How far in advance should I book?
- We require a 6- to 8-month security deposit; otherwise, the houseboat will be available to other hirers.
Car Parking for Guests
- There is a $10 one-off fee for all cars/trailers per booking in the lock-up facility.
- Long term parking is not permitted on the reserve for hire vessels.
Who can drive the houseboat?
- You are required to be twenty-one (21) years old and hold a full car licence. If you hold an international licence, please notify us to verify compliance with the Act.
Driving the houseboat
- Wow Factor is a large two-story houseboat, if it is driven at the not recommended engine RPM, it has the potential to use 40-litres of unleaded fuel per hour.
- Providing the boat is driven at the recommended RPM, Todd and Kate have achieved fuel burn less than 20 litres per hour.
- Wow Factor has been refuelled with 600-litre unleaded fuel prior to your arrival and the tank is full. You must pay for all fuel usage during the hire period.
- The maximum permitted engine hours before refilling is 15 hours to reduce the risk of running out of fuel.
- Wow Factor’s fuel gauge is inoperable.
- You must log your engine hours throughout the hire to ensure sufficient fuel and avoid running out which is likely to cause significant damage.
- Wow Factor records engine hours if both the keys are not completely in the off position. You must ensure the keys are fully in the off position. This is visible, by the two digital speedometers for RPM being turned off.
- For information:
- Fuel is available at Mannum Waters, approximately 10 hours upstream from Riverglen Marina.
- Fuel is available at Long Island Marina, approximately 1 hour upstream from Riverglen Marina.
- Running out of fuel in the middle of the river will likely result in an accident when the wind or current moves the houseboat into other boats, bridges, cliffs or jetties/pontoons etc. This will put you at significant risk of losing your bond and your $5,000 in excess.
- We suggest you plan your trip to not need to refuel. If you wish to refuel please advise us at boarding so we can ensure you are appropriately skilled in the relevant safety precautions.
- We suggest not operating Wow Factor when the visibility is low, it is raining, foggy, misty, there is smoke haze or glare. If you do operate Wow Factor in these conditions, you must drive slowly.
- It is an offence to drive any houseboat under the influence of alcohol (.05) and/or illicit drugs.
- It is an offence to drive the vessel between sunset and sunrise.
- It is an offence to operate the vessel downstream of Wellington Ferry.
- Driving Wow Factor (a double-story houseboat) during windy conditions is risky. If the wind is over 30 km/hour, you will be at significant risk of accident and losing your bond and having to pay your excess if you drive Wow Factor.
- All guests are encouraged to stay at the show out location at Riverglen if the conditions are windy.
- The upstairs steering is not to be used. This station has been decommissioned.
- Do not store fuel on the houseboat. It is an offence to store fuel outside of Wow Factor’s approved tanks.
- Always keep a proper lookout and be aware of your location.
- You can view the river markers every 2 km showing you the distance and location of where you are on the river. Riverglen Marina is a 102 km mark from the river mouth. Mannum for instance is approximately 150 km from the river mouth or 48km from Riverglen Marina
- The motors must be off whenever swimmers are in the water or the rear platform is used.
Mooring the houseboat
- Please check here for our list of recommended mooring locations of public parklands and reserves.
- Under no circumstances is the boat to be moored against any private or public jetty/pontoon, boardwalk or pier doing so, which is likely to result in damage to Wow Factor and the pier. You will lose your bond if you do this.
- Pump outs will be required on longer bookings and guests are to follow the procedure on the boat and at the pump out station. Due to the significant risk of damage and loss of bond, if the sewage overflows from the toilets through Wow Factor, we recommend pumping out every three days.
- If guests bring a ski boat or jet ski, they must secure these watercraft(s) to the side of the vessel, instructions will be provided during the show out process.
- Be aware of gum tree branches doing damage to the top story of the houseboat. Even if the branches are not hitting the houseboat, the wind may change causing the boat to be blown into the branch(es).
- Caution must be used when using the gangplank. The river is unpredictable and misuse is likely to cause the front glass sliding door to break causing significant expense. The wind or wakeboard boats is sufficient to push the boat into the riverbank and gangplank through the front glass door. The repair cost approximately $600+GST.
- The vessel should be firmly roped (both sides and fore & aft) to the bank during mooring. All four ropes should be firmly tied to suitable trees/posts.
- During the show out we explain how the houseboat should remain floating in the river and not tied firmly against the riverbank to avoid one or both pontoons being beached against the riverbank. Being a 50-55 tonne vessel the two outboard motors will not be powerful enough to reverse the boat off the riverbank
- A ski boat rescue will be required at a significant cost to the hirer ($250+GST per hour)
- The risk is higher of beaching the pontoons when the houseboat is moored when the wind is strong. This increases the level of the river so in the morning when the wind has decreased the river pool level drops that breach the pontoons.
While on the houseboat
- You must not venture out of the permitted areas on the houseboat:
- Living space;
- Outdoor area inside the railing; and
- Swim deck when Wow Factor is stationary with motors off.
- No one should have any part of their body outside the railings whilst the vessel is underway. Children must be supervised at all times whilst on Wow Factor.
- Do not jump into the river from the top deck.
- No one must be on the swim deck whilst the boat is in motion.
- Do not climb over the balcony through the windows to reach upstairs.
- This is a smoke-free vessel. Do not smoke at any time on the vessel, including outdoor areas.
- Do not use the vacuum cleaner in any wet areas of Wow Factor (including, around the spa). Please use the leaf blower to clean these areas.
- There aren’t any fly screens upstairs. These windows are only to be open 50 mm due to safety reasons (to avoid people jumping from the window).
- When the deed is done (using the toilet) remember, half-flush on the left, full-flush on the right. DO NOT flush anything except for toilet paper and human waste. Please use the bins provided to dispose of feminine products, paper towels, tissues, wipes, etc.
- Do not leave rubbish along the riverbank. Please check our document – River Waste Disposal Stations – where you specifically can dispose of your rubbish and bottles/cans.
- Candles, incense, or mosquito coils must never be burnt on the boat as they are a severe fire risk.
- Naked flames or fire are strictly forbidden on the houseboat.
- Fire extinguishers are provided for emergencies only. If they are used other than in emergency there will be a refill charge of $100 each.
- The portable fire pit on the front pontoon is only to be used onshore. The firepit is never to be used on Wow Factor and doing so will cause you to lose your bond and excess.
- Lifebuoys and emergency lifejackets are provided for emergency situations only. Using them for non-emergencies is illegal.
- Beware of the Fruit Fly! If you’re planning a trip to the Riverland, check the list of fruit and vegetables on the fruit fly website to find out what you can pack. Avoid a fine – pack thoughtfully. Check more information here.
Will I be charged extra for using the spa?
- No, you will not be charged extra for the spa. If however, you DO NOT wish to use the spa we can remove this from the package and offer a reduced rate off your total booking. (The spa will be locked if you chose not to include the spa in your package).
Can we bring dogs with us?
- Definitely yes! We will be asking the following to ensure the best experience for you and your furry friends:
- What breed and size is the dog?
- We require you to bring dog essentials, including dog towels, beds, and bowls. Please note that dog towels should be used to dry your dog regularly and before coming inside. Please do not use bath towels for your dog. We have additional dog towels, beds, and bowls for rent should you be unable to bring your own.
- For more information, please check An Important Message from Rosso here.
Where can we buy groceries?
- Murray Bridge has a number of supermarkets, grocers, butchers, and bakeries to choose from (please contact Wow Houseboats for more information and delivery options).
- Wow houseboats can also arrange for premade meals to be available on the boat before departure upon request (please contact Wow Houseboats for more information).
- We encourage you to review the fruits and vegetables at risk from fruit fly here.
Is there freshwater on board?
- We provide you with plenty of fresh water onboard for drinking.
Do I supply my own ice?
- At the moment, we have Eskys and ice can be purchased from the Riverglen Marina. In the future, we will be purchasing an ice machine to further provide a “wow” experience for your houseboat holiday.
Do I supply my own firewood?
- We provide wood for campfire cooking; outside of fire ban season, provisions for having a fire on the riverbank apply.
Can I fish from my houseboat?
- Fuel can be carried in an unoccupied craft under tow. However, must not be carried onboard Wow Factor.
Refuelling the houseboat
- If you are planning a longer trip and you need to be trained on how to fill the houseboat with unleaded fuel you need to let us know so you can be trained on how to refuel the houseboat safely.
- The portside is unleaded tank and the starboard side is the diesel tank. There is a plastic pipe in the outside port side cabinet that is designed to fit onto the fuel tank inlet that must be used to refill the houseboat. This pipe builds up head pressure and the houseboat cannot be refuelled without this pipe being fitted. We need to know if you are refuelling at Mannum Waters or Long Island and on what days and how much fuel you are expecting to purchase so we can let the marina know to have the required fuel ready.
- Putting the wrong fuel in the tank will do significant damage to Wow Factor and cause you to lose your bond and likely your excess.
- With respect to Mannum Waters, we need to provide instructions on how to secure the houseboat to the fuel station/pontoon similar to the pump out procedure plus use the pumps and pay for the fuel.
- For longer trips, we can arrange for unleaded fuel and diesel to be delivered to Swan Reach on a Friday on availability and notice. Time the fuel truck will deliver fuel next to the pump-out station. This option needs to be planned in advance.
How much fuel will the houseboat need?
- The houseboat has a 600-litre petrol fuel tank for running the vessel and a diesel tank for the generator. These will always be full when hired out. When the boat is returned, the petrol and diesel tanks will be filled, and the amount used will be taken from the bond provided for the hire. The diesel and petrol fuel will be charged at the rate RiverGlen Marina sells the diesel and petrol to Wow Houseboats.
- The houseboat takes diesel to run the 22 kva Omar generator, the largest generator we know of on any hire/drive houseboat on the Murray River.
- It is very economical, and on a two-week trip from Renmark, we used 16-20 litres an hour. We will record how much diesel is used for hiring/driving in order to provide an average diesel consumption. The diesel is filled on the starboard bow side of the boat and requires a 1 m extension piece to be connected to provide the required head of pressure to fill the tanks.
- Wow Factor had one guest that used 570 litres of fuel in 18 hours of the return journey from Riverglen to Mannum. That was 32 litres per hour and they only had 1 hour left before they ran out of fuel. This instance would suggest that this guest was travelling with high RPM on a return trip to Mannum. They could have refuelled at Mannum Waters or Long Island Marina on the way back to Riverglen Marina but chose not to.
Returning the boat
- Please return the boat in a clean and tidy condition, otherwise, an excess cleaning charge will be incurred.
- You are responsible for the BBQ being clean on return. We charge $100+GST for professional cleaning if this is not done.
- All damage or loss of equipment must be reported.
- We reserve our right to charge you for any loss or damage.
How you are likely to lose your bond and the $5000 insurance excess?
- Mooring the houseboat against any public or private pier, pontoon, boardwalk or jetty as the handrail and bump strips will be damaged. You are also likely to damage others property in the mooring against these.
- Running out of fuel.
- Houseboat rescue of pulling the boat from the riverbank when the river level drops and not following the mooring show out instructions.
- Using incorrect mooring methods (securing the vessel correctly as taught in the show out).
- Failing to keep Wow Factor floated.
- The bump strips being damaged by not mooring a ski boat or jet ski against the boat correctly.
- Driving the houseboat from the upstairs helm.
- Driving at night or downstream from the Wellington Ferry. We track Wow Factor 24 hours, 7 days per week.
- Smoking on the vessel and repair from smoke and butt damage.
- Returning the vessel late.
- Not pumping out for longer hire/drive bookings and overflow of greywater/sewage (we never want this to happen).
- Driving the boat into gum trees when mooring or having the boat blow into trees once moored when the wind shifts direction.
QR code check-in
COVID Safe Check-In is South Australia’s QR code check-in system.
All travellers should download the mySA GOV app from Google Play or the App Store before travelling to South Australia. You are required to use the COVID Safe Check-In whenever you enter a business or premises displaying an approved QR code.
If you do not have a smartphone, you must provide you can complete a manual check-in.
Special provision relating to COVID-19 cases
A person (other than a domestic violence arrival) who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 must not enter South Australia until the period for which they would have been required to isolate if in South Australia has elapsed (10 days).
Beginning 01 January 2022, travellers entering South Australia are no longer required to complete an EntryCheck SA application.
All people travelling in and out of Australia should be aware of Australian Government requirements for international travellers.
More information is available on the Department of Health’s website.
You can travel to South Australia from overseas if you have completed a course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), or you are under the age of 12 years and 2 months.
You must have evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 3 days prior to departure. On arrival to SA, you must:
- Undertake a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arrival in SA and quarantine until the test is taken
- No entry into High-risk settings for 7 days after arrival
Note: If you have not completed a course of a COVID-19 vaccine approved or recognised by the TGA (i.e. had one dose of 2 dose course), you will be classified as an unvaccinated traveller.
You must have evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 3 days prior to departure.
If you are unvaccinated and travelling to South Australia, on arrival you must:
- Quarantine as directed for 14 days after arrival
- Undertake a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arrival in SA, on the 6th day after arrival and on the 13th day after arrival.
- Check symptoms for 14 days after arrival
Depending on your circumstances, your quarantine will be completed at home or at a medi-hotel.
Note: Travellers unvaccinated under the age of 12 years and 2 months can enter South Australia as vaccinated travellers.
Depending on individual circumstances, travellers will be required to complete quarantine in a medi-hotel or at home.
Updated 16 February 2022