As a died in the wool southerner I’ve read plenty of articles about the fabulous fishing in far north Queensland and envied those folk lucky enough to have it at their finger tips.
Finally it was my turn to see what it was all about with circumstances seeing me recently enjoying a short stay at Lucinda to experience for myself, in no uncertain terms, just how great the camping was at the Wanderers Holiday Village, and how excellent fishing could be from just a small 12ft tinny.
Lucinda is legendary within far north Queensland fishing circles, being the southern gateway to the Hinchinbrook Channel and Hinchinbrook Island, which is Australia’s largest National Park. Within the channel there are a myriad of bays, inlets and creeks, while on the island there are magnificent rainforest and other walks, quiet trails to enjoy, waterfalls to see, and tucked away crystal clear bays for a swim. All attractions are well maintained to keep the visitor happy. Lucinda has a reputation as one of the must see destinations for the southern tourist.
Lucinda is easy to find – you simply follow the signs from Ingham, a little more than an hour’s drive north of Townsville. Heading east from Ingham it’s a pleasant drive to the town of Halifax with Lucinda and its unbelievably long sugar loading jetty sitting at the end of the road 15 minutes further.
This camping ground is also an easy destination to locate, being the only one in town and situated on 49 Bruce Parade set just off the main drag. Look to the left after crossing the rail line and there’s the camping grounds.
The ambience within Wanderers Holiday Village is strictly laid back. Coconut palms abound, there’s lots of open space and although it was pretty dry during my visit in October there was ample grass for folk to set up tents and camper trailers on and plenty of powered sites with or without concrete pads for caravans.
I noted boats of all persuasions from car toppers to big twin motor rigs at various camp sites. It is for that reason why the sites are large enough to accommodate any boat.
Along with the boats I noticed some locals also in residence in the form of bush curlews. Curlews, for those not familiar with them, are normally shy birds that are seldom seen but often heard at night in the sorts of places we anglers like to frequent.
All that aside these long legged fellows with their wary stance and beady eyes seemed to have adapted to life within Wanderers pretty well if one considers the way in which they will come readily into camp for a bite to eat.
Personally, I loved the critters, which seemed to personify much of what far north Queensland and its fishing is about; a bit wild but nonetheless easily tamed.
Wanderers Holiday Village is certainly highly geared towards the angler’s needs. As mentioned, sites are very spacious with room for boats and cars alike. There is an on-site fish cleaning shed with its own facilities for disposing of offal and other bits and pieces. Note that scaling of fish is not permitted and if you are familiar with barra scales you can easily understand why.
Other features within the park include a swimming pool with associated barbecue area, a large amenities block, a laundromat, children’s play area and activities room with TV. A camper’s kitchen is also provided and last but not least there’s a caravan cassette dump point.
Eight self contained cabins with stoves, refrigerators and sleeping room for several are also available as is an eight person self contained family unit. Note that these on site facilities are mighty popular and should be booked well in advance especially during the cooler months when hordes of southerners advance on the tropics with fishing tackle.
Entry within the park is straightforward without fiddly boom gates or the like making life hard for visitors with boats in tow coming and going at the sorts of hours that anglers like to keep.
Lucinda is a very small town with just a couple of small shops/takeaway food outlets present to cater for travellers. Fuel is available in town and the pub has pretty good take away meals. Folk are friendly in the best north Queensland manner with a wave or nod from strangers sharing the road in town quite common.
Ingham is only around 25 minutes away by road and has all normal town infrastructure including medical professionals, a full compliment of retail outlets plus a large tackle store.
The boat ramp at Lucinda is large and with a decent amount of slope to facilitate launching of trailer craft. In October anglers were cast netting prawns from the ramp and livies for bait from the jetty beside it. Quality bait is no problem at Lucinda that’s for sure.
The area around Hinchinbrook Island and the adjoining channel stretching north to Cardwell is renowned for virtually every sort of northern fish, yet quite a lot of fish are also taken from areas within sight of the boat ramp or within one of the nearby creeks. Barra, fingermark, cod, salmon, tarpon, grunter, jacks, trevally - you name it, it’s certain to be there. All you need is the right conditions and with tides much smaller than areas south of Townsville, the fishing is pretty laid back.
A boat is a definite asset, and we fished three out of my son’s 12ft tinny with success on jacks, barra and trevally, with a few feisty blue salmon on fly as well.
We did all this in the local creeks while a stiff southerly was making open water fishing out of the question. We also cast netted prawns; buckets of the little darlings. What a feast!
Lucinda is virtually a must-do stop over for the north bound angler given its proximity to so much really good fishing. Shane and Genevieve Castles at the Wanderers Holiday Village will make you very welcome. A large boat is not a necessity and anglers with even car top craft will enjoy fishing at Lucinda.
Contact the Holiday Village on (07) 47778213 or fax (07) 47778131 or on email at --e-mail address hidden--Reads: 2932