Hire Terms And Procedures

Upon completing the reservation form, submit it to us and our office will contact you as soon as possible, as to availability. If the houseboat you are requiring is available for the period, we will send payment details to you to confirm your reservation/booking.

Hire Terms/Procedures

BOOKING DEPOSITS – $500 booking deposit required ($250 for Runaway Bear and $1000 for Island Dream, Ocean Spirit and Pacific Blue) we accept credit card, cheque, money order, direct deposit or cash, we will email you a confirmation package or if you’d prefer we can mail you a copy, including a river map and other details of things you will need to know.

The balance of the hire fee is required 30 days prior to departure for Off Peak and Normal Season charter periods. For Christmas, New Year and Easter bookings, full payment is required 90 days prior to departure. If full payment is not received by this time, the vessel may be opened for re-letting.

The FULL HIRE FEE is required prior to departure.


Security Bond

A $2000 security bond is required on the day of departure ($1500 for our smaller vessels). Payment of security bond on the day may be made by Pre-Authorisation on a credit card (Visa/Mastercard), EFT or cash.  

A pre-authorisation will simply freeze the funds on your credit card, generally showing as a pending transaction, we do not receive your money.  Please ensure that you have the sufficient funds available.

Direct deposit options are also available, however this needs to clear our account at least 2 days prior to boarding.

Security bond will be returned once the vessel has been serviced and thoroughly inspected.


Forty-Five (45) Days Notice – Refund in Full. Thereafter the deposit is forfeited unless the boat is rebooked for full price. Thirty (30) days or less – deposit and balance of hire forfeited, unless the boat is rebooked for full price.

For special hires, Easter, Christmas and New Year, 90 days notice required for refund, unless the boat is rebooked for full price.

A $100 cancellation/administration fee applies.

Covid 19 

In regards to Covid-19, we have written a new cancellation policy, which differs from our normal cancellation policy:

  • If we are not permitted to allow customers aboard due to COVID-19, we will offer a full credit towards a later booking.
  • If our immediate areas are placed into lockdown with no non-essential travel, we will offer a full credit towards a later booking.
  • If you find that for some reason you end up being directed to isolate by authorities without a lockdown, we will offer a postponement to another suitable date on a standby basis.
  • If we are able to rebook the houseboat, we would offer a refund under our standard policy.

Please note that an administration fee would still apply in the event of a refund being issued.


Weather policy

We do not offer refunds or credits in the case of non-fine weather conditions that are considered to be non-dangerous, i.e. if it is simply overcast, windy or rainy.

In the rare event that severe and or dangerous weather conditions are declared by us during your charter, your boat movements may be restricted or your boat may be recalled back to base for safety reasons. In this case, all houseboats will be docked in the marina until further notice. No refunds or credits can be given in this situation.

In the unlikely event that a severe and or dangerous weather condition is declared by us, we will not refund but offer a credit to you and allow the credit to be applied to another non-peak time as agreed to by you and us. We will allow up to 24 months for the credit to be used, giving you ample time to reschedule.

Our management will, at their discretion and after consulting with all relevant authorities, decide what is non-fair, severe and or dangerous weather.

At Berger Houseboat Holidays, we always have the safety and well-being of our customers and staff as a priority and as members of our family, the houseboats in our fleet are also our concern. As you know we are unable to control the weather any more than the next person, however, we will work with you as best we can to manage weather situations.

We do recommend that you consider the option of Travel Insurance for your houseboat adventure, particularly if you are unable to postpone. It is a small cost for peace of mind. Travel Insurance should also cover you for illness, lost luggage and emergency travel arrangements.


Pet Policy

With the exception of Wanderer (and 3 other houseboats* – dependant on breed) we are unable to permit pets aboard due to health reasons.  If you are planning to bring your pet along to enjoy your houseboat holiday with you, we do recommend you consider the following.

Our aim is to provide the best experience possible for both you and your furry family members.  Not all animals enjoy floating accommodation, and this can reduce your enjoyment of your holiday.  If your pet is not an inside pet at home, they are not suitable to bring aboard a houseboat. 

We recommend a weight limit of 15kg to make your life easier, particularly with taking them to shore to do their business.  Larger dogs, not only take up a lot of room, they can also cause difficulties entering and exiting the tender if not comfortable on water. 

The reason we have chosen to allow pets aboard Wanderer is due to, not only frequent requests, her hard flooring and walk around decks.  The deck design gives space for your dog to stretch their legs and expel some energy outside.

We understand that your pet is a big part of your family life however we ask that you respect our houseboats by not allowing your dog to jump on furniture and beds or to shake sand and water inside the houseboat.  Please note a $50* pet fee applies to all pet bookings with additional cleaning fees if the boat requires extra cleaning. 

If you need a pet-sitter, there are several good pet motels in the area if you would like contact details or if you live on the Gold Coast and are not comfortable with a pet motel, we can recommend a pet sitter that will come to your home. 

If you have a service/support animal, please notify us on enquiry.  You will need to forward the appropriate paperwork.

For further information on booking a pet friendly houseboat, please give us a call.

*Larger houseboats may be available; conditions and a $100 pet fee apply.

Travel Insurance

We recommend that you consider taking out travel insurance for those unforeseen things that may require you to cancel your hire. Whilst we are compassionate towards illness, injury and family loss, we cannot cover the cost of short notice cancellations. This can be particularly embarrassing and a financial strain for you if your friends decide to pull out on you at the last minute. Travel insurance is low cost and will give you peace of mind that if something untoward does happen that you will not be financially disadvantaged.

Travel insurance will also cover you for things other than just cancellations; you can also be covered for lost/damaged/stolen luggage, rental vehicle excess, emergency travel arrangements, medical evacuation, etc. There are several companies that offer domestic travel insurance (a simple Google search will assist) or if you walk into a Flight Centre branch you can take out a policy with them on the spot.

Hire Rates

Prices are subject to alteration without notice, however, bookings made previously will not be subject to increased prices. Hire fees can be paid by cash, credit card (Mastercard, Visa), EFT, direct deposit or cheque. Quotes provided are valid for 14 days unless withdrawn earlier. Any questions about these, please feel free to ask.

Hire Period

Hire commences at a pre-determined time on the first day and concludes at 9.00am, unless confirmed otherwise with our marina operations manager, and 8.00am for Island Dream, Ocean Spirit and Pacific Blue on the last day of letting.

Please note, if an earlier boarding time is requested and confirmed, you may be required to return the houseboat on your last day an hour earlier.  

These are daylight savings times. Earlier returns by arrangement. It is advisable to telephone the day before departure to confirm departure times.

Returning or boarding on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday will incur a fee.

The Letting

  • Total passengers must not exceed the number of surveyed berths.
  • No pets – excluding Wanderer.
  • Firearms or kegs are NOT permitted on board by law
  • No lithium battery packs or lithium battery powered devices such as e-scooters. These batteries form a major fire risk and are prohibited aboard any vessel in our fleet.
  • The houseboats are not permitted to travel after dark or dock at public jetties and wharfs. Use the tender/dinghy for transfers.
  • The hirer will stay within the waters as per survey certificate and obey all navigational rules.
  • If the hirer is found to be acting in a manner which could cause damage to the houseboat or other vessels, acting contrary to hire agreement or Waterways regulations, passengers can be evicted from the houseboat with no refund of hire.
  • If any malfunction in relation to the boat, motor or equipment, or damage or loss of equipment occurs, the hirer will notify the management as soon as possible.
  • If a call out is due to the hirer’s negligence, a call out fee will be payable.
  • The hirer will return the boat in as good a condition as when taken or pay for any loss or damage.
  • The boat is to be returned in a clean and tidy state, or an additional fee of $100 per hour for cleaning will be charged.
  • Late returns will be charged at $150.00 per hour, or part thereof.
  • Houseboat boarding is from the Tweed Marina, River Terrace, Tweed Heads.

Still interested? Then head to our Enquiry/Booking Form, we look forward to your enquiry!

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