Nestled practically in the apex to Bynoe Harbour, Crab Claw Resort is a convenient resort-style getaway for both Darwinites and visitors to Darwin looking for a day, overnight or extended-visit option.
There’s a ballad with lyrics that go: “I’ve been to paradise, but I’ve never been to me.” Well, paradise in Darwin nestles on the shores of Bynoe Harbour at Crab Claw Island Resort, about one hour’s drive away. If you don’t want to drive, the resort can be reached by air or sea.
Crab Claw Resort offers an easy escape into a Territory lifestyle. It is a getaway that will suit the adventurous, family-orientated, or downright lazy folk who want nothing more than to idle away the hours.
Crab Claw Resort dates back to 1985. It was all but destroyed by cyclones, but has been rebuilt and turned it into a luxurious beachfront outpost.
Spokesperson for Crab Claw is Belgian-born (Aussie raised) Frederique (Freddy) Gregoire. She said that “technically speaking”, Crab Claw Island, where the resort is based, is not an island — at least for most of the year.
“It becomes an island once a month when 7m tides cut off the access road, and during the wet season,” Freddy said.
Even then, access isn’t a problem. There is an airstrip, and the resort can be reached by boat. Most visitors come during the dry season when road access is easy.
The resort complex has 14, beachfront cabins that are elevated and connected by walkways through the trees and palm gardens. There are four Family Cabins and five Retreat Cabins situated in the palm forest. The latter cabins are stand-alone units, and have a balcony and entertainment area below. All resort accommodation is air-conditioned with en-suite, linen, towels, ceiling fan, fridge and balcony. Rooms are configured to hold a double and two single or a double and four single beds.
For caravan and camping enthusiasts, there are 19, shady, powered sites situated 75m from the water’s edge, and barbecue facilities.
As well, there are two, salt-water swimming pools, and an elevated open “Island” restaurant that caters for 100 guests who can soak up the views across the harbour. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and serves a wide selection of tasty, à la carte meals. The fully-licensed bar holds a selection of wines, icy cold beers and soft drinks that will quench the thirst and cleanse the pallet of any weary traveller.
The resort incorporates a self-contained conference facility that can be hired for weddings and receptions. The facility features folding doors that can be left open for the view and allow the sea breeze to flow through.
As for fishing, well Bynoe Harbour hosts some of the best fishing grounds close to Darwin. Five islands are nestled in the mouth of the harbour, and the harbour coastline is made up of mangroves, fringing and sub-tidal reefs, sandy beaches, seagrass and mud flat and sand flat habitats. You can get access to these grounds via the resort’s recently upgraded boat ramp.
Freddy said an artificial reef was constructed from the former Crab Claw Resort jetty. The jetty was damaged by a cyclone, and then demolished and taken 2km offshore where it is now home to huge jewfish. The reef is close enough to be accessed by small boats and, if you don’t have a boat, you can hire one at the resort.
For more information phone (08) 8978 2313 or visit www.crabclawisland.com.au