coast from just north of Batemans Bay to just south of Narooma) means “Land of Many Waters” in the local Aboriginal dialect.

It’s a haven for anyone who likes to wet a line, whether you’re an experienced angler or someone who fishes just once or twice a year.

Dedicated Recreational Fishing Havens – inlets, rivers and lakes completely off limits to commercial fishing – have helped boost fish numbers in a number of estuaries, resulting in enjoyable sport for anglers of all abilities.

But that doesn’t mean the fishing is always easy.

In fact, I know what a lot of you did last summer; many of you probably struggled on the fishing front, right?

Catching fish on the coast isn’t always straightforward, especially across the manic Christmas-New Year period.

That’s hardly surprising when you look at the population explosion that occurs on the coast over Christmas.

To give you an idea, Batemans Bay swells from about 16,000 people to more than 50,000 at the peak of summer.

Other popular towns, including Ulladulla, Moruya, Narooma, Bermagui and Merimbula also burst at the seams.

You can imagine the impact this sudden influx of people has on the coastal waterways.

If I was a whiting or flathead, and my normally placid home was suddenly invaded by boats, outboards, kayaks, jet-skis and hundreds of fishing lines, I’d go into hiding.

And that’s exactly what happens in and around the popular coastal holiday spots, especially in late December and early January when hot spots like the Clyde River and Tuross Lake look more like Sydney Harbour on New Year’s Eve!

It makes fishing a challenge and, unfortunately, holidaying anglers can draw a complete blank during their coastal break.

Experienced south coast angler and Bermagui tackle shop owner Scott Bradley witnesses visiting fishers struggle every summer.

“The influx of Canberra anglers is certainly noticed by us all along the coast,” Bradley says.

“Whether they’re regular fishos or first timers, we want to make sure they have the best chance to catch a fish in these waters. Obviously, we want to see them again and enjoying the experience is a big part of that.”

Bradley says there are a few simple things holidaying anglers can do to stack the odds in their favour over the silly season.

You snooze, you lose

Summer holidays and sleep-ins go hand-in-hand, but if you’re serious about bagging some fish over the break, it’s time to rise and shine. If you can’t get away from other anglers, Bradley recommends getting on the water before them.

“That half-hour window at first light is peak feeding time for a lot of popular summer species, including bream, whiting and tailor,” he says.

Better still, boat traffic and other noise isn’t an issue at dawn as fellow anglers enjoy a sleep in while you reel-in breakfast.

If you can’t bear to drag yourself out of bed before sunrise, the hours around dusk and after dark can be just as fruitful. It’s amazing how many times you see fishers packing up their gear and heading home because it’s getting close to dinner time. Remember, sundown is dinner time for the fish as well!

Watch your weight

If Bradley could give holidaying anglers one piece of advice in the lead up to this summer it’s to lighten their approach.

“Simple things like fishing light enough line and weight to not discourage a bite is important,” he says.

If you’re bait fishing this summer, focus on using the smallest sinker possible for the conditions. Sinkers shouldn’t be thought of as ‘anchors’ to keep your rig on the ocean floor. Sinkers should be used to get your bait into the ‘strike zone’ and keep it there for as long as possible. Big sinkers are really only for very deep water or very strong currents.

The same applies to fishing line. If you’re fishing for popular estuary species like flathead, bream and whiting, don’t use thick 30kg breaking strain line. You won’t catch a thing. Heavy line spooks fish. Use light line matched to a nice, light, balanced rod and reel. You’ll enjoy better results and have, ultimately, a lot more fun.

Beat the crowds

During the peak holiday period, successful anglers make a point of getting off the beaten track in search of a fish or two.

“The beauty of this region is there are many parts of our estuaries and beaches where you will still find isolation, or at least fewer people,” Bradley says.

Take crowds out of the equation by walking, driving, kayaking or boating into more secluded locations. It’s amazing how rapidly your fishing fortunes can turn when you find a spot to yourself. Sure, it takes a little time and effort, but if you get an opportunity, try to get ‘off the grid’ this summer and see what a difference it makes.

The most important thing, of course, is to enjoy your fishing this summer, whether your results are mediocre or marvellous.

Bradley sums it up well with this final piece of advice.

“Just be sure to hit the coast prepared to fish for the variety of species on offer,” he says.

“Whether it be garfish, bream, flathead and whiting in the lakes and rivers, salmon and tailor off the rocks and beaches, a little thought in your approach, some adjustment to your tackle and a dose of expert advice will help.”

Tight lines everyone!

Top tips for summer holiday fishing

Fish light – use the lightest sinkers and lines possible.

Don’t sleep in – the best fishing occurs at first light. Dusk is also productive.

Avoid crowds – walk, paddle or motor to less crowded areas and you’ll be rewarded with more fish.

Get fresh – fresh and live bait gathered yourself will always out-fish frozen or day-old bait.

Seek advice – ask tackle shop staff (like Scott and his team), local anglers or fellow holidaymakers for tips.

Things to remember

Anglers 16 years and over fishing the south coast require a NSW Recreational Fishing License. These can be purchased from most tackle shops or via www.dpi.nsw.gov.au Licenses cost $7 for three days; $14 for one month; $35 for one year; or $85 for three years.

Sections of the NSW south coast are designated Marine Parks and include ‘Sanctuary Zones’ off limits to recreational fishing. Before you fish, check out www.dpi.nsw.gov.au for details on these ‘no go’ areas.

Size and bag limits apply to many popular south coast species, and fisheries inspectors are often out checking catches over the peak holiday period. So make sure you’re across the rules and regulations, which can also be found at www.dpi.nsw.gov.au

 

Written by: Ben Caddaye
This article was first published by Fairfax on December 18 2016

Time for a reel adventure

At first blush, Canberra isn’t the obvious city to base yourself if you’re a keen angler.

But this landlocked city has a lot to offer the fishing enthusiast. I’ve lived here for 38 years and can’t think of a better capital city to live in from a fishing perspective.

A lot of Canberrans fish. Some are diehard addicts who eat, sleep and breathe the sport.

Others are casual or weekend anglers, who dangle a line when they can – sometimes just once or twice a year.

One thing’s for certain, though, in the next six weeks or so, more Canberrans are likely to wet a line than at any other time of the year.

The vast majority will make the pilgrimage down the Kings Highway and Clyde Mountain, headed for Batemans Bay or holiday spots to the north and south.

The fishing in this part of the world in summer can be nothing short of sensational. Holidaying anglers are spoilt for choice, too.

There are estuarine rivers and lakes for those with kayaks or children, rocks and beaches for fishers with a sense of adventure, and bountiful offshore reefs for anglers with access to a boat.

Regardless of where you fish, there’s a variety of species on offer.

In the estuaries, bream, flathead and whiting will dominate anglers’ bags over Christmas. All three species can be caught quite easily on baits or lures and all are great on the barbecue.

On the beaches and rocks, hard-fighting tailor and salmon will provide plenty of thrills and spills in the white-water.

While not everyone’s cup of tea in the culinary stakes, both fish are spectacularly fun on the end of a fishing line and will hit a variety of baits and lures with gusto.

Out in the deeper water, those with boats will find lots of snapper, flathead, leatherjacket and other tasty reef fish.

At this time of the year, tongues of warm water also lick areas off the far south coast, bringing with them exciting game fish such as tuna, kingfish and even marlin.

It means a trip offshore on the south coast can be very much like a lucky dip – you often never know what’s going to eat your offering next … and that makes it all the more appealing.

While there are plenty of fish in the sea, if you are going to try your luck on the south coast these holidays, don’t always expect the fishing to be easy.

Crowded waterways, increased boat traffic and anglers lined shoulder-to-shoulder at popular locations, can all make summertime fishing on the coast a real challenge.

People, boats, outboard motors, noise and splashing scare fish – it’s as simple as that. So, this summer, try to make the effort to head off the beaten track a bit – where there are fewer people and more fish.

One of the best ways to avoid the crowds is to grab a kayak or canoe and invest some time and energy into exploring the many secluded south-coast creeks that are off limits to holiday-makers with bigger boats.

This can be a really enjoyable form of fishing – you’ll get some exercise, experience some picture-postcard scenery and, importantly, catch more fish. You will also have greater success if you can time your fishing trips for the very early morning or late evening. Not only will you have the waterways to yourself at this time of the day, it also coincides with the peak period of activity for most fish species.

To fish successfully, you need the right tools for the job.

Judging by what I see every holiday season, fishing with inappropriate tackle – usually in the form of thick lines and heavy sinkers – is where most ”weekend” anglers go wrong. For the most part, fishing with light tackle is the best way to guarantee success on the water this season.

Fish hate feeling anything untoward when they pick up a bait – and a big lump of lead on a heavy line creates resistance that is guaranteed to put fish off the bite.

When it comes to choosing your fishing gear this summer, select the lightest tackle you can get away with.

Don’t be afraid to seek a bit of local knowledge. If you don’t fish the south coast regularly, it can easily take days or weeks to find fish. By this time, the trip could be over.

Seek guidance from tackle shops or hire a charter or fishing guide to show you the ropes.

Alternatively, hook up with a local resident or someone extremely familiar with the area; they can show or teach you in minutes what would otherwise take you days to discover on your own.

Summer is the ideal time to introduce kids to the joys of fishing and the best way to make it a ”joy” is to catch fish – any fish.

Kids getting started in the world of fishing don’t care if it’s a tuna or a toadfish – as long as they catch something.

Bread-and-butter species that are easy to find, easy to hook and easy to wind in are ideal. Whiting, mullet, yellowtail and slimy mackerel spring to mind – but there are plenty more.

Even species we regard as pests, such as toadfish, can bring joy to the face of a junior angler.

Bait fishing is probably the best option for children, as it tends to result in more action, even if it is in the form of tiddlers.

As always, fresh is best. In fact, why not involve kids in the bait-gathering process. You will often find that youngsters enjoy pumping nippers, chasing crabs or trapping poddy mullet as much – if not more – than fishing.

If you’re fishing the NSW south coast you will need a NSW Recreational Fishing Licence. These can be purchased at most tackle shops, Kmart stores or online at dpi.nsw.gov.au.

Fishing licences cost $6 for three days, $12 for a month, $30 for a year or $75 for three years. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, pensioners and under-18s are exempt.

Bear in mind that the areas to the north and south of Batemans Bay are within the Batemans Marine Park, and there are sections within the park that are off limits to all forms of fishing. Maps of the marine park are available from tackle shops.

Tight lines!

 

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