The classic Boys’ Weekend Away is a near-sacred tradition. Often difficult to negotiate with partners and loved ones, they are hard earned and come at a high cost – in brownie points at the very least. Here then is a little Mancation inspiration: the best of the best of boys’ weekends in Australia. So unwind, enjoy, and remember . . . it’s all in the name of manly fun. Words by AT Staff, edited by Craig Roberts
With fishing playing a pivotal role in Australian legend (after all, it was a Dreamtime barramundi that was responsible for creating the NT’s East Alligator River), it’s no surprise that the old hook, line and sinker feature prominently in many Mancations. It’s just a question of what angle to take. Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
1. Trout fishing in Tassie
You can’t call yourself a fan of catching big browns if you haven’t tackled Tasmania’s pristine wilderness and famously stubborn trout populations. The Hobart-based trout-fishing guide Fish Wild Tasmania will ensure you are geared, tutored, licensed and hooked up and equipped with a Gourmet Tasmanian hamper lunch to sweeten the deal. One-day fly fishing tours in the Tasmanian Highlands let you and a select shoal of mates get acquainted with one of the world’s paramount trout fisheries. Packages range from trout fishing lodges to backpackers and can span up to a week – a dangerous offer for true angling enthusiasts.
Details // Fish Wild Tasmania (www.fishwildtasmania.com, 0418 348 223).
This un-spoilt fisherman’s Mecca is closed to the general public for tourism but ideal for taking on the mighty barramundi
2. Barra fishing at Melville Island Lodge
For one of Australia’s premier barra experiences, head to the remote Melville Island Lodge, a guided sport-fishing paradise just a 30min flight from Darwin. This un-spoilt fisherman’s Mecca is closed to the general public for tourism but ideal for taking on the mighty barramundi – known to be aggressive lure takers and strong fighters who look and taste great. The Lodge practices catch and release fishing, so fish not needed to meet immediate dinner requirements are set loose (after the obligatory photo). The tropical climate and ultra-remote accommodation of the Fishing at Johnson River Barramundi Camp, combined with their Extended Fishing Safaris, make this the perfect spot to come face to face with the ingredients of your next Barra Burger.
Details // Melville Island Lodge (www.melvillelodge.com.au, 08 8978 3664).
3. Deep sea fishing off Sydney
You don’t have to go far to experience the thrill of trying to land a big game fish. In fact, just 30km from Sydney’s CBD should do it. And whether you’re an old hand or new to game fishing, Sydney Harbour Escapes will lure you in with the perfect boat for any fishing charter. Yackatoon is faultless for those with a luxurious streak, while Putney Star guarantees a more traditional charter experience. So cast a line, call a friend and give it a go.
Details // Sydney Harbour Escapes, from $1200 for 7hr charter (www.sydneyharbourescapes.com.au, 02 9328 4748)
Brag Factor // Like all good Mancation bragging, size is definitely a factor on this one.
Partner Pitch // “Don’t be gutted honey. I’m sure they’ll do that for you.”