Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Houseboating is a fantastic experience but for those who haven’t been before you may be left with some questions! Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions relating to Houseboating on the Murray River.

Do I need a special licence?

No! A current car drivers licence is sufficient if you do not have a boat licence.

Can anyone drive a Houseboat, even if they haven't done any boating before?

Yes! providing you are over 18 years of age with the appropriate licence. On your arrival you are given instructions on the operation and navigation of your Houseboat by a fully licenced Operator. You are then taken for a short instructional cruise just to make sure you are comfortable handling the craft.

How many people are allowed on a Houseboat?

Maritime regulations state the number of persons on board must not exceed the number of berths, the maximum permissible is 12. Children under 12 months of age are excluded.

Are Houseboat holidays suitable for children?

Yes! Houseboats are an ideal family holiday. If regulations are adhered to and common sense is used, we can all enjoy the river. Most Houseboats have excellent child safety areas.

What is on the Houseboat?

Just about everything is provided. See our Standard Features Guide and refer to individual boat listings for special features and inclusions.

How much bond will I have to pay and when do I get it back?

Bonds vary from boat to boat, usually between $200- $2000. Bonds are usually refunded by mail within 7-14 days.

What happens if I damage the boat?

The Houseboat is insured. Providing the terms & conditions of hire are adhered to, the limit of liability is usually the insurance excess. Wilful or negligent damage is not covered.

How far can I travel?

Houseboats travel at an average speed of approx. 7km per hour. Most people average approx. 4-5 hours per day travelling.

Can I drive the Houseboat at night?

No! Houseboats must not be driven after sunset.

How much fuel will I use and how much will it cost?

Fuel usage and costs differ from boat to boat depending on many variables. Check with the Operator for approximate usage and cost.

What happens if I need help?

Houseboats are fitted with two-way radios and/or mobile phones for use in case you need assistance.

Can I take my pet on a houseboat?

This is at the discretion of each Houseboat hire business. Generally pets aren't allowed however contact the business if unsure.

Can you consume alcohol on a Houseboat?

Normal drink driving laws apply to Houseboat drivers. The driver may not be above .05 when in control of a Houseboat and have a full driver's licence. Apart from that, have fun, be safe and respect possible neighbours.

Can we get off along the river and buy supplies and sight see?

Absolutely, there is plenty to do along the way, with towns along the river. You can moor along the bank safely in many places unless signed as private property and have a barbecue or go for a walk.

When is the best time to go?

Every time of year is different, yet fantastic on the Murray River. The riverscapes constantly change along with visitors to the river.

Winter is a very peaceful time of year on the river and is great to have a camp fire and snuggle up by the heater. The river is still, not crowded and the crispness and serenity is fantastic. The Murray in winter is a fantastic time just to escape and unwind not to mention the considerable cost saving compared to peak times.

Summer naturally is a great time to go swimming, skiing and enjoy the river at its most vibrant. Take a dip in the cool waters or sit back and listen to the sounds of nature. This is also peak season for hiring a houseboat.

Is there safe car parking for our vehicles?

Generally speaking most hire places offer secure lock ups, some charge and others don't. Please ask your houseboat business their policy on car parking and management. Generally, vehicles are left at owner’s risk. Boat trailers may also be stored.

Why should I book with a Member of the HHA?

All members of the Association have been surveyed to safety standards by the Department of Transport (Marine Safety Section) and approved by the Association for the standard of accommodation and facilities. All tuition is carried out by licenced Operators who agree to abide by the Association's code of conduct and ethics.

How do I make a booking?

Simply contact the Owner/Manager directly utilising the online facilities via this website and they will assist you with your enquiry.

HHA Logo

Get in Touch

Our members are here to help organise your next houseboat holiday.

Please contact the operator of the Houseboat of your choice direct with your enquiry.

Hire with confidence from a member of the HHA