How does trading in your alarm clock for waking with the birds sound? What about swapping busy street traffic for paddle steamers and ferries or being surrounded by native wildlife, raw landscapes and lush vegetation? If this sounds like "Absolute Bliss" then White Houseboats are for you.
Located about an hour from Adelaide's CBD, Mannum Waters Marina is the launch pad for a weekend, week or more on any one of White Houseboats' luxury fleet.
There's no need to give up your mod-cons for this experience, you'll have all the creature comforts you're used to, plus a few more.
Brendan Taylor is at the helm of White Houseboats and clearly loves his vocation. After many years in the hectic Sydney real estate game, Brendan's chance vacation in beautiful South Australia initiated a sea change, or, is that a "river change"?
A false start at Kia Marina armed Brendan with the 'dos' and, more importantly, the 'don'ts' of houseboat hire.
Beginning with Flat White, White Houseboats is now a fleet of 5 with Dream Weaver, White Water, River Breez and Absolute Bliss keeping Flat White company.
Dream Weaver & River Breez.
Dream Weaver and River Breez are the babies of the fleet, yet sleep 8 comfortably in their 3-bedroom plus sofa bed configuration.
Front to back open plan living allows full starboard (right side) views, while their manageable size provides easy manoeuvrability.
Absolute Bliss is the latest to receive a gas heated spa on its generous sundeck. This 10-12 berth beauty has all the conveniences dreams of a permanent river life are made of.
Complete with 2 full-size fridge/ freezers, 6 burner stove, large oven and dishwasher, Absolute Bliss also has a convenient back deck W.C. and shower for mornings when both bathrooms are occupied.
Flat White's 6 private bedrooms are equipped with LCD TVs and DVD players in case the weather turns.
Although, it's far more likely you'll be cranking the ice machine and utilising the additional top deck helm on beautiful sunny days.
Whitewater takes luxury to the next level where 4 bedrooms are appointed with ensuites. The sundeck, complete with a second helm, is equipped with a full bar including dishwasher.
The retractable gangplank takes the pressure off mooring and the designer kitchen with granite benchtops and stainless steel appliances makes dining prep a breeze.
Each boat is kitted out with bed linen, towels, cutlery, crockery, BBQ and tools.
Plenty of storage, refrigeration, eskies, seating and lounging areas are provided plus a coffee machine for your morning ritual and a spa to loosen tired muscles after an arduous day of relaxing.
A security coded retractable gate at Mannum Waters Marina ensures your vehicle's safety while onboard, or why not have Brendan collect you in his 8 seater luxury van from Adelaide Airport or the CBD?
On the way, Brendan takes you to the new Frewville Foodland on Glen Osmond Road for supplies and Liquorland nearby for your libations.
If this sounds too much like hard work, contact Angie from Floating Gourmet and she'll stock the boat with your selected items from her list of 55,000!
Brendan is also happy to include a stop through the Adelaide Hills at historic Hahndorf for wine tasting, a spot of lunch or a meander down Australia's oldest surviving German settlement's main street to absorb its beauty.
Kris and Andrew greet you at Mannum Waters Marina.
Kris takes care of the hiring contract's small print, gives a once over of the boat highlighting any idiosyncrasies and a rundown of appliances.
Andrew covers maintenance issues and familiarises you with mechanics before taking you out for a dummy run and handing you the wheel.
Whoever's driving needs a non-restricted driver's license and a couple of reasonable knot tiers should be aboard for mooring.
There's a Murray River Pilot onboard for navigation (that's a book, not a person) which highlights snags, great moorings, places of interest and General Stores along the way to replenish supplies.
Official houseboat pick up time is 3-pm and "show outs" are staggered between the 5 boats taking about 60-90 minutes to complete thoroughly.
With this in mind, an easy first night can be found moored in front of Mannum Club where the kitchen pumps out quality pub favourites and a specials board for more adventurous palates. You may even get lucky and win a meat tray kindly donated by Mount Pleasant Butcher.
A couple of suggestions.
To fully appreciate this section of the Murray River's morning glory, take to the river with the birds.
White Houseboats are planning personalised winery and pub tours so speak to Brendan before confirming your plans. He'll share locations to moor for ease of collection for the tours.
If you haven't experienced the beautiful Murray River on a houseboat, add it to your "must do" list.
A week of "Absolute Bliss" on the Mighty Murray River with White Houseboats: it's a thing we love....
Shona’s award winning travel blog shares tips and tricks on where to eat, drink, explore & shop in any given destination. At home ordering street food or perusing a fine dining menu, she seeks out venues with a conscience who promote local produce and sustainability. Find her in markets, museums, art galleries and on walking tours as well as wineries, breweries, distilleries and restaurants. Wherever she is, she’s always looking for something a little different to share with her readers. Follow her travels at www.paraphernalia.co or subscribe to her Shenanigans Report http://paraphernalia.co/subscribe-form/ so as not to miss a post. email@example.com.