Hire and drive versus moored floating apartment

We have always offered the hire and drive option where you can explore the Blackwood River on your own but now we also have the moored floating apartment experience available from May to September. Perfect for those who crave the adventure of a houseboat holiday without the navigation hassle.

Do I need a skippers ticket?

No. Hire and Drive guests receive a full Induction on arrival. Moored guests are transferred to your moored houseboat at a location of your choice

What qualification do I need?

Hire and Drive - current C class Drivers License
Moored - current C class Drivers License

Is the houseboat easy to drive?

Yes. The helm has a steering wheel and throttle controls are forward/neutral/reverse. A practical attitude is essential.
Moored - you dont need to worry about this one

Is it safe?

Yes. The Blackwood River is protected by steep banks and is gazetted inland waters
Yes. We are fully licensed operators.
The Induction follows an approved Safety brief. Safety equipment is on-board as per Hire-and-Drive regulations. All our hire vessels are fully surveyed and compliant with Australian Maritime Safety Authority. Regardless, we reserve the right to suspend a hire in the event of any safety concerns including and not limited to weather conditions or competence of the Hirer.

Am I contactable?

Yes. There is 2-way coverage and next-gen phone reception in most of the area of operation.
We have access points, a rescue vessel and Safety backup procedures in place.

Where can I go?

Hire and Driver - 28km of pristine National Park up to Alexandra Bridge to explore on your own itinerary.
Moored guests - choose from the specified moorings placed around the incredible Hardy Inlet.

Where do I stop/park/moor up?

On a mooring. Moorings are flat and yellow with a buoy number and a loop rope. Hire and Drivers will practice mooring up in the Induction. You have right of way and the buoy numbers can be found on our map. Moored Upper's won't have to worry about this.

What if my group has 2 or 3 houseboats?

Easy! there are handpicked locations for 2 and 3 boat parties. Have a chat with us when you book

Can I moor in town?

Close - Augusta is a short dinghy trip from the East Augusta moorings.

What if I run out of supplies?

The kiosk at Molloy Caravan Park has bait, fuel and basic grocery items OR take your dinghy across to Augusta OR moor in Westbay and take you car

What do I bring?

Fishing gear, water toys, food, drinks, bathers, dvd’s, music, binoculars, books & sunscreen.

What is there to do?

Cruise - Fish - Relax - bush walk - kayak - stand up paddle board - ski - swim - bird spotting - stargaze - hunt out unique flora and wildflowers - see local wineries by car from Alexandra Bridge - lunch at local cafes by dinghy
Or take in a winery or two or day tour, accessible from Alexandra Bridge.
Tours to local wineries, galleries and other local attractions can be arranged departing from Alexandra Bridge.

Where do I leave my car?

Houseboat Base. Its where you collect and return your houseboat. There's plenty of secure parking for vehicles and even a couple of caravans.

What if I arrive late?

4pm is our last Induction time. Vessels must be moored by 6pm and the Induction takes approx 1 hour. West Bay has some of the best views in the river and you will receive your Induction on Day 2.

Fuel

Hire and Drive - fuel tanks are full at commencement of hire. Costs are calculated on actual consumption, average hire is 60-90 litres in the houseboats and 5-15 in the dinghy - depending on how you drive them.
Moored - no fuel charge for the houseboat or 1st tank of dinghy fuel

The Dinghy

Safety – use the on board life jackets, take the grab bag with you, max passengers 4

Operating instructions – are included in the lesson.

Fuel – 2-stroke mix see on board trouble shooting guide. Full at commencement of hire.

Is there drinking water on board

Yes. It is essential to be WATERWISE. Houseboats RIVER & STORM carry 1500 ltrs. Houseboat ALLIRA carries 2,000 ltrs for all needs

Usage – All water is stored on board. Conservative use will last 3 – 4 days. If you run out you will need to return to Base.

Power supply

Solar power with battery backup. A usb point is at the helm. 2kva generator on board for small appliances incl microwave, cpap machine, byo coffee machine (Press is on board) Gas fridges are 260 ltr with freezer compartment, NO engels please

Blackwood River Fishing

Yellowfin and KG Whiting, black bream, tailor, herring, mullett, crabs in season.

Can I have a pet on the houseboats?

No, sorry. The area of operation is national park and private property. The houseboats have open railings but we know a very good local kennel. We absolutely welcome guide dogs or a working animal on board Houseboat River. Please contact us for details, admin@blackwoodriverhouseboats.com.au

Accessibility

Accessibility has been considered for people of varying levels of ability. We have had many determined visitors that have overcome the minor obstacles and we do everything we can to get you on board. The bathrooms are not wheelchair friendly however other aspects including running a cpap machine or guests with mobility issues are addressed. Or please call us to chat 0439959638

Do you use environmentally conscious cleaning products?

Yes. We use enzyme based, covid approved, Australian Made cleaning products.

Do you recycle?

Yes. The houseboats have recycle bins on board. When a boat returns from hire, the recycle bins are sorted. We participate in the Containers for Change scheme which is managed by LEEUWIN LIONS of Augusta. The funds raised are donated and used to support the community.

Can I run my coffee machine?

Yes, if you love to bring your coffee machine on holidays - Yes you can.

More questions?

We’re more than happy to answer all of your questions. Give us a call or send an email and we’ll respond asap.

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