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“Fishing at Bathurst Island - WOW!”

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Bathurst Island Lodge
Reviewed 17 November 2015

A mate and I spent 5 days and 6 nights at the Bathurst Island Lodge. The fishing under the expert guidance of Rob and Scott was unforgettable. We lost count of the number of Barra we caught and released but we estimate that over the 5 days we averaged about 20 per day. That was on top of about the same number of Jacks and throw in a goodly number of Blue Salmon, Golden Snapper, Cod, Groper, Black Jew, a nice Tarpon and a few other unexpected species. We would have lived in a tent for 5 days to get to fishing like that (crocs and all).
But, Karen & Lindsay and staff at the lodge treated us like royalty in first class accommodation and facilities. All I can say about the food is that my mate and I have had to loose a couple of kilos on returning home.
In summary;
The fishing is the best I have experienced in many years.
The accommodation and service at the Lodge is first class.
Our experience at the Bathurst Island Lodge confirms and indeed exceeds the information provided in the promotional material on line and in the DVD supplied.
My mate and I thoroughly recommend Bathurst Island Lodge to fellow fishing 'tragics'

Stayed: November 2015, travelled with friends
2  Thank little169
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nigel B, General Manager at Bathurst Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 19 November 2015

Thanks again Alan for taking the time to talk about your experiences at Bathurst Island Lodge. Good point about the fishing, because we're so remote the fishing is often hard to believe. There are many types of fish in the waters surrounding the Tiwi Islands and some of them are very hard to stop once you have them on the line. We try our best to compliment the great fishing with a beautiful lodge and good old fashioned quality and service. Look forward to seeing you on your next trip Alan.

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1 - 7 of 11 reviews

Reviewed 3 November 2015

Back to reality after a very relaxing and exciting 5 days of fishing at the Bathurst Island Lodge. Our group of 6 had an absolutely fantastic trip with great fishing and an overall excellent lodge experience.
Over 5 days in October we landed some nice fish including 5 barra's over 90 cm with the biggest one measuring 97 cms (lost a few bigger ones). Heaps of other fish including mangrove jacks, fingermark, cod, trevally, queenfish, threadfin salmon and a beautiful Maori sea perch which our chef Giles cooked up for dinner that night.
Our fishing guides Robbie and Scott were superb ... very patient, very professional and have a great understanding of the many local estuary systems.
Our lodge hosts Lindsay and Karen made us feel very special indeed and they can be justifiably proud of what a great team and a great lodge they are running in such a beautiful remote wilderness.
A special mention to Giles our chef who had us dining on things such as pork belly, braised beef cheeks, beautiful fresh seafood, and a host of desserts to top it off. Also to Jacqui who kept the banter flowing and kept our glasses topped up at the bar. You are all a wonderful team and thanks again for such an awesome experience!

regards,

Brad Sartori
Norman Park, Qld

Stayed: October 2015, travelled with friends
1  Thank Brad S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nigel B, General Manager at Bathurst Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 5 November 2015

Brad, thanks for coming and fishing with us and of course, for taking the time to write about your experience. You picked the best time of year to come up in October and we're all happy you had a great time. I'll ensure Lindsay & Karen and all the crew see your comments and we look forward to seeing you again in the future.

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Reviewed 20 September 2015

Karen & Lindsay,
We are finally back home in Cairns after a wonderful 5 days fishing at Bathurst Island.
We did have huge expectations of the Lodge and the fishing and were really looking forward to the trip. Bathurst Lodge did not let us down. It is truly a pristine place in Australia and the lodge and amenities are first class. I still find it hard to believe that the lodge has been operating for 3 years. It is a testament to you guys that you are able to maintain it in that condition, particularly when you consider the prevailing environment.
Everything about the trip was excellent – the opportunity to socialise with other likeminded people in the very relaxed atmosphere of the bar and dining area was a highlight. The opportunity to mix with the fishing guides on a daily basis and hear the every changing stories of what was being caught, where and how was invaluable. I think we did pretty good in having Scott to guide for us. He went out of his way to make our fishing the best possible for that time of the year. Also mixing the locations and style of fishing gave us the opportunity to throw a line in places we normally wouldn’t. We especially enjoyed the chance to spot fish on the mud flats on the dropping tide and try and get a lure into their strike zone. A great experience and also some great results. Not to mention the huge barra that erupted out of a foot of water and that I managed to miss. Truly an exciting style of fishing.
Also a special thanks to Giles for the wonderful meals and especially the afternoon snacks. Not a bad finish to the day arriving back at the bar with a big plates of cracked mudcrabs to tempt your appetite. Excellent.
Both Julie and I managed to beat our PB’s for barra during the trip. I thought I was doing pretty good with a 92cm beauty and then Julie beat me up with another barra at 93cm. (Photos attached)
The whole trip was excellent and in no small way that was thanks to the professionalism of your management. We have already started looking at possible dates for next year. I think we have found our fishing paradise.
Best regards,
Bruce & Julie

  • Stayed: September 2015, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank BruceGr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nigel B, General Manager at Bathurst Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2015

Hi Bruce and Julie, thank you for posting your very informative review.
Bruce, what's going on, you catch a 92cm barra and just to put you in your place Julie get's a 93cm barra. Bruce, don't tell Julie, I know where there's a 94cm barra with you're name on it.
Hope to see you guys again in the future some time.

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Reviewed 14 August 2015 via mobile

Just spent five nights on Bathurst with two friends and had a fantastic experience
The fishing started and finished with a 104cm and 92cm barramundi which were the obvious highlights of the week albeit the four days in between we caught and released over 150 fish
Our guide Scott was patient persistent and very professional.
In respect to the lodge the accommodation ,hospitality ,food and service was every bit as good as you could expect in such a remote location.
To Lindsay Karen Giles and Debbie thanks for making our trip truly memorable hopefully we will be back sooner rather than later.

Stayed: August 2015, travelled with friends
1  Thank Gus S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nigel B, General Manager at Bathurst Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 3 October 2015

Thanks Gus for taking the time to write a review.
You caught some great fish, had some nice food, had ice cold drinks and had good company. All in a beautiful remote location.
Congratulations on joining the metre barra club by the way and we look forward to seeing you again on your next visit.

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Reviewed 30 December 2014

My fiance and I visited Bathurst Island Fishing Lodge in July, and then he visited again in November with his best mate. A small plane takes you from Darwin over to Bathurst which is only a brief flight. You land on a dirt airstrip, and then a quick whip around the corner in a boat to your accommodation at Port Hurd.

Always remember, you're in the Top End now, so even though the water might look inviting, there are crocodiles and sharks. The Lodge have a trailer with seats to get you from boat to lodge deck without even getting your feed wet!

We were hosted by managers Lindsay and Karen, and staffmember Erin, and chef Giles who are all lovely. Nothing is too hard for them, and our stay was very comfortable. Plenty of hearty food and drink. A nice touch is the drinks/water minibar on the deck which you can access anytime. Giles serves up tasty food including any fish you might bring back, generally serving it up the next day. Hot breakfasts at sunrise (there's a bell rung if you sleep in!), and tasty ingredients packed on the boat for a sandwich lunch. One evening we had drinks/canapes on the beach around the corner. Lindsay took us round on the seated trailer towed by a tractor! We saw turtle and croc tracks.

Accommodation is comfortable - you're not here to lounge in your room. Yes, they are small, but at the end of a long day fishing they are comfortable and airconditioned. In July, we even turned the aircon off, but you definitely need it it November. Toilet/shower facilities are shared. Clean. Great shower. Environmentally friendly drop toilet. Getting up in the middle of the night to go to the loo is made easier by automatic lighting so no stumbling in the dark. Make use of the plentiful insect repellent!!

Bring your camera of course to catch the beautiful sunsets and sunrises right off the deck. And to document your fishing catches!

And the fishing? The fishing guides we met were great guys - Rob, Robbie and Paul. They have everything you need on great boats that are comfortable even at speed. Be aware they have no cover, so you need full hat, shirt and sunscreen. You don't have to bring any fishing gear. If you can, check the tides before you plan your trip. It helps if you know a bit about casting/reeling in, but they are quite patient when you get snagged. By the end of three days, I think I wasn't doing too bad.
There is a mix of mangrove river/estuary fishing and open bluewater. Ideally we would have liked more big barra, but I think timing wasn't right - probably would have to come at the end of the wet season. Too cold in the dry season for barra to wake up. However we caught mangrove jack, blue salmon, threadfin salmon (better in November, not so good in July for some reason), queenfish. Out on open water we caught long tailed tuna, spanish mackeral, golden snapper and brassy trevally. Then there is the giant jewfish my fiance caught. 130cm monster!
Enormous fun. 3 days for me was quite enough, but I think the boys would have loved to do 5days! Getting up at sunrise and then back to the lodge at 5pm makes for a long day. You don't generally return back to the lodge during the day, so ladies be aware your toilet options are limited!

  • Stayed: November 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank kittycat888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nigel B, General Manager at Bathurst Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 8 July 2015

Hi kittycat888, thanks for taking the time to talk about your trip. I'm very happy you found it to be so puuuuuuuuurrrrfect. Sorry, couldn't help it!!

But seriously, Bathurst Lodge is a beautiful looking lodge in an ultra remote location that's very picturesque. Lindsay & Karen Mutimer are great hosts and have a fantastic team under them, as you say.

From your images it looks like you also had very good weather. You've got a beautiful sunrise shot with the 2 boats.

Thank you for choosing to visit us and we look forward to the chance of putting a package together for you in the future.

Cheers
Nigel Baxter

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Reviewed 11 September 2014

Hubbie and I are just back from an amazing 5 day stay at Bathurst Island Lodge. As per other reviews, Lindsay and Karen are amazing, friendly and extremely knowledgable hosts. The fishing was superb . I'm just a fair weather fisherman and have never caught so many fish on one trip in my life. My hubbie has fished extensively all over australia and the world, and the minute he was home he booked another trip to the lodge! Says it all really. Ladies shouldn't hesitate to go either. Facilities are very comfortable and spotlessly clean.

  • Stayed: August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Location
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    • Service
Thank mrsfefe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nigel B, General Manager at Bathurst Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 12 September 2014

Hi Mrsfefe, thanks for taking the time to share your experience.
We are very happy to hear you enjoyed yourself. Fishing lodges have always been the domain of the males in the past but we've tried to make it as inviting as we can for females. We want to encourage couples to come along and experience this beautiful part of Australia together.
Lindsay and Karen run a fantastic lodge that is both extremely remote and being on the beach, in a tough environment. Your correct, they keep the lodge spotless and running like clockwork.
The fishing and the weather can be up or down at times, it sounds like everything worked for you.
Thanks again and look forward to seeing you and the hubbie next time.

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Reviewed 7 July 2014

Having flown from Melville we continued our adventure at Bathurst .Our reception ,first by Scott our guide and then by Lindsay an Karen was to see the least surprising .At the Airstrip we walked down this path and then some bridging to a pontoon and there was our next bit of transport .Scott lugged our bags from plane to boat .A short trip to the Lodge and surprise #2.A mobile platform with seats , was pushed into the water so we would not get our feet wet and then we were driven right onto the Lodge verandah floor to be greeted by Lindsay .A quick tour of our new surroundings and meeting 3 other guys who had arrived in the morning .
For the next 3 days Bill and I were looked after by Scott our guide,Karen hostess with the mostest,Lindsay who kept trying very hard to sell all of his bar stock in one evening ,Sharon who did our laundry without being asked and Giles the chef who created master full dishes which at night we were happy to marry these with some lovely Merlot .
The fishing was tremendous and we were worn out every night .
This was going to be my Swan song ,as far as big fishing trips was concerned but at 77 I've got a new lease on my life .I'm coming back next year .Thank you all .OLD FRED .VERMONT ,VICTORIA

Room Tip: All rooms have a veranda with outlook on beach and beautiful Port Hurd
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled with friends
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1  Thank mekida2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Nigel B, General Manager at Bathurst Island Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 12 September 2014

Hi Fred, thanks again for commenting on both Melville Lodge and Bathurst Lodge.
Bathurst Lodge is doing it tough being ultra remote and parked right on the beach under the palm trees. Karen and Lindsay do a fantastic job keeping the lodge looking beautiful and spotless.
Fred, once again, we're very glad you had a good time and look forward to seeing you again in the future.

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Additional Information about Bathurst Island Lodge

Address: Port Hurd | Bathurst Island, 0822, Australia
Region: Australia > Northern Territory > Top End > Tiwi Islands > Bathurst Island
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Centre with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Speciality Lodging in Bathurst Island
Price Range: C$1,193 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Bathurst Island Lodge is located at Port Hurd on the remote south western coast of Bathurst Island. The lodge, which is extremely isolated, is situated on the iconic ‘Barra Base’ site, which was Australia’s first ever guided barramundi sport-fishing lodge. Barra Base closed in 1998 but reopened in March 2013 as Bathurst Island Lodge following a major refurbishment. ... more   less 

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