Getting a Houseboat Group Together

Houseboats on the Murray have sleeping arrangements ranging from 2 to 12 people, there is a houseboat for every kind of group and budget imaginable. Why not use Facebook to invite your family and friends on one of the most relaxing holidays you’ll ever have!


Some people have a large families that they can fill a boat with family members alone, which can be a lot of fun and can create some really long term experiences. Many families make houseboating a great way for a reunion. When it comes to children, remember it is a confined space so ensure they are entertained and maybe they can invite a friend.

Mixed Families

Often great friends make a tradition out of an annual houseboating trip together. Their children have lasting memories, and the adults have fun, too. There are no limits to who you might invite, and many times your friends might bring their friends and new friendships are formed!


Inviting a group of all single adults (which can be all male or all female), or adult couples, can be heaps of fun. Enjoying the water by day and a fun evenings are some of the favorite activities of houseboat users. Some houseboat companies may require higher bonds for single sex groups.


Inviting your friends from work can build bonds beyond the workplace and create memories you love to reminisce about when you return to the drudgery of your job! Think of inviting a group of colleagues with their families, or an entire department from your workplace.

Clubs & Groups

We suggest that you consider a houseboating trip the next time you are in charge of coming up with a new idea for your club, association, or church group outing. Several church youth groups make this an annual event, and rent many houseboats at a time. It’s a great outdoor adventure for kids of all ages. And, it is an activity that will delight even those hard-to-please teenagers.

Share The Planning

Planning the trip includes contacting everyone you’d like to have participate, getting commitments from them, planning the food, planning any additional activities (such as sightseeing and exploring the area), arranging for ski boats or other toys, planning the transportation, and making provisions for the payment of money.

Setting a Date

How you go about organizing the group will depend on the type of group, but there are lots of things in common. If you know exactly who will be going on the trip, you simply talk to everyone and find out what dates they are able to go, and select dates that work for everyone. Have your group agree on a second and third choice of dates in case you’re planning on vacationing during a popular time.

As soon as you have the dates established, you should make a reservation. Even though there may be last minute availability, early booking increases your chances of the most desirable dates. If you don’t know who is going on the trip, reserve the houseboat for the dates that work for you, then invite other people until you have commitments from enough people to make the trip possible.

Its important to remember that during the peak holiday seasons many groups book more than 12 months in advance. These include school holidays, Christmas and New Years along with Easter. Planning your trip during these times will take advance bookings.

The Budget

If everybody going on your houseboat trip will be paying their own share of the cost, it is a good idea to have people give you the cash for their share of the rental cost at the time they make the commitment. If they’ve paid there is less chance they will change their minds. If someone drops out at the last minute and hasn’t paid, it puts a burden on everyone else who is going on the trip. You can pay for the boat as early as you want, so the sooner you collect the money, the better!

Keep in mind rental payment terms – you will still be the person responsible for timely payment to the Houseboat business

You will be required to submit a deposit when you make the reservation, and then pay the full amount of the rental generally 75 days prior to your trip. You will get the deposit back after your trip, less the cost of any vessel damage/loss should it occur or fuel.


Helpful food and supplies checklist

Dining on your houseboat holiday is one of the great pleasures you’ll experience. There are several ways you can plan your meals, depending on the type of group. You can make your meals how you wish as the kitchen on the houseboats have everything you’ll need. Besides a good variety of cookware and utensils, all houseboat have a stove top, oven, microwave and BBQ. Here are some suggestions to make your meal planning easier: Be aware of that the Murray River is part of a Fruit Fly Free Zone.


1 Have one person prepare entire menu for the trip. Post a written menu indicating what food is for what meal.

Advantages: Minimum of excess food, efficient food storage, everyone knows what to expect.

Disadvantage: If someone eats the wrong food at the wrong time, it may upset the plan and could upset some people!


2 Assign meals to various people, making each person responsible for one or more specific meals.

Advantages: Meal preparation is fairly distributed, everyone participates in the planning. Cleanup is distributed too!

Disadvantage: You risk having to eat Aunt Emily’s meatloaf!


3 Let each individual or family take care of their own food.

Advantages: If you have special eating demands, such as vegetarian preferences, you control your diet.

Disadvantage: You may miss the joys of preparing the food and dining together with others in your group.


Helpful Tip: If you’re houseboating for a week consider packing meat and frozen goods for the second half of your trip in an ice chest with dry ice, taping the lid shut. After 4 days, everything will still be frozen and you won’t have maxed out the refrigerator/freezers on your vessel.

Drinks and Beverages

Usually its easiest to have everybody bring what they want to drink. Use the ice chests provided on the houseboat for drinks, they’ll stay colder on ice. Also, frequent opening of boat’s refrigerator door to access drinks will prevent the refrigerator from performing adequately, and nothing will be very cold.

Note: Expect to buy at least a couple of bags of ice per day during your trip. The exact amount you’ll use will depend on the outside temperature.

Ski Boats, small boats, towables and toys

Having a small boat along will enhance your houseboat vacation. Watersports add an exciting dimension to the trip. Personal watercraft (PWCs) are not only exhilarating, but are an ideal way to explore our scenic California lakes. In addition, inflatable rafts, tubes, air mattresses, flotation cushions, canoes, kayaks, wakeboards, water-skis, kneeboards and anything else that floats can add variety to your experience. Most of these items can be rented by the day or week from our marina stores.

Helpful Tip: Whether you rent or bring your own ski boat, don’t forget to plan for everyone to contribute their share of the fuel.

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