Kia Marina Houseboat Hire have over 20 houseboats available for renting and driving up the River Murray. Their houseboats suit big or small groups, and allow you a unique River Murray holiday.
We spent a few days aboard one of their houseboats, Misty Dawn. For a full rundown of all of the available houseboats, head to their website.
Misty Dawn is a 6-12 berth houseboat with 6 bedrooms that can be set up with either a double or two single beds. We had 11 people comfortably on board. The bedrooms are a little bit small, but there well-sized for a boat. There are plenty of other areas onboard, so you never feel too cramped.
There's a full kitchen with a toaster, kettle, stove, oven, and even a dishwasher. The only thing you need to watch is your generator, you'll need it on to run most kitchen appliances and it shouldn't be run for too long each day. We stocked up the fridge on the first day, because there aren't many stores along the way where you'll be able to buy groceries. There's also a barbecue on board, and you can bring along your own appliances.
A houseboat holiday also has it's own fun activities. You can get a kayak included on the houseboat, or spend your time fishing or roasting marshmallows around a campfire. Houseboats combine a lot of the great things about camping with a fun way to travel and a more comfortable place to sleep and relax. At night you can choose somewhere to moor the boat, but lunchtime moorings are also a great opportunity to explore local towns and areas along the River Murray.
There's some stunning scenery along the way. If you're just visiting Australia, this is a great way to experience some classic Australian scenery. You'll also get to meet plenty of birds like ducks, pelicans and cormorants. It's recommended that you don't feed the ducks; if you do, they won't leave you alone.
The folks behind Kia Marina are friendly and helpful. They'll give you a rundown of the boat and how to drive it, along with a small lesson, before you head out on your way. If you do encounter any problems on your trip, they're great at helping you out and getting your holiday back on track. Keep in mind that cell phone reception is pretty iffy for most carriers along the River Murray.
Where: Greenshields Rd, Mannum SA
When: A great Summer activity
Cost: See website for details (prices vary across boats)
Web:www.kiamarina.com.au Phone: 08 8569 2400