A Guide to Family Time on a Mary River Houseboat

Float Away on Fun

When it comes to family vacations, it can be difficult to find an experience that pleases everyone. Parents are looking for relaxation and quality time with their loved ones, while kids want adventure and excitement. Cue a houseboat vacation on the Mary River, where the whole family can float away on fun together. With its stunning natural scenery and abundance of activities, the Mary River is the perfect setting for a family houseboat vacation. In this blog post, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how families can make the most of their time on the river and create unforgettable memories.

Choosing the Right Houseboat

The first step to planning a Mary River houseboat vacation is selecting the right houseboat. There are many different types of houseboats, ranging from small and basic models to large and luxurious boats with all the amenities. The right houseboat for your family will depend on several factors, such as your budget, the size of your family, and the type of features you require. Options might include onboard air-conditioning, a barbecue grill, and a swim deck with a slide.

It’s important for families to look for certain safety features when selecting a houseboat, such as a life jacket for each passenger and proper lighting. Additionally, families should ensure there is enough space on board to accommodate everyone comfortably, with separate sleeping quarters for parents and children.

Planning the Itinerary

The key to a successful houseboat vacation on the Mary River is effective planning. It’s important to create a flexible itinerary that allows for downtime, yet also provides exciting activities for all ages. Plan your route in advance so you know which sights and experiences are worth checking out. The Mary River is home to stunning natural scenery, pristine beaches, and abundant wildlife, so families should look to integrate these natural wonders into their itinerary.

It’s essential to be prepared for unexpected changes in the weather or schedules. You might want to include nearby towns or attractions in your itinerary as a fallback plan. Flexibility also allows for spontaneity and the chance to connect with locals and discover hidden gems.

Packing Essentials for a Family Houseboat Vacation

As with any vacation, it’s important to pack the right essentials. For a houseboat vacation with kids, it’s essential to have everything you need to keep everyone comfortable and entertained. Some recommended items to bring include:

  • Life jackets for everyone onboard
  • Sunscreen, hats, and other sun protection for outdoor activities
  • Insect repellent for evenings when mosquitos might be active
  • Bathing suits or water-appropriate clothing for water activities
  • Comfortable shoes suitable for hiking or exploring nearby towns
  • Playing cards, board games, and other forms of entertainment.
  • First-aid kit for any bumps, scrapes, or injuries that may occur
  • Non-perishable food that can be cooked on the grill

Onboard Activities for All Ages

Families should take advantage of the many activities that are available on a houseboat vacation on the Mary River, including:

  • Swimming and water sports like tubing, skiing, or wakeboarding
  • Fishing for barramundi or other local fish
  • Wildlife spotting (including bird watching and crocodile spotting)
  • Gather around a campfire or a barbecue grill at night for family bonding time
  • Play games like Pictionary, charades, or trivia
  • Learn about shipboard safety, boating techniques, and navigation.

These activities bring everyone together and encourage quality family time, while also providing exciting and engaging experiences for all.

Exploring the Mary River

In addition to onboard activities, families should explore the natural wonders of the Mary River. The river is home to many amazing sights, including Katherine Gorge and the rock art galleries of the local Indigenous people. Preparing for these activities can involve packing hiking gear, sunscreen, bug spray, and other essentials.

Safety Tips and Guidelines

It’s important for families to prioritize safety while exploring the Mary River. Boating and engaging with wildlife can pose risks, so it’s crucial to follow basic safety guidelines like:

  • Wear life jackets at all times when on deck or in the water
  • Avoid swimming in areas where warning signs have been posted
  • Keep a distance from wildlife, including crocodiles and snakes
  • Follow boating regulations and speed limits
  • Ensure that children are supervised in all water activities.

Capturing Memories

A houseboat vacation on the Mary River is a perfect opportunity for families to make unforgettable memories. Make sure to capture these memories through photographs, videos, and keepsakes. Consider keeping a travel journal or scrapbook alongside the way that will add a personal touch to your trip.


A houseboat vacation on the Mary River is a unique opportunity for families to bond, relax, and adventure together. Planning for the trip with the right houseboat and itinerary helps ensure that everyone has a great time. From houseboat activities like barbecues to off-vessel sightseeing like hikes, there are countless ways for families to engage with the natural environment and make lasting memories. Always make sure to prioritize safety, pack the right essentials, and capture the moments for posterity. With proper planning, the Mary River can provide an unforgettable family vacation experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *