Things You Should Know

Detailed below please find some information that can assist with preparing for your house boating adventure and boarding procedures. We will give you a full briefing on the day, but a little preparation can ensure that the whole process proceeds smoothly and your houseboat holiday cruises to a great start.

Security Bond

Like any hire company or hotel, we require a security bond ($1,000 for Runaway Bear, Pluto and Wanderer and $2,000 for all of our other vessels) prior to departing on your house boating adventure. Your security bond will be taken on the day of departure. Payment of security bond on the day may be made by cash, credit card (Mastercard or Visa are accepted) and Eftpos. Alternatively, a Pre-Authorisation can be taken. Please note that a Pre-Authorisation will freeze the funds on your credit card and can take up to 30 days to release, depending on your financial institution. Direct deposit may be also be used to pay your security bond, however, you should ensure you make the transfer well in time for the deposit to hit our account prior to the day. Security bonds will be refunded in the same form in which they were paid after the vessel has been inspected on your return and no additional costs incurred. Your fuel charges and additional items can be deducted from your security bond or if you’d prefer, EFTPOS facilities are available at the marina and we can accept cash payments. If you have any questions about our Security Bond payment methods please feel free to ask.


Due to the nature of house boating and the number of boats we operate we need to adhere to strict departure times. In the week prior to your booking, we will be in contact to confirm your allocated departure time. Once this as been agreed, you MUST BE READY TO BOARD the boat AND READY TO DEPART THE MARINA AT THIS TIME. Prior to departure, you will be given a briefing and this will occur once you have boarded.

Normal boarding time is 2:30pm however at times we are able to arrange earlier boarding.  If this is the case you may be required to return the houseboat a little earlier. 


If you need to do any shopping etc this must be done prior to this boarding time. Ice is available at the marina and can be pre-booked; along with bait and tackle. If you would like the luxury of finding all your supplies already aboard on your arrival, you can use the Coles or Woolworths Online ordering systems. Coles and Woolworths Online will deliver to your houseboat at the marina. Prior to confirming an online grocery order, please confirm the delivery time with us. We have had occasions where the houseboat is ready to depart hours before the grocery order is booked for delivery.

Late Arrivals

If you are later than your organised arrival time please contact the office to advise us of the revised arrival time. If staff are required to stay back as result of this, there is a $50 per hour late fee for late departures. All houseboats under NSW Maritime Authority must be anchored by Sunset. Therefore if for any reason you are not ready to depart by 4:30 pm you may be unable to leave the marina until the following morning. The time taken for the compulsory briefing and driving lesson to get you out to the closest anchorage point would put us outside the regulations.

Car Parking

Security yard parking is available for $40.00 per vehicle for a weekend, $45.00 for a midweek and $60.00 per vehicle for a week To ensure a park we advise that you pre-book to reserve your spot.

Alternatively, vehicles can be left at the marina car park.

If you have booked parking, please allow 20 minutes prior to departure time for someone in your party to park your vehicle. As the storage yard is not located at the marina, we offer a shuttle service for the driver. Please note the vehicle storage yard closes at 5 pm. 

The off-street parking is located at our office at 44 Frances Street, Tweed Heads.


We operate under a pilot system and once the houseboat is taken from the marina you are not permitted to bring the houseboat back to the marina or any other marina/jetty for the duration of your hire. For your convenience, each houseboat is provided with a tender and oars to facilitate going to shore. If you which can hire a small outboard motor from us to remove the need to row.  You are welcome to bring your own boat to use as a tender or bring your own motor to put on our tender.


30 minutes prior to your designated return time a Berger Houseboats staff member will come board your vessel at the designated pick up point. If you need to return early please advise us prior so we can make arrangements for a captain to dock your vessel. You must be at the designated pickup spot at the allocated time; if you are late this can have a knock on effects as we will have staff waiting to service your boat. As we can have up to 19 staff working on any given day, this can be quite costly for us. Therefore we have a $150 per hour late fee for late return.

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.

We can recommend Oceanic Marine Risks who specialise in marine insurance. For info please visit or call (07) 3370 2555.

Please note: We are more like a cruise ship than a motel, if you are late they don’t wait – you miss the boat.
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