Melville Island Lodge – Tiwi Islands

Melville Island Lodge and Johnson River Camp


Situated 60kms north of Darwin, Melville and Bathurst Islands are known as the “Tiwi Islands”, home of the Tiwi people and the home of 3 great fishing lodges. As far as Melville Island, this is the home of Melville Island Lodge and Johnson River Camp. This remote and remarkable area consists of thousands of square kilometres of eucalypt, paperbark and monsoon vine forest, coastal wetlands, secluded waterfalls and deserted beaches. An extensive array of mangrove lined river and creek systems, sand flats, bays, inlets and coastal reefs, all abundant with marine life, means the Tiwi Islands are also an unspoiled angler’s paradise.

Fishing operates from two remote yet comfortable locations, Melville Island Lodge situated on the shores of Snake Bay, plus the remote Johnson River Camp located on the east coast of Melville Island.

Melville Island Lodge can cater for up to 18 guests at a time and the Johnson River Camp caters for more private small groups of up to 6 people.

Access to the Tiwi Island is via Darwin. From Darwin you will be transported to the Melville Island by light aircraft, a scenic 30 minute private charter.

Guests are provided with a high quality catch and release fishing adventure in a spectacular and pristine wilderness environment. The main fish species include barramundi, mangrove jacks, threadfin salmon, saratoga, golden snapper, black jewfish, queenfish, giant trevally, spanish mackeral plus about 40 other species of quality river, creek and reef fish.

All-inclusive packages range from short stay trips and company incentives through to extended fishing safaris that provide exclusive access to a multitude of areas.

This is supported with a superior level of service, guest facilities, meal quality and accommodation comforts seldom associated with remote sport fishing destinations.

Fishing at Melville Island Lodge

Operates from March through to around mid-December with exclusive fishing access to Snake Bay, Shark Bay, Jessie River, Rungani, Robinson Inlet and Goose Creek….plus a vast range of coastal creek and reef fishing options

Melville Island Lodge

Melville Island Lodge

Fishing at Johnson River Camp

Operating from May through to approximately mid-December (min of 4 day trip) with exclusive access to the Johnson River, Yunanti and Quanipiri Bays plus a wide variety of coastal creek and reef fishing.

Boats and Motors

All boats are custom built 6.5 metre in length and fitted with 150hp four stroke motors. All have colour sounders, GPS, satellite phone, 2 way radio, first aid kit and safety equipment. All have carpeted floors, a spacious forward casting platform, gear lockers and comfortable padded seats. The 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 order to maximise guest comfort and safety, the policy is to fish a maximum of 4 anglers per boat and fishing guide.

Melville Island Lodge

Melville Island Lodge

Technique and Equipment

Both locations focus on lure fishing in the rivers and creeks. Fly fishing is also catered for, but you must bring your own fly tackle. This involves casting and occasionally trolling a combination of fallen trees, creek mouths, rock bars, sand flats and submerged gutters. Standard tackle for this type of fishing comprises of a light-medium action graphite fishing rod of around 1.7 metres in length with a light weight single handed bait caster fishing reel spooled with 10-15kg braided line. Lures used include shallow and deep diving minnows and soft plastics.

Offshore 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 line.

Catch and Release

Being a sport fishing destination we actively promote “Catch and Release” fishing. This means that all fish which are surplus to immediate requirements are released back to the water. Apart from a few select fish taken back for evening meals, all fish are freed unharmed to fight another day to be caught again on your next trip.

Melville Island Lodge