If you’re looking to spend a relaxing day on the boat with friends or family, or are in the mood for some high-intensity game fishing, New South Wales offers everything you’re looking for in a vacation. With some of the best beaches, secluding fishing holes and deep-ocean options in the world, the southeast Australian state is a fisherman’s dream.

Best fishing spots in NSW

There are plenty of spots to find a variety of fish in inland New South Wales and once you’re out on the ocean.

The Bermagui River

The Bermagui River boasts some of the best game fishing on the continent, with marlin and several species of shark and tuna biting at bait most of the year. It’s also one of the most secluded spots in the country, even when bait fish such as mackerel and pilchards are at their height during warmer times of the year, as the population rarely exceeds 2,000.

Jervis Bay

One of the first stops on any New South Wales fishing expedition has to be the Shoalhaven region. Highlighted by the spectacular Jervis Bay, this south coast fishing mecca is a must for any Aussie vacationer who is serious about their fishing. And it’s so popular because the options in terms of the type of fish to go after and the style of fishing to pursue are nearly endless.

The Snowy Mountains

The Snowy Mountains region is probably the more famed New South Wales locale, renowned for its trout fishing. The Snowy and Thredbo rivers are ideal destinations during the spring and summer months. If you’re looking for something year-round, though, Lake Jindabyne and Lake Eucumbene are just two of the many options in the region. You can also make the most of your trip by checking out one of the many private tours offered in the area, which usually run about $650 per day.

Port Stephens

If you’re looking to get out on the ocean for some serious sport fishing, Port Stephens, a couple hours north of Sydney, is one of your best bets. Known as “blue water paradise,” the port and its surrounding bays, which are some of the most beautiful in the world, offer access to giant blue marlin, with some weighing in as big as 600 pounds. It’s also an excellent destination for freshwater and saltwater fly fishing.

Hawkesbury River

But of all the exceptional fishing spots in New South Wales, the Hawkesbury River may be the finest. Its tributaries are only accessible by small boats, so the area remains largely untouched, as does its stock of bass, which is among the most plentiful you’ll find.

Other activities in NSW

While fishing will be your top priority, since New South Wales is home to Sydney, the options for entertainment off the water are just as plentiful as they are on it.

Explore the Capital

If you’re looking to change things up from a relaxing morning and afternoon out on the boat, you can always head to the capital, which is within a couple hours drive of most of the best fishing, to catch a show or check out some of the city’s world-renowned restaurants.

Art Galleries

For those who love both the beauty of nature and appreciate exquisite art, there are galleries galore on the North Coast, including Armistead’s Gallery and Art Aspects Gallery, both in Lismore. There are also artisan studios for glassblowing (Alan Ussher Glassblowing Studio, in Lismore) and Artisans… on the hill, in Mondrook, where you can watch, buy or participate in making crafts using wood, silver or glass.

Where to stay

Finally, you’re going to need to make sure you can find a place to stay while avoiding overpriced tourist hotels, or in case you’re far off the grid “away from it all.” You can look into renting secluded cottages or apartments with ocean views or ideally located condos to meet all of your holiday needs.