Foxtale houseboats


Frequently Asked Questions

At Foxtale Houseboats, we understand that organising a houseboat trip can come with lots of questions….especially for the organiser!

We have put together a few helpful hints for you to ensure everything goes as smoothly as possible for you prior to and upon your arrival.

Is Morgan protected by the Fruit Fly Quarantine Zone?

Yes,  South Australia remains the only Australian mainland state that is fruit fly free.

You must not bring fruit or fruiting vegetables into the Riverland or South Australian areas of the Fruit Fly Quarantine Zone (including Morgan, Loxton, Waikerie and Renmark), unless they were purchased within South Australia and are accompanied by an itemised shop receipt. Produce with receipts cannot be carried across state borders.

Failing to adhere to the quarantine rules may result in a fine up to $100,000.

Do I need travel insurance?

All houseboats in the Foxtale fleet are insured. If all the terms and conditions of hire are adhered to, the limit of liability to the hirer is usually the insurance excess. Excess for each boat differs so please check your terms and conditions relevant to your choice of boat…wilful damage or negligent damage will be deducted from your bond. Minor breakages (glass, plate etc.) are not normally charged for.

We recommend that you consider taking out separate travel insurance to cover any unforseen last minute cancellations that may occur.

Do I need a boat licence to drive a houseboat?


To hire a houseboat you will need to be a minimum of 25 years of age, however to drive the vessel, you need to be 18 years of age at the date of hire, and hold a current car driver’s licence.

No boat licence or special training is required.  Approximately one hour’s tuition is given by our staff (known as the “show out”) prior to starting your holiday.  Driving and mooring the boat is surprisingly easy once you get used to it.

Can I travel at night on the river?

Night travel is not permitted by Law, and you should be moored well before sunset.

We will advise you of sunset times on your showout.

If there is a storm in progress, or if extreme winds are forecast (over 30kph), you should remain moored with both ropes tied on each side of the vessel.  In the event that these conditions prevail when boarding or when you are due to disembark, please contact us for advice how to return the boat safely.

How far shall I travel?

From the Morgan township you have approximately 42 river kilometres upstream to Lock 2, and around 60km downstream to Lock 1, therefore if you do not want to try and negotiate a Lock (instructions are in the manual supplied on the boat) Caudo Winery is a lovely spot.  They have designated houseboat spots where you can tie the boat and do a bit of wine tasting or perhaps indulge in a platter or a coffee.  You may like to step it up a notch with their famous sangrias! Caudo’s is a 5 – 6 hour river trip upstream from Morgan.

If you are holidaying for 5 nights or more, head from Caudo up through Lock 2 where the lock master will help you to navigate through the lock and onto Waikerie. You can top up with groceries at Waikerie and have a nice pub meal at the Waikerie hotel or surrounding cafes. Oh, and don’t forget to also visit the chocolate factory!!

If you are on a trip for 7 nights or longer, head further upstream to the Overland Corner Pub…it is a must! Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter, the Overland is a lovely place to visit and easy to pull up at the river front for a short walk up to the pub. If you want to do something a little different, the Overland will be happy to organise a Black tie dinner for you with a custom made menu to suit your group needs.  They include a mini bus to pick you up from your houseboat door and back again. (bookings will need to be made by prior arrangement) If you are into a little paranormal adventure, ask them about their ghost tour too!

Most people tend to travel around 3-4 hours a day, but this is entirely up to you. Basically you travel until you find a spot along the river that appeals to you. Generally this is a clear area of the river bank, with trees on either side (for tying up to), and no fallen trees or snags in the water.

When travelling, you will find that you travel much quicker coming downstream than going upstream, especially if the river is flowing fast. If this is the case, a good rule of thumb is to allow twice as much time going upstream, as coming back downstream!

How much do I need to allow for fuel costs?

All fuel is paid for at the end of your hire and is charged at the fuel price (as supplied to Foxtale Houseboats) at the time.  Please note: the price per litre of fuel is likely to be higher than the service station price as we only use premium fuel and are charged a delivery fee.  The total cost for fuel is deducted from your bond.

Usage will vary dependent upon river conditions, speed and direction of travel, weather conditions etc. For the most economical fuel usage, it is recommended to drive the boat between 2,300 to 2,500rpm.

Feel free to ask us prior to boarding the current cost of fuel per litre.

All boats are equipped with gas counters, therefore gas usage is measured correctly in units.

Do I need to pay a bond?

Yes, a bond is payable prior to boarding the houseboat.

Bonds are to be paid in CASH or CREDIT CARD (2% processing fee applies) upon arrival.  The return of your bond money will be sent back via EFT to your nominated bank account 14 – 21 days after disembarking with a letter detailing the breakdown of costs.

What time do I need to get the houseboat back to Morgan?

Disembarking time is strictly 10am.

Disembarking by this time is crucial to ensuring adequate turn around times for subsequent hires. Fees for late disembarkation will apply.

Please ensure the boat is left neat and tidy with all used bed linen and towels left in the shower receptacles.

What time can I board the houseboat?

Arrival time is 3pm.

Please phone us on the day if you think you will not meet this time. Please be aware that it takes time to get all of your groceries and personal belongings on board the vessel, to go through your show out instructions, therefore, adherence to your arrival times is critical to you getting away on time! Although not always guaranteed, we may be able to board you earlier than 3pm. Please ask about this at the time of your booking – as we are happy to accommodate when we can.

What do Foxtale Houseboats provide?

We provide :

  • All Linen, including one personal towel each (extra beach towels are advisable, especially in summer) and tea towels.
  • Filtered drinking water (400 – 800L tanks on board depending on boat)
  • toilet paper (3 rolls per toilet so we suggest bringing a few extra just to be sure!)
  • dishwashing detergent
  • dishwashing powder for dishwasher
  • a couple of Chux
  • 1  scourer
  • Gladwrap
  • Alfoil
  • Fly spray
  • Matches
What do I need to bring?
    • ‘Agreement for Hire’ booking form
    • Your bond
    • Signed ‘Terms & Conditions’ form
    • Condiments – salt, pepper, sauce, coffee, tea, sugar
    • All your food & drinks for the duration of your trip (we suggest freezing your meat, especially for long trips)
    • Ice (this can be purchased at the Morgan Roadhouse or Morgan Bakery)

    Kitchens are fully equipped with standard kitchen facilities.  We do not allow extra electrical equipment on board as this quite often overloads the generators. (ie no cappuccino machines, ice makers or bread makers)

    An alternative suggestion is to contact the Terminus Hotel (08 8540 2006) in Morgan and they will be willing to fill your drinks order and deliver to Foxtale Houseboats (no delivery charge). Saving you the hassle of carrying heavy cans and bottles onto the boat!

For any other information, please feel free to send us an email or give us a phone call. We are here to help & would welcome any contact made prior to your booking if you have any questions or concerns.

We hope to see you on one of our lovely boats soon!

Sail in Style

We Have Vacancy!

Ready to share our little secret about the best way to relax and explore the Murray? Get in touch with the Foxtale Houseboats team today and ask about a great holiday deal.

260 Morphett Flat Road, PO Box 31, MORGAN SA 5320