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We have never been on a Houseboat before, what do we need to do?
Firstly, prepare yourself for the most relaxing holiday you have ever had!
Then you need to decide on how many people you have coming, and what bed configurations you will require? Once that has been established then decide on what dates suit you best? PEAK period covers the Christmas school holidays and also Easter. NORMAL period is all other months, excluding June, July and August, which are OFF PEAK period. Once you have decided what time of year you wish to come, then you need to decide for how long?
From experience we would recommend 7 days (any less and you will be just settling in when you have to go home) and as most people have to travel to and from the boat, you are not wasting the majority of your precious holiday time travelling. Lesser days are available however, with 3 nights being the minimum. School holidays in April, July and September are popular and the Xmas holidays and Easter periods are generally booked out up to 6 months in advance, so if you are thinking of going then, you will need to book early!
Want to know a little SECRET though? (ssshhh)... Winter is a FANTASTIC time to be on the river!
Why? Hire rates are MUCH cheaper at this time of year! Day time temperatures usually are still in the low 20 degrees Celsius and the Riverland has more days of sunshine each year than the Gold Coast! At night you can have a camp fire on the bank (no fire bans and plenty of wood to be found from the Summer storms )! During winter there are spectacular sun rises and morning mists that rise and swirl on the river. You virtually get the whole river to yourselves! No ski boats or jet skis, and plenty of places to pull up and moor for the night in complete peace and quiet!
Payment how do we go about it?
When you book HYPNOTIC, a deposit of $ 500 needs to be paid to confirm your booking and hold your dates for you. This may be paid by direct credit or cheque. Following receipt of your deposit, we will email you an invoice together with a letter. The letter will stipulate what date your residual payment needs to be made by. All payments will need to be paid by the time stipulated to avoid your booking being cancelled. If booking within a certain time period of the commencement date of your hire, you may be required to pay the full amount of hire at the time of booking.
Do we need to pay a bond?
Yes. A bond of $ 1000 is payable at the time of boarding the vessel, and is paid directly to our managers. It is paid by cash at the time of boarding. The residual bond is returned upon disembarking, once all fuel, and any breakage costs are deducted.
Do we need any insurance?
HYPNOTIC is fully insured. If all the terms and conditions of hire are adhered to, the limit of liability to the Hirer is usually the insurance excess, which is $ 2000 for each and every claim. Wilful damage or negligent damage will be deducted from your bond. Minor breakages (glass, plate etc. ) are not normally charged for. We highly recommend that you consider taking out separate Travel insurance to cover any unforseen last minute cancellations that may occur? We can arrange this for you if you wish.
I have never driven a houseboat, what will I need to do?
To hire HYPNOTIC houseboat you will need to be a minimum of 25 years of age, however to drive the vessel, you need to be 18 years of age as at the date of hire, and hold a current car driver’s licence. No boat license or special training is required. Approximately one hour's tuition is given by our managers (known as the “show out” ) prior to starting your holiday. Driving and mooring the boat is surprisingly easy once you get used to it.
What if I need to cancel?
Our cancellation policy is outlined in our Terms & Conditions.
What will I need to bring?
HYPNOTIC is very well equipped with everything that will make your holiday comfortable. All bedding is provided, but by all means if you have a favourite pillow or such you may like to bring it along. Electrical appliances brought on board are at your own risk and at our discretion. Due to the fact that the boat operates on a deep storage battery system, we cannot guarantee continual 240 volt supply. You may like to ask about this when making your booking. If you require a breathing machine please discuss this prior to boarding.
Bath towels, bath mats, tea towels and hand towels are provided. You may want to bring your own beach towel if you are considering swimming or using the Hot Tub/ Jacuzzi?
Other than that basically it is just your food, drink and personal toiletries/clothing that you need to bring to cover the time you are out on the river. We will provide a “Boarding Information” sheet once you have booked, which shows what basic provisions will be on the boat already for you, but you will need extra! A good rule of thumb here is that it is better to OVER cater and take provisions home, than to run out when you are out on the river and away from the shops! Some people allocate specific meals to each of the people travelling on the boat. In this way, it helps spread the cost, reduce the workload, and helps to make catering that much easier.
What distance can we travel?
HYPNOTIC will travel at around 6-8 kilometres per hour at 2500 – 2800 rpm (as indicated on the digital motor gauges). We find that most people tend to travel around 3-4 hours a day, but this is entirely up to you! Basically you travel until you find a spot along the river that appeals to you? Generally this is a clear area of river bank, with trees on either side (for tying up to), and no fallen trees or snags visible in the water. There are no designated areas so it’s totally up to you to find that perfect spot. Well informed river charts are provided on the boat to help you plot your course each day and to help you navigate safely.
Upriver from our mooring you have approx. 54 river kilometres upstream to Lock 6, therefore if you do not want to try and negotiate a Lock (instructions are in the manual supplied on the vessel), you will not need to, and you can still find plenty of beautiful river to explore!
If going upriver, you will need to moor relatively close to Renmark township on your last night, to ensure that you are at the Waste Disposal Station by 8.30am to be pumped out in time to catch the Paringa Bridge opening at 9.30am, and disembark by 10am on your last day!
When travelling, you will find that you travel much quicker coming downstream than going upstream, especially if the river is flowing fast. A good rule of thumb if this is the case, is to allow twice as much time going upstream, as coming back downstream!
Are there any restrictions as to when we can travel i.e. night time?
Night travel is extremely dangerous, not permitted by Law, and you should be moored well before sunset. Other than that there are no restrictions. If there is a storm in progress, or if extreme winds are forecast (over 30kph), you should remain securely moored with both ropes tied on each side of the vessel. In the event that these conditions prevail when boarding or when you are due to disembark, you may need to speak with management, who will advise you how to proceed.
Fuel costs, how much will we use?
All fuel is paid for at the end of the hire and fuel is charged at the current fuel prices (as supplied by management) at the time, and deducted from your Bond. Usage will vary dependent upon river conditions, speed and direction of travel, weather conditions etc. For the most economical fuel usage, always drive the boat at around 2500 – 2800 rpm.
What other things can we expect?
Firstly…to be completely relaxed by the time you return, to be very disappointed that the trip is over, and to be already planning your next one!
You may also hear some noises from time to time…such as a whirring/clicking noise, or the gentle hum of a motor, or water running in to the river, especially if you are down at the rear of the vessel? Don’t be concerned! These are the noises of the Aerofloat grey water system cleaning all of your shower and dishwashing waste water and returning it to the river cleaner than it came out, or the Generator unit which is re-charging the deep cell batteries, giving the boat power. These systems will both come on and switch off automatically as required.
What we recommend is that you try and shower in the mornings wherever possible, and run your dishwasher at the same time, and try to limit the amount of lights you have on at night time. In this way, you should not hear these noises during the night when you are trying to sleep! HYPNOTIC is fitted with low wattage and LED lighting and a 3.0 kilowatt solar system, all of which reduce reliance on the generator and give you a much more peaceful experience than you will get on most other houseboats on the river!
What can we expect to see on our river holiday?
You will enjoy the magic of the beautiful River Murray with abundant wildlife and bird life, and fish jumping from the water. You will pass majestic river gums and spectacular cliffs. There are plenty of photo opportunities.
There are 2 x single kayaks on the rear deck included free of charge, which can be used to explore the many backwaters and lagoons, or try a spot of quiet fishing from the back deck. Fishing rods and equipment are supplied, as are yabbie nets! Additional canoes or dinghy’s are available for hire from our management by prior arrangement.
Approximately 6 hours cruising upstream from Renmark you will find Wilkadene Woolshed Brewery tucked away in a quiet horseshoe bend of the river! This is a lovely spot to pull in and sample one of their many local brews or perhaps indulge in a selection of locally made biscuits, cheeses, dips etc.
Sunsets with red earth cliffs framing the backdrop, and beautiful mornings with mists rising and swirling above the water are a delight, and cannot be compared.
On your final night you may like to come back to Renmark and dine at their magnificent water front hotel or the Renmark Club, which welcomes visitors.
What does the Houseboat Hirer's Association member symbol mean?
By being a member of the association all members are committed to abide by the code of ethics and conduct, and must keep their vessels to a high standard.
How do we know that the boat will meet all safety standards?
All hire boats have to be surveyed out of water, every 2 years by the Department of Transport - Marine Safety Section to ensure that all safety measures are met. You will find the current Survey Certificate clearly displayed in the vessel.
How do we get to Renmark/Paringa, South Australia?
Renmark is situated on the River Murray, approx. 259km North East of Adelaide SA, along Highway A20, and is one of the largest towns on the river in South Australia.
Travelling from Adelaide by car takes approx. 3 hours. Take the A20 highway from Gawler via Nuriootpa and Blanchetown, Kapunda, then via Waikerie and Barmera, and on to Renmark.
If travelling from the Eyre Peninsula, Iron Triangle or the Far North of SA, turn off Highway 1 at the Crystal Brook exit. Travel via Crystal Brook to Gulnare, then on to Burra, and then to Morgan, then turn left on to highway B64 to Renmark.
If you are travelling from interstate or overseas, and require transfers to and from Adelaide Airport, please contact us for details of a transport provider.