18 November 2000 - Volume 4 Issue 10
On Safari To The Tip Of Australia - Cape York
The first thing that you notice when you fly over Cape York is the clarity
of the water, as blue as the sky, as clear as any swimming pool and the
white sandy beaches stretch for miles. In the background many islands dot
the horizon, the opal coloured reefs rise to the surface and the sky was
clear but heavy and I was building a thirst.
And so it was last week when I flew to the Cape in a little Beechcraft
Barron. A twin engine six seater, counting pilot and co-pilot - yours
truly, and due to our load had to stop at Lockhart River on the east coast
to re fuel for the last 300 ks of the trip to land at Horn Island. During
my journey the Bamaga airport was closed for extensions and upgrade, it
should be open again before Christmas, and be able to take larger, faster
craft - a boom for fisho's.
The Horn Island airport is small but impressively modern and is the main
landing strip for the nearby Thursday Island. A short ferry ride across
that dazzling blue sea and I was docked at the Island awaiting another
ferry ride to my final destination, Seisia. As I said my thirst was
building so I had to satisfy this need at the local pub.
Thursday Island was also a pleasant surprise; a quaint but attractive town
nestled on a small seaside hill overlooking the Torres Straits and
mainland. The locals were buzzing about playing pool; I had a well-earned
beer or four. By the look of some of the magnificent houses overlooking
this scene, there is some money up this way, where it comes from is news
We arrived at Seisia, a small aboriginal settlement on the Western side of
the Cape, by brand new ferry service at approx. 4.00pm and were shown our
comfortable cabin accommodation at the Seisia Resort and Campground.
Now I have been up this way before, fished the rich waters of the Jacky
Jacky and near shore reefs and gutters years ago. This trip was primarily
designed as a reconnaissance trip, to check out the new guiding
operations, the accommodation options and to meet new managers and staff.
A lot has happened since I was there last!
The Seisia jetty is still the best land based fishing platform on the
entire continent and one only has to peer over the side and note the
million or so sardines nervously skipping around the pylons to appreciate
its reputation is proved time and time again. During my two and a half-day
stay a never-ending stream of mackerel, queenfish and trevally came on
The Seisia Resort & Campground still had a few happy campers, southern
anglers ken to experience the red hot fishing post summer / wet season
available up this way but the pending rainy season would soon see all 4WD
touring come to a halt.
The location is perfect, right on the foreshore, plenty of shade trees and
comfortable amenities make this a popular spot. There are air-conditioned
huts, twin share accommodation with shared toilets and cooking facilities,
"A" framed lodges sleeping up to six in air-conditioned comfort, private
facilities including laundry and all serviced daily.
There is also a comfortable restaurant serving buffet style dinner and
breakfast and a kiosk with general supplies, a nearby supermarket and
And what about the fishing! Well I had meetings with most guides and it
was great to not only have a good old chin wag about the magic fishing
available, but to get a good handle on which market segment the various
operators are best suited to was a main goal of my visit. A task, which I
must say, was achieved with little fuss.
Fisherman come in all sizes, preferred angling styles, expectations and
Whether you are a group of mates wishing to have a great fishing holiday
(a bit of male bonding perhaps), a keen fly fisher wishing to add that
special catch to the list, or a couple of mates / small family group
wanting an angling trip of a life time - we can put you with the right
skipper / guide best suited to your needs and advise your appropriate
We have also sourced a brand new motel situated at Bamaga, a short 10
minute ride on good sealed roads from Seisia and all guides will transfer
clients to / from this property.
In only twenty minutes, a client can be fishing in either the gulf waters
out from Seisia on the western side of the Cape - to fishing the huge
Jacky Jacky estuary system on the opposite "eastern" side of Cape York.
The locals also assured me that the "tip" has a much milder climate than
Cairns or ports further south. Being surrounded by relatively shallow
water on three sides ensures a sea breeze and as the land formation is
fairly flat, they do not have nearly as much rainfall either. The region
can be fished in all but severe cyclonic conditions.
This is truly a jewel in the Cape - being a remote mining town ensures
that facilities for residents and visitors alike are all first class. The
surrounds and streetscapes are lush green and well maintained. An oasis if
The residential areas are located well away from the "commercial" zones
and tourists and visitors are very well catered for. A relatively new
shopping complex encompasses a modern Woolworth's supermarket stocking
everything you could possibly need, an electrical store, tackle shop,
coffee / takeaway, hairdresser, bakery and liquor outlet. A smaller
complex across the car park has a post office, medical facilities and a
These facilities are within easy walking distance of the accommodation
options which include one of the nicest, well maintained, shady camp
ground found anywhere, the brand new Heritage Resort Motel and the well
established Albatross Hotel.
Once again facilities are available for all types of angling groups,
couples, singles or families and we can assure you of a very pleasant
The angling options out of Weipa are also mind blowing. Weipa is built on
a peninsula jutting out to the western gulf formed by two massive river
systems, is surrounded by a huge mangrove lined bay and has islands, tidal
inlets, offshore reefs and the shipping channel with its famous markers to
explore. It is the barramundi capital of Queensland and other angling
opportunities are only limited by your imagination.
Seasonal conditions do play a part here but having so many options to
chose from all within a relatively small travelling distance makes it a
great to brilliant fishery in all but the worst of wet seasons.
Weipa has a daily air service form Cairns; the trip takes less than an
hour in a modern F 28 jet able to carry 90 passengers in comfort. You
could quite conceivably arrive in Cairns one morning and be fishing that
Oh the Guides, I did check them out and even cast a lure for a few hours
one afternoon with my mate Dave. I had very limited time up my sleeve and
he was busy also. We managed to land five nice barra, pulled the hooks on
another three and saw about fifty queenfish and G.T.'s swipe at the lure
but not connect - must have been holding my mouth wrong. Not bad for two
hours fishing before being chased off the water by a very un-seasonal
storm that dumped almost six inches of rain on the region late that
It was a great trip, one that I had been promising myself for a while now.
It was all designed with you in mind, to be better able to assist with
your inquiries and to be in the very best possible position to put you
onto the right guide and accommodation option for that special trip.
Now what? Well, why dont you try the Cape yourself with one of our package tours to Weipa or Seisia.
See you on the water,
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