Located on Queensland’s far north coast, Hinchinbrook is Australia’s largest Island National Park and is the gateway to Australia’s tropical north region. Home to an impressive variety of saltwater fly fishing species to target, the area is renowned for its beauty, rugged tropical landscapes and regarded as one of the finest fly fishing destinations in the country.

Part of the famous Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Hinchinbrook is separated from Cardwell and the mainland by the shallow Hinchinbrook channel, which provides a huge area of expansive flats to target both species of the Indo pacific Permit, Queenfish, Giant and Golden Trevally. Rising over a kilometre in height, the stunning mountain peaks of Hinchinbrook are not only visually spectacular but they also act as a natural barrier giving fly-anglers a large variety of sheltered waters to fish.

The island is a maze of huge estuary systems, mudflats and mangrove creeks running over a length of fifty kilometres and a width of ten kilometres, which are all of prime fly fishing waters. The endless stretches of shallow mangrove-lined edges provide great habitat to sight-fish for the mighty Barramundi, Mangrove Jack, Threadfin Salmon, Blue Salmon, Grunter and a long list of tropical species.

  • Season: the season runs from August to May
  • Cardwell: is a 2½ hours drive north of Townsville and south of Cairns
  • Indo Pacific Permit: there are two species, the Anak and the Blocchi
  • Barramundi: above 90 cm, they are generally all females
  • Hinchinbrook Island: the largest in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Local guide Clint Isaac has recently opened his new two-storey lodge operating in Cardwell, accommodating one to six anglers, it is a great set-up only minutes from the launching facilities where you will be met each day.

The lodge has great views over Hinchinbrook Island and channel, from the upper level which has two bedrooms each with a queen and single bed, while the master also has the same configuration with en-suite facilities. All the rooms are well ventilated with large windows for those who like the fresh sea-breezes at night, and equipped with ceiling fans and air-conditioning. Guests also have access to a laundry which is free of charge and handy throughout a week-long stay.

The main floor of the building has a huge open dining and living area with comfortable couches and chairs. There, you can read your favourite book or magazine whilst enjoying the beautiful scenery or tie some flies for the day ahead. The kitchen facilities have all the modern culinary appliances, coffee machine and necessities. Dining is self-catering with the use of the kitchen and barbeque. Alternatively, there are various restaurants and pubs to choose from just a short drive or within walking distance from the lodge. If you wish to have your dinners catered for, this can also be arranged.

A typical day starts with a fresh continental breakfast at the lodge before departing to the skiffs at around 7:00am. The guides will then select the initial fly fishing destination depending on the tides and weather conditions. Because of the early low light conditions fishing for shallow water Barramundi will be generally the first option and as the sun gets higher, the sight-fishing options open up and you will find yourself being poled around the flats hunting various species on the flats.

The guides operate a number of American style skiffs accommodating two anglers each, complete with whisper quiet 4-stroke engines, polling platforms, casting deck and bow mount electrics.

The staple fish at Hinchinbrook is the mighty Barramundi in the estuaries and mangrove-lined creeks of Hinchinbrook. While targeting Barramundi you will stumble across many other species such as Mangrove Jack, Fingermark, Flathead, Javelin Fish, Threadfin Salmon and Giant Trevally of all sizes, just to name a few. All these fish will take flies with great enthusiasm and all are a challenge to land amongst the mangroves.

The great thing about fly fishing around Hinchinbrook Island is if you cannot get out onto the flats because of poor light or windy conditions you can fish for Barramundi all day long and head up the endless creeks chasing a variety of species.

Moving inside the channel there are large expanses of various sand flats that will give you the opportunity to sight-cast to one of saltwater fly fishing’s most sought after species - the Indo pacific Permit or Snubnose Dart. The habitat inside the channel is regarded as one of the finest locations in the country to target both species, the Anak and the Blocchi. More guided Permit captures come from these waters than anywhere else in the country and each year both international and domestic anglers flock to Hinchinbrook to try their luck at landing 'The Prince of the Flats' on fly.

The crystal clear sand flats will also give you the chance to cast at big spectacular jumping Queenfish, hard-pulling Giant Trevally and tailing Golden Trevally, Cobia, Milkfish and Giant Herring to name but a few.

The species and options on offer in the Hinchinbrook area are endless and the ability to be dry fly fishing the upper freshwater reaches one day, polling the flats or muscling Black Marlin and Longtail Tuna in the bluewater, provides a fantastic variety which not many placescould rival with.

Your fishing day will last between eight and ten hours. After the day's fishing, anglers can sit and relax on the patio of a private fly fishing lodge enjoying a refreshing cold beer and the local seafood which is readily available in the town.

The rates for this destination vary throughout the season. We offer the best available rates for this destination and do not charge for our service. By calling we are able to tailor a package to specifically suit your requirements at the best available rate. As we have offices in both the United Kingdom and Australia we can also ensure you are being quoted in your local currency. Please enquire for the latest rates and availability, including information on any applicable special offers and group discounts.



Cardwell is situated a short 2½ hours drive via the highway south of Cairns or north of Townsville, accessible from all major cities including Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.

Hire cars are available from both Cairns and Townsville which is usually the preferred mode of transport once in the region.

Departing Adelaide/Melbourne/Sydney/Brisbane, Fly Odyssey staff can organise and host corporate groups to Hinchinbrook and have you on the water the same day.

For groups looking to combine business with fly fishing we can provide tailored one-on-one fly fishing tuition on the water.

All the gear is supplied and tied, to ensure your guests or staff get to experience the ultimate fly fishing experience.

Prices include airport transfers, photography, personal host and accommodation catering to any level of hospitality you require.

Price on Application.


Contact: Mat McHugh
Tel: +44 (0)1621 743711
Mob: +44 (0)7936 708305


Contact: Gilly Bate
Tel: +44 (0)1730 825626
Mob: +44 (0)7817 304232


Contact: James Laverty
Mob (Australia):
+61 (0)499 900816