$14K up for grabs at RIPPA RODS, BIG4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort

Consider yourself a fishing guru at camp? Why not check out the new RIPPA RODS Whitsundays Family Fishing comp at BIG4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort.

Together with sponsors, the Airlie Beach resort is stumping up $14,000 in prize money (up from $5,000), with campers receiving first dibs at the event hosted May 1-2, this Queensland Labour Day weekend.

“It’s open exclusively to guests at this point in time, but that may change depending on demand,” says Aaron Barton, who has owned the Whitsundays caravan park and resort for more than five years.


Entry costs $15 per person + camping fees for two days with access to live music on Sunday night, on-site catering and park-run events. Five dollars of each entry will go to Eco Barge – clean seas, a not-for-profit charity in the Whitsundays.

Contestants exploring the Whitsunday Island, Peter Faust Dam and Proserpine River can target up to nine species of fish–including Barramundi, mud crabs and the famous Coral Trout.

“We’re trying to encourage diversity. But it is a catch and release (beyond what you can eat) and every fish must be caught on a line. And you can catch mud crab in a pot.”

BIG4 Whitsundays Tropical Eco Resort encourages competitors to bring their boats with room available alongside on-site cabins or tents on the well-spaced campsites throughout the park.


Aaron hopes the competition will encourage families to get out, enjoy each other’s company and explore the region he knows and loves.

“I am not expert at fishing but I do quite a lot … at least once a week.”

Event activities include educational entertainment such as workshops for setting up a fishing rod and how to cast a net. Plus, the park will run a few fun family comps such as tug-of-war, Ninja Obstacle course time trials and kids movie nights.

“Just simple family fun.”

Indeed, the park is well set-up for families, with a jumping pillow, quad bike hire and swimming pool, electric scooter hire and a full kids club program that gets the older kids involved with leadership initiatives.


According to Aaron, it is a first for Flametree: “There’s no one in town promoting a catch and release, we’re hoping make it an annual event and really showcase our local region.”

Indeed, local businesses are throwing their support behind the inaugural event, with Cruise Whitsundays, Jubilee Tavern, Tackle World, Adrenaline Tackle and Redcat Adventures as major sponsors.

Other sponsors include:

  • Airlie Beach Hotel
  • Airlie Beach Post office and Convenience store
  • Airlie Day Spa
  • Betta Electrical
  • BCF
  • Burnups Furniture
  • Fussea Buggers Catering
  • GSL Whitsundays
  • Hog Breath Café Airlie Beach
  • Ocean Rafting
  • Porters Mitre10
  • True Blue Sailing Adventures
  • Whitsunday Food Services
  • Whitsunday Mini Excavators