We flew to Adelaide early in the morning and after shopping for supplies, we drove to Mannum on the Lower Murray – an hour and a half away – where our houseboat was waiting for us.  Mannum is known as the Houseboat capital of Australia and a number of companies are located here.  We chose ‘Unforgettable’ as it could accommodate our party of 11 in 6 queen size bedrooms all with ensuites.  Http://www.houseboats.com.au

On top of this luxury we also had a jacuzzi, a huge gourmet kitchen complete with dishwasher and microwave, ducted air conditioning and an outdoor barbecue.  After a quick lesson on the mechanics and driving of the craft, we set off for our first stop for the night.

IMG_5499Houseboats lined up at Mannum

But first we had to unpack the stores which included cartons of wine and beer and lots of gourmet food.  Clearly we were going to be doing a lot of feasting!

IMG_5495 IMG_5497

The river is wide and to my amazement there were pelicans everywhere.  I love these graceful, often aloof birds and spent hours capturing them on film at various times of the day.


After choosing our spot for the night, the next challenge was to tie up.  No anchors here!  The method is to steer the boat to the edge of the river, firmly plant the gangplank to the shore, find two trees to tie the ropes to and settle down for the night!  Easier said than done.


“Yes, this looks OK”


oops, better try putting the gangplank down again!

IMG_5510Now to tie one side…..


Settled, now for the campfire…..


and a few sundowners

IMG_5529Then it was time to have our first meal on the Houseboat – and a celebration of a special birthday with masses of seafood brought from Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay.

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A good time was had by all – especially Chel in the white sweater!


This is a typical scene along the river and we were looking forward to seeing lots more including the beautiful limestone cliffs towards Walker Flat.  Tomorrow is another day.

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