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Johnson River Camp

Our Johnson River Camp represents the ultimate outback fishing adventure. The Camp is owned and operated by the Melville Island Lodge/Tiwi Islands Adventures team and caters for anglers seeking a totally remote, yet comfortable, professionally guided sport-fishing experience.

Our extremely isolated fishing camp is situated in a bush setting in the pristine upper reaches of the Johnson River on the, otherwise isolated, northeast coast of Melville Island. Access is via a one hour scenic 4WD ride from the closest island airstrip or by helicopter directly to and from the Camp.

The Johnson River area abounds with wildlife including buffalo, wallabies, bandicoots, flying fox, dingoes, kingfishers, jabiru, parrots, eagles, falcons and hawks plus countless varieties of water birds. Exclusive fishing access to kilometers of unspoiled mangrove lined river and creek systems, inlets, sand flats and coastal reefs, all abundant with marine life, means the Johnson River Camp is also an angler’s paradise.

Dominant fish species include barramundi, mangrove jacks, threadfin and blue salmon, fingermark, tarpon and estuary cod. Plus, off-shore we have spanish mackerel, black jewfish, golden snapper, queenfish, giant trevally, coral trout, long tail tuna and many other species.

 

Transferring by helicopter: the fastest way to transfer between Darwin and our Johnson River Camp is by helicopter. Doing so adds an additional cost to your trip, but it’s a beautifully scenic flight and the convenience and thrill of travelling directly to and/or from this ultra remote location is a truly fantastic experience.

Participation: Johnson River Camp guests should be aware that we operate in a remote and rugged location. Guests are therefore required to be in good health and sound medical condition prior to and during their trip.

 

 

Accommodation

Accommodation and fishing trips at the Johnson River Camp are restricted to 6 guests with very comfortable cabin accommodation. But, being far away from it all doesn’t mean roughing it, because all cabins are air-conditioned with ceiling fans and comfortable king single beds. Plus, we have hot showers, flushing toilets and a host of other creature comforts you’d never-ever expect to find in such a seriously remote fishing environment.

One of the many highlights at the Camp is the high quality of meals. We get you started each morning with a hearty breakfast that includes bacon & eggs, cereals, toast, tea and coffee. Breakfast is served around 6.45am with the aim of having you on the water fishing by 7.30am each morning. At an appropriate time during the day, your fishing guide will position your boat in a shaded area to prepare an on-board lunch. Dinner is served around 7.00pm and, as might be expected, freshly caught Tiwi Islands fish is always on our menu together with other dishes and deserts suited to our tropical climate.

All-inclusive packages range from 4 day/5 night trips staying at our Johnson River Camp through to extended fishing safaris of 6 days or more that also include accommodation and fishing at Melville Island Lodge and/or Bathurst Island Lodge.

Features

Boats & Motors: All boats are custom-built, 6.5m in length and fitted with 150hp four stroke motors. All have colour sounders, GPS, satellite phone, 2 way radio, first aid kit and full safety equipment. All have carpeted floors, a spacious forward casting platform, gear lockers and comfortable padded seats. Our boats are large, high-sided and purpose-built to provide the safest and most comfortable platform possible for the waters you will be fishing in. In order to maximise guest comfort and safety, our policy is to fish with a maximum of 3 anglers per boat and fishing guide.

Technique & Equipment: At our Lodges and Camp, we exclusively focus on lure-fishing in our rivers and creek systems, which involves casting-to and occasionally trolling, a combination of fallen trees, creek mouths, rock bars, sand flats and submerged gutters. Standard tackle for this style of fishing comprises of a light-medium action graphite fishing rod of around 1.7m in length with a lightweight single-hand ‘bait-caster’ fishing reel spooled with 10-15kg braided line. Lures used include shallow and deep diving minnows and ‘soft plastics’. Off-shore and reef fishing involves a combination of lure, soft plastic and occasional bait fishing with standard tackle comprising of a medium to heavy action rod of 1.5m in length with an ‘overhead’ style fishing reel spooled with 25-30kg braided fishing line.

Activities

Transferring by helicopter: the fastest way to transfer between Darwin and our Johnson River Camp is by helicopter. Doing so adds an additional cost to your trip, but it’s a beautifully scenic flight and the convenience and thrill of travelling directly to and/or from this ultra remote location is a truly fantastic experience.

Participation: Johnson River Camp guests should be aware that we operate in a remote and rugged location. Guests are therefore required to be in good health and sound medical condition prior to and during their trip.

Location

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Itinerary & Schedule

Through our exclusive leases and operating license with the Tiwi Islands people, we provide our guests exclusive fishing access to dozens of unspoiled river systems, creeks, bays and inlets. Add to this a myriad of coastal and off-shore fishing options, and it’s easy to understand why the Tiwi Islands truly are an angler’s paradise.

The mighty barramundi is the most famous and keenly sought fish in our waters, its reputation as being Australia’s premier light-tackle sporting fish well earned and thoroughly deserved. Barra are prolific throughout our rivers and creeks and are caught in good and often very good numbers around fallen trees, gutters, creek mouths, rock bars and sand flats. Barramundi are active all year on the Tiwi Islands with many trophy sized barra exceeding one meter in length caught (and released) by our guests each season.

But, there’s a lot more to Tiwi Islands fishing than barramundi. Other species prolific in our rivers, creeks, bays and inlets include mangrove jacks, threadfin and blue salmon, saratoga, fingermark, tarpon and estuary cod. Plus, off-shore we have spanish mackerel, black jewfish, golden snapper, queenfish, giant trevally, coral trout, long tail tuna and many other species. All-up we’ve counted over 40 species of fish in our waters and we consistently encounter them all in good numbers and sizes. And you don’t have to travel far to catch them either, as some of the area’s most productive fishing grounds are just a few minutes by boat from our Lodges or Camp.

We cater for all levels of fishing experience; from absolute beginners, right through to the seasoned angler. Our experienced and professional fishing guides are the best in the business and will provide you with expert tuition that will have you confidently lure-casting and catching fish in no time at all. Lure casting is tremendous fun and we’re yet to meet anyone who hasn’t thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We supply all fishing equipment (except fly fishing gear) on a replace – if lost or damaged – basis. Our fishing equipment is of the highest standard with reels available in both left and right hand wind. Naturally, if you prefer to bring your own rods and reels with you (as many regular guests do), then please feel free to do so.

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