7 Night Houseboat River Discovery
Imagine captaining your own houseboat, steering it down the mighty Murray River with your friends and family along for the ride. A 7 night houseboat holiday in South Australia is the stuff dreams are made of. Boats depart from the historic riverside township of Mannum, just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide.
First stop is the Adelaide Central Market. Buzzing with sights, tastes and smells, it’s a melting pot of different cultures and fantastic food. Pick up some goodies to take with you on the houseboat, or enjoy a gourmet breakfast before hitting the road. Coach transfers to the river are available from Adelaide. We recommend you take a short detour into the Adelaide Hills enroute to the River. Spend time in the historic German village of Hahndorf, the main street's historic stone buildings are filled with art and craft galleries, cellar doors, antique shops, German bakeries, chocolate shops, cafes and a fantastic cheese cellar. Board your houseboat in Mannum from 3pm and after a short self-drive demonstration, head off on your houseboat holiday! Overnight on your houseboat.
Start your day by cruising upstream, enjoying the spectacular scenery along the way. Find a secluded mooring for the night around the township of Bowhill, about 4.5 hours cruising time away. In the afternoon, drop a line in the Murray River as the sun disappears behind the red ochre cliffs or relax in the onboard jacuzzi as you watch the sun set over the red river gums. Equipment for water skiing, canoeing and jet skiing is available for hire, or explore the backwaters in a dinghy. Enjoy a barbecue dinner as you cruise past a uniquely Australian vista of limestone and ochre coloured cliffs and abundant birdlife. Overnight on your houseboat.
For a real treat, book a tour to the nearby Barossa wine region. You’ll be picked up from your houseboat and taken wine tasting and sightseeing in Australia’s most famous wine region. Or enjoy a round at one of the local golf courses before returning to your houseboat at the end of the day. Alternatively, spend the afternoon cruising from Bowhill to Walker Flat. Moor at the small township and walk up to the lookout for magnificent panoramic views of the river, or enjoy a picnic lunch on the lawn before returning to your houseboat for the night. Overnight on your houseboat.
Today, cruise to Big Bend, about 2.5 hours cruising time away. On the way, join a guided tour of the Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal Site and climb the boardwalk up the majestic cliffs of an ancient seabed. In the afternoon cruise past the tallest cliffs on the Murray River and experience the abundant wildlife on a Big Bend By Night Sunset Dinner with Nocturnal Tour. At the end of your day on the river, there's nothing better than sharing a glass of wine with your family and friends as you watch pelicans gliding past majestic limestone cliffs, lit by the setting sun. Overnight on your houseboat.
Treat yourselves to a true Aussie breakfast in a secluded natural bush setting. Choose the Champagne and Bushtucker Breakfast and indulge in wattle seed pancakes with desert quandong syrup, kangaroo sausages, marinated rabbit and tree mushrooms - not your standard Kiwi cafe fare! Then cruise up to Swan Reach and stop at the Swan Reach Hotel for lunch or dinner. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon bush walking, or relaxing on the houseboat with a good book. Overnight on your houseboat.
Enjoy the day cruising back downstream and find a mooring between Walker Flat and Bowhill. There is a General Store at Walker Flat if you need to pick up any supplies, and it has some of the most spectacular cliff views along the Murray River. Younghusband is a great stop for walkers, with several road trails branching inland from the river. There is also a lovely lawn area to enjoy a picnic or follow the road up to the top of the cliff and take in the spectacular river views. Overnight on the houseboat.
After waking to the sound of galahs, enjoy a tasty onboard breakfast before travelling downstream to moor near Mannum. Spend the day exploring this historic riverside township, including the famous Mannum Dock Museum, or follow one of the many looped walking trails. Golfers can play a round at the Mannum Golf Club. Celebrate your last night with a gourmet meal cooked onboard by a 5 star chef, or go ashore for dinner at the Mannum Hotel. Overnight on the houseboat.
Today, return to the Unforgettable Houseboats base and disembark by 10am. Travel back to Adelaide at your leisure.
Our SA Expert’s Top Tip
“Upgrade to the Unforgettable Houseboats ‘Platinum Package’. You’ll receive return scenic transfers from Adelaide, a full day Barossa winery tour including a two course lunch, a Big Bend Sunset Dinner and a Champagne and Bushtucker Breakfast. Onboard your houseboat you’ll have the use of an Aussie Spit Roaster and a three person canoe! It’s the ultimate addition to your houseboat holiday.”