FOR MANY years the words ‘Cabarita Beach’ have been associated with the famed Greenback Tailor Fishing Competition. This tournament, based on New South Wales’ north coast, has raised a lot of money for charity, and competitors have caught some really good tailor over the years. This year the event will be held over the weekend of June 5-6.
The fact that the Greenback Tailor Competition has always been so successful draws attention to the great fishing potential of this neat and unobtrusive holiday destination. Even if you don’t fish the comp, Cabarita Beach is a great holiday location.
Cabarita Beach is tucked away on the northern approach to the very large Bogangar Headland, a prominent feature in the area around 20 minutes’ driving time south of Tweed Heads. The headland is the largest by far in the area, and it’s right on old Tweed Coast Way, the main road between Tweed Heads and Pottsville to the south. Most folk refer to the area simply as ‘Cabarita’, so I’ll do the same.
The camping grounds known as the Cabarita Beach Caravan Park and are located virtually adjoining the Tweed Coast Way, with the main entrance located down a side street. It’s easy to see the camping area from the Way and you can’t miss it.
Cabarita is a busy little locality with enough local infrastructure to make a visitor very comfortable, and at the same time offering some real attractions, especially for anglers. More on that later.
This location is handy to the Queensland border area with its vast shopping complexes and entertainment areas, and to the south there are plenty of good fishing areas only a short drive away. Hastings Point, with its fertile Cudgera Creek (good for luderick in winter), is virtually only minutes away.
There are plenty of shops at Cabarita, from the very well known, top quality bait outlet to the renowned Noddy’s hot bread shop. There is also a butcher, a deli, food store, restaurant plus hotel/motel and a bowls club just down the road. There’s up-market accommodation a short drive west of town at Cabarita Gardens, set on the picturesque Cudgera Lake.
This caravan park isn’t overly large, so pays to book pretty well in advance if you’re planning a winter holiday in the area. The camp grounds have heaps of shade, very clean amenities, and an easterly aspect. There are both powered and un-powered sites available on a ‘first come, first served’ basis. It’s a pretty unpretentious sort of place, but offers plenty of grassed sites and the sound of the surf on the beach at night. Need there be more?
Personally, I would opt for a stay at the caravan park every time because fishing involves no more than grabbing a rod and walking straight down onto the beach for a cast.
Cabarita is famous for the quality and quantity of its tailor, and there’s usually a great gutter on the beach just north of the headland, which means that sometimes it’s virtually straight behind the caravan park. However, it’s not just tailor that are taken here – some great bream and whiting are caught as well, with the odd dart thrown in. One of my mates dragged a big fat jew out of that same gutter last month while fishing just on dark with a large slab of tailor rigged on linked 6/0 hooks.
The big Bogangar Headland is renowned for its bountiful rock fishing. Everything from jew and tailor through to blackfish and drummer are taken here, and in late summer (I know, it’s a long way away) keen livebaiters try for mackerel in the deeper water out front. Unfortunately, there is a large resident hammerhead shark that also likes to dine on mackerel, and this fellow has spoiled quite a few anglers’ days over the years.
One thing about that big Bogangar Headland I really like is the fact that while Dad is down on the rocks knocking off some tailor for dinner, Mum and the kids can be waiting up at the adjoining park area with an electric barbecue reserved for the tailor. The view is fantastic, with plenty of surfers usually in action. Overall, it’s just one of those very nice places to be – the sort of place that we come across from time to time in our travels and which linger in our minds for a long time.
If you plan to visit Cabarita Beach Caravan Park my advice is to book early (ph. (02) 6676 3222 or email --e-mail address hidden-- The camp sites are cheap as chips at $15 per night per couple, off-peak.
1) That large rock is Bogangar Headland, home of big tailor catches and much frequented by jew and mackerel anglers as well. Things were a bit choppy on the day the photo was taken.
2) Grassed camp sites are available at Cabarita Beach caravan park
3) This neat little gutter is within walking distance of the caravan park, being right against the rocks at Bogangar Headland.
4)You can walk straight down to the beach from this caravan park. Check out the surf: there was a cyclone off the coast at the time.Reads: 6500