Boarding A Houseboat

Boarding A Houseboat

Boarding a houseboat isn’t at all like checking in to a hotel. So much more is involved and it isn’t quite as simple has handing over a resort map and a room key. Here is a brief rundown of what to expect on the day you board your houseboat.

The Marina

Prior to your departure you will be issued a scheduled boarding time. This is the time that we will be expecting you to arrive at the marina.  We ask that you please ensure you have all of your necessary items ready with you before arriving. There will not be time to duck off to purchase any last-minute supplies or wait for late arrivals.  Bait and ice, together with tackle and merchandise are available to purchase at the marina.  

When you arrive at the Tweed Marina, the first thing to do is to make yourself known to our friendly staff.  You can check-in at our office and we will direct you from there.

Tip: If you would like to wind up Peter (son number 3), just tell him how much he looks like his dad!

Due to limited space on our marina we need to coordinate and stick to strict boarding times. Sometimes houseboats are moved to a mooring to make way for other houseboats, meaning if you are running late, you may just miss the boat!


Large trolleys are available for you to use to load your luggage and supplies and are located in the car park. They have sides that drop down allowing easy access for those heavy eskies. They are easy to use as long as you read the instructions labeled on the front. Brakes have been fitted to assist with steering the trolley down the ramp.

Remember this is your first test to driving the houseboat we will be watching! If you need any help with these, no worries, our staff have had a lot of experience with steering these along the jetty.

Boarding A Houseboat


The Coles or Woolworths online service works great with the houseboats! You can order online and your groceries can be delivered onboard ready to go before you even arrive. We always make sure to pop the cold items in the fridge or eskies for you.

Car Parking

If you have reserved an off-street car park one of our staff will guide you to our car storage yard located at our main office on Frances Street, Tweed Heads. We will then bring you back to the marina and vice versa on your return day.

Ice, Rods and Bait

We have plenty to go round! If you need any extra supplies, ice and bait are available for purchase from the marina. We also have rods, extra crab pots, outboard motors and kayaks available for hire. Head on over to our Additional Services page for a little more information on our extras.

Paperwork, Briefing and Driving Tutorial

Whilst you are loading, whoever will be completing the paperwork can head into the office and one of our team members will assist with completing your hire agreement. 

Then on to the fun part! Once your paperwork is finalised with our office team, one of our captains will jump onboard and begin your briefing and driving instructions. This includes how to operate everything onboard the houseboat, from light switches to dropping anchor. If you haven’t had a lot of experience with boats, it always pays to have a second person jump in on the briefing with you. Prior to your departure you will be given a first aid kit and manual for your houseboat, this will include emergency phone numbers if you have any questions or problems whilst out on the river.

Maps and charts are provided onboard for navigating your way along the river, markers and signs are also placed along the Tweed River to assist with your journey. If you would like to plan your exploration of the Tweed River, please have a look at our Adventure Planner which guides you up the river with photos and explanations of the local area.

Once your briefing is complete our captain will pilot the houseboat out of the marine precinct and then hand over control to instruct you on driving the houseboat. He will show you the designated drop off/pick up area and won’t hop off the houseboat until you are confident to continue on your adventure by yourself. The houseboats are relatively easy to maneuver and it really doesn’t take an experienced boatie to drive a houseboat, just a little common sense and you’ll have it mastered in no time!

On your last day of hire, all you have to do is anchor your houseboat in the same drop off/pick-up area and one of our captains will jump onboard and bring you back into the marina.

Once you have disembarked from your holiday, simply pop into our office to finalise your paperwork and return the manual and first aid kits. 

Hire Information

So there you have it. It may seem that this process takes all day but it really doesn’t take long at all. The more organised you are the quicker you are able to set off on your houseboat adventure exploring the beautiful Tweed River.

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