Quick Contact

Unforgettable Houseboats
Tel: 1300 761 721 or +618 8569 2559
69 River Lane, Mannum
South Australia 5238
e: Email Us

FAQs about houseboating or about our houseboats for hire in SA

Detailed below are some frequently asked questions about Houseboats. If you have a specific questions that you don't see answered below, contact us and we will put your mind at ease.

River Murray

Houseboat Hire & Operation

River Murray

Q. What is the situation with the River's water level

The Unforgettable Fleet operate in the lower section of the Murray River, generally cruising between Murray Bridge and Swan Reach - a 270km return trip.

The section of river between Mannum (our base) to Swan Reach (200km return trip) is the widest and deepest section along the entire Murray.

This section also has the highest cliffs and the longest continuous stretches where these sheer majestic cliffs plunge directly into this mighty river and forms a spectacular contrast to the River Red Gums and rich wetland lagoons and backwaters that are generally opposite these very deep sections.

Irrespective of any droughts that frequently occur, this section is always guaranteed to have consistent water levels for houseboating and water sports for 2 main reasons:

  1. The natural width and depth that has evolved through millions of years creating an average depth totally unobstructed over this 220km stretch between 30 to 50 feet (10 to 15 metres)
  2. The control that SA Water (our state water authority) has to maintain a consistent 'pool' level through the lock and weir system South Australia has in place

So rest assured a houseboating holiday on an Unforgettable Houseboat (which draws less than 1 metre) in this most spectacular section of river will be just that...Unforgettable.

The following websites have further information regarding the Murray River system:


Houseboat Hire & Operation

Q. Why should I choose an Unforgettable Houseboat?

The Unforgettable Houseboats Fleet offers Australia’s most accredited and prestigious houseboats for hire combining quality, comfort, luxury and style. We have been awarded 21 Tourism Awards at Regional, State and National Levels.  We also were proud to receive the 2000 Australian Marine Industry Federation's 'Boat of the Year Award' with Unforgettable 4 being named "Houseboat of the Year."

Our backup throughout your entire trip is the key to our customer's satisfaction. No matter where you are, feel reassured that we can help you no matter whatever the problem.


Q. I've never driven a houseboat before, are they easy to drive?

Modern houseboats are surprisingly easy to operate. Our professional staff will explain the operation of your rental from bow to stern before you leave the marina and after your practical instruction you'll be on your way in confidence. It's that easy!


Q. Do I need a special licence to drive a houseboat?

A full car driver’s licence or boat licence is all that is required. The hirer must be over the age of 21 years of age.


Q. What if I need to contact you while we are away?

Base contact is available 24 hours a day by mobile phone or by using the two-way radio onboard the houseboat.


Q. What is onboard the boat?

Just about everything. Refer to the Final Checklist page for further information.


Q. What do I need to bring?

All you need to bring is your food, drinks, personal toiletries, CDs, DVDs, Binoculars and fishing equipment. Check out our Planning Tips page to give you some ideas of how to start your Unforgettable Houseboat experience.


Q. How do I make a booking?

Simply phone the Unforgettable office on 1300 761 721 to discuss available dates. Once you've decided on the date and boat that best suits your group we will make a tentative booking for you.

All that is then required is for you to pay a deposit of $600 to confirm the booking. This deposit is deducted off your hire fee and once this is made your final balance is due no later than eight weeks prior to departure.


Q. What do I do with my vehicle whilst on our houseboat holiday?

Free lock-up car parking is available at the marina. We have a separate car park for trailers and boat trailers for your convenience.


Q. Can I fish from my houseboat?

The River Murray is a fishing enthusiast’s delight! Sit back, cast your line off the back deck and be prepared to catch that elusive Murray Cod. The abundance of fish in the river, whether European Carp, Redfin or Callop will have you attending your line continuously.

Don't have any fishing lines? No worries! We also offer a full range of fishing equipment for hire at the marina. You do not require a fishing licence to fish in South Australia, however there are restrictions on returning fish to the River. For further information on fishing on the Murray River, click here!


Q. Will i have enough fuel onboard or will i need to refuel

Yes, you have enough fuel onboard for the duration of your holiday. There are two fuels on each houseboat in the fleet - unleaded for the outboard motors & diesel for the generator.


Q. Will I need to pump out effluent?

No, not under normal circumstances. The boats have extremely large holding tanks & would only need to be pumped out over longer hire periods or if an issue occurred.


Q. How much drinking water is onboard?

You have between 400 - 600 litres of fresh drinking water depending on the houseboat you select. This is mains water that goes through a secondary filtration on the houseboat. If your group usually drinks bottled water you may include some in your shopping. Your showering water is direct from the river and separate to your fresh drinking water.


Q. Are there any restaurants, cafes or hotels on the river?

The only hotels for dining options is in the township of Mannum (Pretoria Hotel, Mannum Community Club or Mannum Motel) or at Swan Reach (an option only achievable only over a 7 night hire period).


Q. Can we purchase extra supplies on the river?

Yes, there are General Stores located every 2 1/2—3 hours apart on the river. These General Stores are very well stocked but they are not supermarkets. You will be able to purchase staples such as bread, milk, ice, canned & bottled product, bait, ice, takeaway foods, newspapers, dairy & frozen products. Each of the General Stores also has small amounts of alcohol available. These General stores are very close to the river & within easy walking distance of the houseboat.


Q. Is there insurance against the houseboats or an excess applicable?

Yes, each of the houseboats are insured in the fleet. If you are involved in an accident during the time of hire you are responsible for an insurance excess payment of $1000. This would be processed against a credit card (MasterCard or Visa) on the day of disembarkation. You will have a claims form to complete before departing. Any accident that occurs during your time of travel must be reported on the day of the incident & not on the day of return.


Q. Can I bring my sleep apnoea machine onboard the houseboat?

Yes, just include a small extension lead in case it is required.


Q. Can we have pets onboard the houseboat?

No, we have a strict no pet policy.


Q. Do we depart & return the houseboat to the same location?

Yes, you depart from Mannum & return the houseboat to Mannum on the day of disembarkation.


Q. Do you have coffee machines onboard?

No, we have coffee plungers across all houseboats in the fleet. You are more than welcome to bring your own coffee machine with you.


Q. How many people can I have on the houseboat?

Please be aware that the maximum number of people permitted on a houseboat must not exceed the number of berths. Department of Transport who govern the surveys held against each boat also states that the maximum number permitted is 12 people in total. If your group exceeds 12 people you would need to consider additional houseboats to accommodate yourgroup. Children over the age of 12 months are included in the passenger number. If they are under the age of 12 months are not counted in the passenger number.


Q. At what stage do I pay my deposit?

Your deposit payment is required within 3 working days of a tentative booking being held for you. Your deposit can be paid by Visa, MasterCard or Direct Deposit. Details for the Direct Deposit option will be provided to you during email correspondence.


Q. At what stage do I pay my balance of the hire fee?

8 weeks prior to your boarding date. You will find this date notated against the original paperwork/invoice that was sent at the deposit stage of your booking. Your balance payment can be paid by Visa, MasterCard or Direct Deposit. Details for the Direct Deposit option will be provided to you during email correspondence.


Q. When do I pay my security bond payment? How will I receive my security bond account back?

A. Payment is required either on the day of boarding by a cash payment only option or it can be paid by direct deposit 1 week prior to boarding by direct deposit. Details for the Direct Deposit option will be provided to you during email correspondence.

B. Your security bond account payment is utilized towards your fuel, ice consumption during the time of hire & provided the boat is returned in good order and condition this is what would be deducted from this payment. The invoice indicating your expenditure will be sent back to you within 10 working days after the date of disembarkation. Your invoice will either be in a credit or debit – if in credit this amount will be refunded back to you by cheque or direct deposit (details must be provided on the day of boarding for direct deposit option). If you exceed the security bond paid and the account is in debit you will need to make payment against this account within 7 days of receipt.


Q. How much fuel will the houseboat use?

Average fuel consumptions for estimation purposes only

Houseboat No.                   Unleaded ~ Outboards                 Diesel ~ Generator

Unforgettable ~ 1                10 ~ 15 litres per hour                 10 ~ 30 litres per day

Unforgettable ~ 2                10 ~ 15 litres per hour                 10 ~ 30 litres per day

Unforgettable ~ 3                14 ~ 20 litres per hour                 15 ~ 35 litres per day

Unforgettable ~ 4                11 ~ 16 litres per hour                  15 ~ 30 litres per day

Unforgettable ~ 5                11 ~ 16 litres per hour                  15 ~ 30 litres per day

Unforgettable ~ 6                17 ~ 24 litres per hour                 17 ~ 35 litres per day

Unforgettable ~ 9                11 ~ 16 litres per hour                 15 ~ 30 litres per day

Unforgettable ~ 10              17 ~ 24 litres per hour                15 ~ 35 litres per day

Unforgettable ~ 11              15 ~ 20 litres per hour                 17 ~ 35 litres per day

Unforgettable ~ 12              10 ~ 14 litres per hour                 10 ~ 20 litres per day


EXAMPLE ONLY: If you selected Unforgettable 5 as an estimation only for the return trip to Swan Reach (achievable over a 7 night hire) based on the current cost ($1.52 per litre) of unleaded fuel to run your outboard motors - (12  hours travel time each way x 16 litres per hour) $583.68. You also have diesel fuel which runs your generator system onboard. this is variable based on the amount of usage of larger appliances i.e. Jacuzzi, air conditioner, dishwasher plus when a recharging of your battery banks occurs. The system is automated so only comes on when required and also depending on the time of year you travel as to the amount of usage for example of your air conditioner etc. Remember it will totally depend on the distance you travel as to how much fuel you will use, the cost of fuel at the time of traveling and just because we say you can reach Swan Reach does not mean you have to travel that far.