Adelaide-based writer with a passion for good coffee, beach walks, bike riding, the great outdoors and writing about my experiences!
Published May 12th 2012
When researching options for a family holiday, we stumbled on the opportunity to hire a houseboat on the Murray River. The thought of adding to this experience with a classic paddlewheel houseboat available through Liba Liba really captured our imagination.
Liba Liba operates from the Riverland town of Renmark (thought to be Aboriginal for Red Mud) which is on a quieter stretch of the Murray River. The town was established in 1877 as an irrigation area and today produces citrus and nuts.
Following a 3.5 hour drive from Adelaide, we reached Renmark at Midday and were given a very comprehensive tour of our floating home for the next few days. Safety and equipment instructions and demonstrations were provided which ensured we were comfortable driving the boat.
The houseboat has a very well equipped kitchen and outside deck with Esky, BBQ and outdoor chairs and tables. There were three rooms: one with a queen-sized bed, one with a double bed and one with bunks which was great for the kids.
Liba Liba undertook our grocery shopping for us, however a large Woolworths just a short drive from the houseboat launch area meant we could quite easily have done it ourselves. With our car locked in a secure area for the duration of our holiday, our supplies checked and packed we were ready to leave.
On leaving Ral Ral Creek, the mooring place of the Liba Liba fleet, we turned upstream away from Renmark in search of a quiet mooring for the night. After a few kilometres, passing the classic red cliffs we found a spot and settled down for a quiet drink and conversation, appreciating the quietness of the evening and sunset.
The days were spent swimming, fishing and reading and included travelling further up the river, mooring at different spots for the night.
On out last night, after paddling back to Renmark, we moored at the Port of Renmark which is in the town's centre. Each Riverland town has its own character. We enjoyed a walk through the wide streets of Renmark, explored the old paddle steamer and had dinner in the Renmark Hotel.