30 Dec Top Australian Fishing Destinations – Wilderness Island
Fishing Travel – Wilderness Island – Exmouth West Australia
Wilderness Island is an exclusive island getaway, hidden over the horizon on the eastern fringe of the Exmouth Gulf in North Western Australia. Wilderness Island is a true fishing and ecological paradise. Specialising in catering to small groups, the team at Wilderness Island Safari Holidays offer an exclusive and unforgettable experience for the adventure fisherman.
In a virtually untouched environment guests can expect to experience the beauty of the Island and its surrounding waters and take part in a range of activities including fishing, diving, whale watching, snorkelling, kayaking, bird watching, exploring, star gazing or just simply relaxing.
Living up to the true definition of the term “wilderness”, the island is ideally located in the pristine waters that make up the Eastern passage of the Exmouth Gulf. Small in stature though large in options, the island is just 1.6 kilometres long and 800 metres wide. From sandy beaches and limestone cliffs to mangroves and sand dunes, Wilderness Island delivers much for the explorer to experience.
Your host, Jim Alston has captured the imagination of many travellers with his ‘Robinson Crusoe’ inspired ecological camp. Jim has designed and built the facilities on the island amongst the natural surroundings with the most minimal impact possible. “It’s rustic, simple and homely, with an outback touch to it and good splash of luxury added for good measure”. – Jim Alston
The Fishing – Wilderness Island
Exmouth is home to some of the best fishing Australia has to offer. Wilderness Island is widely recognised as “the best flats fishing destination in Australia”. You can’t get much closer to the action – the camp is located just 15 metres from the high water mark providing ready access to some of the best land based sport fishing in the country.
So what’s on offer from shore? The species are seemingly endless but you can expect a hit from Golden Trevally, Giant Trevally, Giant Herring, Mangrove Jack, Permit, Barramundi, Spanish Mackerel, Queenfish (over 1 metre in length), Longtail Tuna, Snapper, Cod, Bluebone Groper and Coral Trout amongst around
100 other species of fish.
A stay at Wilderness Island ensures that no matter what the wind or weather throws at you, you can continue to fish. Windy days can be spent fishing the prolific mangrove systems and the renowned flats that are protected by the headlands and islands on the eastern side of Exmouth Gulf.
The offshore shoals are very productive with the popular Sailfish, Longtail Tuna, Cobia and Spanish Mackerel. The main aggregation zone for sailfish in the Exmouth Gulf is just 13 miles from the Wilderness Island base camp. If you don’t have a boat, arrangements can be made to hire a vessel to suit your needs.
So, whether you are a fly fisherman, sports fisherman or just a keen amateur angler, whether you want a fully guided fishing charter or you want to bring your own boat and look after yourself, the team at Wilderness Island can provide you with a fishing trip you will remember for a long time to come.
Game Fishing – Wilderness Island
There are two ‘Game Fishing’ options available for guests on Wilderness Island:
Option 1: (Rates start at $1,750.00 per day for 4 guests – All inclusive)
Full Day Game Fishing – An early start will see you heading to where the big fish are. Catching live bait along the way will prove an enjoyable distraction as you head out to the fishing grounds. A spread of lures or slow trolling live baits may be the order of the day. The more adventurous may want to try their hand at ‘tease and switch’, an exciting and productive way of catching billfish.
Or you may prefer…
Full Day Sport Fishing – An early start will have those mackerel wishing they never visited Exmouth Gulf. As you head out to catch some great speedsters of the ocean, you better be prepared! Big Spaniards on light gear, Cobia and Longtail Tuna are all on offer. There are also inshore options with record sized Golden Trevally, Queenfish, Cobia and Mack Tuna all available in the calm waters of the gulf.
Either option includes…
Popper Fishing: Casting big poppers and stick baits to the likes of an angry GT or massive Queenfish is a truly spectacular way of spending a day. All tackle is supplied or you are welcome to bring your own.
Jigging: Jigging for the mighty Amberjack, Trevally and Tuna will have your braid singing with glee (and your back aching by the end of the day). Jigging for tasty species like Pearl Perch or Gold-band Snapper will have you looking forward to a delicious evening meal of fresh caught fish.
Fly Fishing: For those who prefer to fly fish you can visit the inshore reefs and flats casting at Queenfish, GT’s and Golden Trevally. Try your hand at casting for Tuna who are intent on ending a poor baitfish’s life! If getting a bill fish to hit your feather really gets you excited, your guides will happily tease up one of the bountiful Marlin or Sailfish to give you the best shot possible at landing a fly fishing holy grail!
Bottom Fishing: Drop your bait into the abyss and hook a delectable reef fish. All types of bottom fishing are catered for in depths from 20 to 200m. Red Emperor, Coral and Coronation Trout, Blue Line, Spangled and Red Throat Emperor, Cods, Gold Band Snapper and many other tasty fish can be targeted. All tackle is supplied, there are no hand-lines used, and your catch is gutted and gilled for you.
Option 2: (Minimum 3-day adventure $1,800.00 per day for up to 5 anglers)
The waters surrounding Exmouth are home to some of the most amazing reef fishing Australia has to offer. The Wilderness Island Safari’s fishing charters use state of the art equpment, to give guests the best possible chance of landing those fish of a lifetime. Try jigging, twitching a soft plastic or soaking a bait for Red Emporer, Ruby or Goldband Snapper, Coral Trout, Rankin Cod and Norwest snapper.
If sports fishing is more your style, flick lures and poppers at, Queenfish, Cobia, Golden Trevally, Mackerel and Longtail Tuna or get your blood pumping as you try to wrestle one of Exmouths giant trevally out of the reef. The fishing charters cater for small intimate groups of up to 5 passengers and provide a personalised charter you will remember for years to come.
Spear Fishing: Exmouth and its surrounding waters are blessed with some amazing dive sites, A tailored a spear fishing charter can be arranged to suit your needs and abilities.
Spend a day diving the depths targeting Red Emporer, Green Jobfish and Rankin Cod around the offshore reefs or choose to drift dive the blue water surfaces for pelagic species such as Wahoo, Spanish Mackerel, Dolphin Fish and Tuna, whatever your preference there is an option to suit you.
For safety reasons, an experienced guide will be in the water with you at all times and the use of float lines is compulsory. All diving gear can be hired if the idea of carting your equipment with you is not ideal. Spear fishing is totally selective; absolutely no by-catch is tolerated on the charters. As part of the eco management strategy of the camp you are encouraged to limit your catch and asked to take only what you need.
Accommodation on Wilderness Island
Over the summer of 2012 new accommodation was built on the island to cater for a market with more discerning tastes. With only five cabins perched on a secluded cliff top just 15 metres from the waters edge, the cabins are simple yet comfortable with majestic views over the Exmouth Gulf.
The laid back atmosphere at Wilderness Island is stress-free and unpretentious making it the ideal place to discuss the day’s itinerary, relax with a book from the library, listen to some great music or just listen to the whisper of waves upon the beach. Without the daily interruption of crowds, busy schedules, TV, phones and Internet, the Island is the perfect destination to live out a unique wilderness experience.
The focus of the camp is all about minimising impact on the islands environment and eco system. Ensuring that guests can get as close to nature as possible, there is a noticeable emphasis on ecologically sound management.
The Cabins – cater mainly for couples or twin share, although they can be arranged to 4-person occupancy on request. Each has a private deck providing uninterrupted views over the ocean. There’s nothing quite like a quiet afternoon relaxing in your hammock in your own private space.
Cabins include mosquito screens, comfortable beds and all linen is supplied. The bathroom is one of the features of the stay. Built directly into the cliff face on the beach, guests can enjoy a warm bath or shower and watch the spectacular sunset whilst the waves crash onto the shore.
The Camp – is your central hub on the island and is situated on top of an elevated cliff. There’s plenty on offer including indoor and outdoor lounges, dining area, bar, kitchen with pizza oven and a sun deck overlooking the Exmouth Gulf.
Meals include the freshest of seafood delights taken straight from the ocean. The camp offers a well stocked larder if you prefer something other than seafood. Being fully self-contained, the camp also provides fresh rainwater for drinking, gas stove, refrigerators, freezers, lights and power for charging electronic devices.
Wilderness Island Philosophy
The owners understand the need to protect the natural environment for future generations. The philosophy of the island is simple – to be as gentle on the surroundings as humanly possible. Eco management practices include:
- Producing water from solar operated water makers.
- Sustainable fishing measures, no fish are ever taken from the area.
- Use of local produce where possible and they even grow some of their own.
- Solar power is generated and used as much as possible.
- Grey water is recycled for use around the grounds.
Getting to Wilderness Island
Guests are transferred from Exmouth by Plane or boat. There is no direct access from the mainland. The trip by boat takes around one hour (depending on weather conditions). Plane trips to the island take about 20 minutes. If you have your own boat – GPS coordinates are provided prior to your departure.
Both Qantas and Virgin Airlines operate direct flights to Learmonth Airport from Perth every day. Connections are available from other capital cities in Australia via Perth. A short road trip from Learmonth to Exmouth is by bus (a small fee applies). Your bus ticket will need to be pre-booked prior to arrival with Exmouth Bus Charters.