Q.Can Anyone drive a houseboat?
Yes! All you need is a valid drivers licence, and be a responsible person over the age of 18 years of age. The staff at houseboat holidays will give you all the instructions you need about the vessels, their handling, mooring and the geography of the inlet. The familiarisation session should take about an hour. Then you will be all set to enjoy your
on-water holiday experience.
Q. Do I need to have a skippers ticket?
No, there is no requirement to have a skippers ticket. However, having one is an advantage. It will reduce the amount of instruction time and you will already be familiar with some boat handling skills. The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has reviewed our houseboat operations and audits our processes on a regular basis to ensure boating safety on the water is maintained without the need for our customers to have a skippers ticket.
Q. Are the houseboats OK for small Children?
In the end only you can guage whether you will be comfortable bringing your child on a houseboat holiday. The decks on our houseboats are fenced all around and our 6-berth houseboat has a gate at the top of the staircase on the upper deck. Naturally whenever children are near water they should be supervised. We supply lifejackets for children and infants on request, and advise that they be worn whenever children are on deck or in the water. If your children already have their own lifejackets that they are comfortable wearing don't forget to bring them along.
Q. How many people can each boat sleep?
Our 4-berth has one double bed and two singles as a bunkbed arrangement and can sleep up to 4 people.
Our 6-berth has one double bed a double sofa bed and two singles as a bunkbed arrangement and can sleep up to 6 people.
Our 10-berth has one double bed, two double sofa beds and 4 singles as 2 bunkbed arrangments and can sleep up to 10 people.
Please Note though, if we have all male, or all female crews we limit the number of persons to match the number of physical beds (eg. on our 4-berth we have 3 physical beds so we limit the persons to 3; on our 10-berth we have 7 physical beds so our boat limit is 7 people).
Q. Where can I leave my Car? Will it be secure?
We have ample parking for cars, caravans and trailers at our houseboat jetty on private property. Rob and Louise live on site to keep an eye on everything.
Q. What is the bond? How much is it and when do I get it back?
The bond on our houseboats is $400. It is payable with the balance of hire fees prior to your holiday commencement. The bond is returned within 10 working days after your holiday is finished. If the boat has been returned on time, is clean and undamaged, then the bond refund will only entail a deduction of the cost of fuel that you used during your holiday.
Q. How much will the fuel costs be?
The fuel usage is calculated at a consumption rate of 16 litres/hour of driving. The bowser price of fuel here in walpole is used to determine the cost. (eg. 5 hours of driving time at 16 litres/hour with a bowser price of $1.50 would be $120). The dinghy tanks will also be charged out at what you have used.
On average the fuel costs for 3-4 days holiday is around $150.
Q. What if I have to cancel?
The earlier you can let us know, the better chance we have of rebooking the dates and ensuring you get a refund.
Our conditions state that should you cancel your booking, a cancellation fee of $100 will apply. A refund of the balance of monies paid, will be subject to Houseboat Holidays successfully re-hiring the boat.
Q. What is the power source on the boat? Can I bring other electrical appliances?
The houseboats run on a 12V power system. Our power is captured by solar panels and stored in deep cycle batteries. We do run an inverter on the boats to enable power for small appliances such as mobile phone chargers, camera chargers and Laptops/Portable DVD systems.
Our system is not geared to run such devices as engels, hairdryers, breadmakers, sandwich makers or any appliances that have a significant power draw.
Please give us a call if you have some specific needs to see if we can accommodate them.
Q. I have Sleep Apnea, can I still go on a houseboat holiday?
Yes, our houseboat holiday power supply is suited to run your sleep apnea machine. Our pure sine wave inverters were specifically chosen and purchased with such devices as yours in mind.
Q. Won't I freeze in the Winter?
No. The houseboats are well insulated and we provide heating on board in the winter months to keep you warm and cosy.
Q. Does the dinghy come with a motor?
Yes, each dinghy comes with a 15hp 2-stroke motor with tiller arm control. There will be two 20 litre dinghy tanks onboard at your holiday commencement and more available if/when required.
Q. How far can I travel in the houseboat?
Down here in Walpole, you don't have to go too far to get away from it all and immerse yourselves in the magic of the Wilderness.
Houseboat holidays operates in the Walpole/Nornalup Inlet system. There are two inlets, the smaller Walpole inlet and the Larger Nornalup Inlet. The inlets are fed by three Rivers, the Walpole, Deep and Frankland Rivers. The houseboats have access to both inlets and part way up the Frankland River. The Walpole & Deep rivers are only navigable with the dinghy because of the water depth or river size.
Basing yourselves at some of our moorings will also provide you access to some spectacular walk trails through the Walpole Wilderness to some beautiful and secluded beaches.
As a guide it will take you about an hour to travel from our houseboat jetty to a Mooring in the Frankland River or from the houseboat jetty to the far side of the Nornalup inlet.
Q. Are there shops/Restaruants along the way?
You are holidaying in Marine Park and Wilderness Area once you leave our jetty. However, you are never too far away from Walpole to duck back to town in the dinghy for those extra provisions, the paper or the chocolate. You are most welcome to bring the houseboat back to the jetty at any time if you would like to go and do some further exploration of the South Coast by car (eg. Mount Frankland or the Valley of the Giants - Tree top Walk).
One excursion that our customers enjoy, is mooring the houseboat up the Frankland River and taking a dinghy ride up to Nornalup and beyond to Monastary Landing. You can stop at the Nornalup Jetty for Morning Tea, Lunch and/or Afternoon Tea at the Nornabar. Check our attractions page for more information.
Q. Can I fish in the Marine Park?
Yes, absolutely. The Walpole Nornalup Marine Park is designated as a Recreational park and has no sanctuary areas. This means you can fish the whole inlet system without any geographic restrictions.
You do need to be aware that if you are fishing from the houseboat or the dinghy at least one member of the party needs to have a recreational boat fishing license from the Department of Fisheries and be on board whichever vessel is being used as the fishing platform.
Q. Can I bring my pet?
Sorry, because you are entering a National Park / Wilderness Area and Marine Park, we can't allow pets on the houseboats.