Travelling to go spearfishing in a different part of the world to chase different species with different people is my idea of a holiday well spent and it turns out I’m not alone. This article comes about from an email I had from a listener and he really got me thinking! The allure of pushing outside our backyard and chasing an iconic species and learning from other spearos is a serious threat to most other forms of spouse approved vacations but please allow me to share.
I'm a Melbourne based diver and big fan of the (Noob Spearo) podcast, I think what you're doing is really good, keep up the great work.
I've just been discussing with one of my main buddies about planning a dive trip. We are really starting to move comfortably into the intermediate phase of our spearfishing careers and we're thinking of going up north somewhere. We have no idea where to start.
It got me thinking it would be so good to go somewhere and have all the advice/ information to show a couple of blokes how to go about planning a trip from A-Z.
Because you're like a treasure chest of resources and connections I thought maybe you could point me in the right direction to where to start or even consider it as a future episode idea.
I hope you've had an awesome Easter break and you can be sure I'll be anxious for the next noob spearo episode.
Stay safe in the water”
I guess the main deciding factor to planning a trip is money. Time and travel restrictions come next and I’d also encourage you to think about insurance, access to adequate health care and having reasonable expectations. Given that money is a big factor, I’ll answer this question mostly from the perspective of a Victorian (Australian) spearo and estimated in AUD.
What is your budget? This is a huge determinant for most of us.
- I’ve gotten away a few times in Australia and seen a different part of the country. If you have a week off, a drive up the coast of NSW in good weather with a good dive buddy or two could yield you some great diving opportunities. From what I’ve seen and heard, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia are good for this too. Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory are better suited to boat diving. All of this diving will be best if you can meet with locals, not just for their spots (although that’s part of it and you should NEVER share this info – please read this guide to Spearfishing Spot Burning https://finandforage.com/the-coastal-zone/science-of-spot-burning). Meeting fellow spearos and sharing the stoke is possibly one of the coolest parts to traveling and spearing – we have a lot to learn from each other! Best part is that it’s cheap. Take a swag and camping gear and it’s a recipe for a good week away.
- Local charter operators can sometimes be found for single/half day diving excursions.
- If you have contacts in different parts of the country, then you can do a reciprocal thing where you go dive with them in their part of the world and then they come dive with you.
- In Australia, local Facebook Groups can be fantastic for this. Here is a list with links for easy reference.
$2000 - $3000
- For this money and more, you can start to seriously look at quasi guided charters. By quasi guided I mean that they take you out to an area on a Mothership and then you and hopefully your mates (or other people you meet on the trip) partner up in a Dorrie and choose your own adventure within range of the Mothership. Adreno runs Southern Great Barrier trips like this starting at $2500. If you add flights into the mix, it starts to get expensive but you really are getting something special. Norkat out of Cairns comes recommended as well. Harrison says
“When I did norkat charter the service was unbelievable, food constantly being prepared for passengers and deck hands happy to do sunrise starts, highly recommend.”
- You could also research the heck out of an area overseas and do a DIY trip. From Melbourne there are a heap of good options for example;
- New Zealand (North Island). Fly into Auckland and head in a direction that will yield you opportunities for big Lobster, Yellowtail Kingfish, the elusive (and highly prized) Snapper and more. There are also some very well regarded spearfishing guides/charters.
- Rarotonga, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Tahiti, French Polynesia are all within reach but pay attention to insurance and emergency healthcare
- Serious money but for amazing trips. Here are a few ideas that will likely start at 4K and keep going.
- Coral Sea Trips | Big Bluewater Fish (Adreno run these aboard the Eastern Voyager)
- Highly Regarded Spearfishing Guides such as;
- Freedive Fiji with Jaga Crossingham
- Gerard Graves | Tahiti, French Polynesia
- Chris Coates | Mozambique, Qatar and beyond
- Eric Allard Extreme Bluewater Charters | Africa
- David Hochman | Block Island, USA
- David Ochoa | Numerous Locations
- Cameron Kirkconnell | Numerous Locations
- David Dupav and ET in New Zealand
While this is by no means a comprehensive guide, I think it’s a solid starting point and inspiration for planning your next epic spearfishing adventure. I’d love to hear your ideas for dream destinations and fish J - Shrek