Hook-A-Barra (Review)

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If you’re visiting Port Douglas, include a few hours at Hook-A-Barra, just north of Port in your itinerary planning. It’s a fun thing to do for the whole family, the staff are great, the food is great, and you’ll learn a thing or two about barramundi along the way. We also have a discount code for you.

hook a barra barramundi farm near port douglas
This is one of the smaller barramundi at the Hook-a-Barra farm. These were easy to catch, the much bigger specimen fish were more elusive but we saw a few caught. Nobody leaves without catching a fish and the staff are super helpful and friendly.

This barramundi farm uses salt water directly from the mouth of The Daintree River. The barramundi’s natural habitat. If you’ve had wet, soggy barramundi in the past, the barramundi from this farm is nothing like that, it’s a firm fish. We were all surprised. The Hook-a-Barra fish wins national prizes for its quality. Daintree Saltwater Barramundi is the name to look for.

Barramundi tasting plate at Hook a Barra, good food.
The food at Hook-a-Barra was great. We were all really impressed (and surprised) by how good barramundi sashimi is.

Barramundi is known as Asian Sea Bass elsewhere and it’s practically Australia’s national fish. This species can live in salt or freshwater and is a popular sport fish. We had fish jumping and popping all over the ponds and realing them in was quite a workout.

Is Hook-A-Barra Any Good?

Gear at hook a barra fishing rods and lures
All fishing gear is provided and fully set up for you. Staff can tell you which lures are performing best on the day.

Yes, this is a great excursion from Port Douglas, for keen fishermen or the inexperienced. My husband doesn’t like fishing, and even he had fun. I did a lot of fishing as a kid, but fishing with lures is new to me. This experience allowed us to learn how to catch barramundi, and we all had a lot of fun doing that.

I also discovered that I don’t dislike farmed barramundi to eat, which I thought I did! Our Hook-a-Barra review is 100% positive and costs were quite moderate.

Fish and chips hook a barra barramundi fried.
Barramundi and chips for lunch at Hook a Barra. Food is not included in the cost of fishing, but some tours do include food.

We visited on a rainy day towards the end of the wet season and still had fun. Winter would be the best time to visit to avoid the heat. You will have to stand in the sun, there’s no shade.

Catching fish at hook a barra barramundi farm
Everyone gets to catch a fish. It’s catch and release, or you can choose to buy your catch.

This barramundi fishing experience is also really affordable on a Port Douglas scale. An hour of fishing is just $90 Au for adults. That’s not too bad, Port Douglas is expensive. All of the food on offer at the Barramundi Farm was also quite reasonably priced, under $20.

How To Book Hook-a-Barra and Tours

Admission times for Hook-a-Barra are normally 9 am, 10.30 am, 1.30 pm and 3 pm. You can choose a farm tour, fishing and/or dining. Fishing sessions are usually 1.5 hours, you can book longer sessions. They are open daily, 9 am to 5 pm, closing only for major public holidays. Buy admission here. You do need to book.

If you don’t have your own vehicle for your stay in Port Douglas, you can get to the barramundi farm at Wonga Beach on a tour bus. To self-drive, just head north, via Mossman on the highway, heading for Wonga Beach. The drive time is about 50 minutes and it’s on your way to the Daintree Ferry (to cross into the Daintree Rainforest north of the river) or Daintree Village. The drive from Cairns to Hook-a-Barra is going to be at least 2 hours along the coastal highway.

You can catch a Daintree River Cruise on the south bank of the river. Check our post on Lady Douglas vs Daintree River cruises first.

You’ll also be close to the wildlife park at Wonga Beach. Wonga Beach itself may be worth a look but watch out for crocodiles, there’s no swimming north of the Port Douglas swimming enclosure.

The barramundi farm, dining and fishing, is included on a few local tours. For instance, you can book a full-day “Southern Daintree” tour, which includes Mossman Gorge, a river cruise and a visit to the barramundi farm with lunch. (click through for more info.) These tours are on GetYourGuide, the platform we use ourselves for booking tours, they have a best price guarantee.

Alternatively, book fishing, lunch, and a Port Douglas transfer bus right here (under $100, great value!)

Alternatively, if you use Klook, these tours and admissions are also on this platform, you can buy a “Cairns Attractions Pass”. right here. They have Hook-a-Barra incorrectly listed in the Cairns section, I’ve told them, they’re fixing it. All Port Douglas attractions are listed under Cairns on Klook at this point.

If you use Klook we can give you a 10% discount code if you subscribe. Look at Klook here, for tours, hotels and car rentals in any destination. The code will be in your welcome email. CODE KEEPSEARCHING10

Alternatively you can contact Hook a Barra by phone on (07) 4098 7117. or by email on their website.

Incidentally, if you want to see “The Big Barra” the only Australian “big thing” near Port Douglas, it’s in Daintree Village. There was a “Big Captain Cook” in Cairns but it’s long gone.

About the author
Alyson Long

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