FRUIT FLY OUTBREAK - Renmark and the greater Riverland area currently have a number of fruit fly outbreaks.  This has resulted in restrictions applying to the movement of at-risk fruit and vegetables within our region. To further understand these restrictions, please visit when planning your visit.

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Houseboat holidays are relaxing and a lot of fun for groups and people of all ages!  Houseboats can sleep anywhere between 2-12 people, so the number of people you're planning travel with combined with the facilities you'd like onboard will help you decide which boat will suit you best.  

Renmark has the largest commercial houseboat fleet in South Australia with 13 companies to choose from.  Some leave from downstream of the Paringa Bridge, some closer to the Renmark town centre are and others upstream from Murtho and the Customs House area. 

Here are our top three tips (and a few others) to help you make the most of your time on the mighty Murray River -

  Top 3




 1 –Work out who you are travelling with and what you need to make your trip all you want it to be ……

Are you a couple of families looking to kick back and relax or a group of couples looking for adventuHouseboat Floorplanres on land and river? Knowing this will help you work the the best floorplan - how many bedrooms, if people are happy to share bathrooms or prefer their own en-suites, if you would like to relax with a spa or if multiple living space(s) or solar power will make the trip more comfortable.  Once you have this detail, jump online and look at the facilities and plans of all the different vessels until you find one that works for your scenario.  Remember, the largest boats have a maximum occupancy of 12, so if your group is larger than this, you will need to look at two boats!

2-How much time do you have? 

To truly relax and experience the best the Murray and Renmark has to offer, you will need five or so days.  This will give you the chance to moor in town, discover the beautiful riverfront area and enjoy a meal at one of the riverside pubs, clubs or cafes (either at the start or the end of your trip) while still allowing you time to make your way upstream, exploring along the way. The Woolshed Brewery is a popular stopping point where you can easily spend an afternoon relaxing with a brew on the deck. Explore the riverside national park areas, the intricate network of creeks and backwaters, the historic internment camp site or stay riverside! 

 All hires are based on returning the boat to your pick up point, so you need to allow enough time for the return journey. Most people will travel 4-5 hours per day with an average speed of approx. 7km per hour. This will give you a guide as to how far you may travel during your hire!

3-When is the best time to go?

Houseboating is an experience that you can enjoy at any time of year....

Trips in the cooler months are relaxing, snuggled up inside with a book or a day long board game marathon.  You will never forget waking up to the fog glistening on the water, the birds calling in the new day and the chance to go and explore the national park areas on foot, discover the creeks and backwaters in a kayak or canoe or throw a fishing line in (no licence required in SA) and cross your fingers!  A campfire on the rivers edge is the ultimate .... toasting marshmallows, baking damper in the coals or indulging with a campfire cook up for dinner! 

The river is 'calling' during the warmer months so ski, board, tube, surf, swim, paddle or laze your way through the day in preparation to indulge in some of our local craft beverages, freshly grown produce or platter partners as the day comes to a close. If you're looking something a little slower paced, set your deck chair in the shallows, pop up some shade, dip your feet in the water and watch the day go by from the most perfect position on the river!

No mater what, always be aware of what's below the river surface - snags, logs and strong currents.  The river is mostly unclear, so don't dive into anywhere that you not 100% confident of its depth or what's below.

Other hints and tips -

You don't need any experience, just an unrestricted car licence to drive a houseboat. Your hire company will provide you with detailed instructions on how to operate the vessel, take you for a short instructional cruise to make sure you are comfortable and also show you how to tie up your vessel.  Navigational charts are supplied onboard and your hire company is normally contactable in case you have any queries as you go (mobile coverage has improved dramatically or some vessels have radios). Driving is prohibited after sunset, creating a good excuse to kick back and relax for the evening, though not too much as the same drink driving rules apply as driving a vehicle on the road.

All hires will require a cash bond (amount varies from company to company) with details available in the terms and conditions that accompany your hire.  Fuel is supplied at the time of departure, with the cost of the amount used deducted from your bond once the vessel is returned.  Insurance is normally included, though check again for the specific details of the policy and your obligations. 

Everything is generally supplied for your trip, you just need to bring your personal items, beach towels, food, beverages, plenty of ice (most boats have a large cool/ice box on the rear deck for drinks and surplus food items) and any activities that you want to take along ie SUP's, games, media etc. Dinghy/speed boat hire (requires a boat licence) and kayaks/canoes can normally be arranged with your hire company at an additional cost. Once unloaded, your vehicle can be stored in secure lockups provided at your departure point.

If you are travelling with children (or people who are not confident swimmers), make sure you have life jackets and ensure they wear them at all times when outside on the deck area. Most boats have excellent child safety areas and safety latches on doors for younger family members. Pets are welcome on some vessels, ensuring that all the family can be a part of the adventure!

For further boating safety information please visit where you can sign up for a Monthly Safety Newsletter.