General Information

Pet Policy | Bushwalking | Campfire Tips | Fishing | River Attractions

Pet Policy

Wilkadene Pet FriendlyAbove Renmark Houseboats acknowledge the part pets play in families and generally welcomes all pets holidaying with their owners.

Pets are allowed with the permission of our operators. Owners will need to take full responsibility for their pets. Owners will need to bring bedding and all feed bowls, water dishes etc for their pet.

The pet should be on a leash whenever possible.

Why would your dog enjoy a Houseboat holiday?

  • The Bookmark Biosphere reserve is a huge wetland reserve covering the western bank of the river from Renmark to the Victorian border. There is plenty of room for you and your dog to exercise to your heart’s content.
  • With no private land holders there is nobody for your dog to upset.
    The area of Chowilla (approx 6km upstream from Wilkadene) to the border is gazetted as ‘dog friendly’ for the safe use of duck shooting retriever dogs, and no fox baiting is carried out. Nevertheless keep your dog on a lead in case you come across a brown snake.
  • The area from Renmark to Chowilla (which is Calperum Station) does not even permit any grazing by livestock, but regular fox baiting is carried out and you must keep your dog on a lead at all times.
  • There are plenty of long white sandbars where your dog can enjoy splashing and swimming in the river just as much as you do.

Why your dog would enjoy a Cottage Holiday?

  • Your dog can have the run of the 2 acres of garden of Wilkadene homestead.
  • There are adjacent paddocks where you can take your dog for plenty of exercise. But keep your dog on a lead in case you come across a brown snake.
  • You can take your dog is welcome inside but we ask they are kept off bedding and furniture.


BushwalkingThere are many lovely walks along sign-posted tracks running from the camping sites along Chowilla Creek. In addition there are other suggested walks which we have mapped and directions are in the manual on your houseboat.

The best time of the year to go bushwalking is May to August, when the days are mild, and you can experience our famous ‘winter sunshine’ without having to worry about sunburn or having to carry too much drinking water. Also there are almost no flies or mosquitoes during that time.

Walks not to miss:

  • From the boat ramp to the lookout at Heading’s Cliff lookout
  • To the Aboriginal canoe tree (pictured) just 700m in from the riverbank below Racecourse Creek.
  • Along the bank of Racecourse Creek.
  • From below Chowilla Homestead to Chowilla Woolshed.
  • The Customs House Wetlands walk.

If you plan your walks to go early in the morning or late afternoon, you should see many kangaroos and emus.

Campfire Tips

CampfireMay to August is also the best time for a blazing campfire on a still, starry night when the smoke just drifts up through ghost like giant red gum trees.

We provide a shovel on board for you to rake up any coals next morning, so that you can burn the last remnants over a cup of steaming coffee. This way you will leave very little charcoal behind you, and the remains of your campfire can be easily buried.

The campfire season starts May 1st in the National Parks. In our past of the river there is ample dead redgum wood for a blazing campfire.

Our recommendations:

  • Red gum is just as good as any mallee stump open campfire, with a sweet aroma all of its own.
  • It gives a hot, intense, slow burning fire with very little smoke and coals that seem to last for ever.
  • This is the time to gaze at a starry sky so bright you will be amazed – far away from any polluting smog or headlights.


FishingFishing in our part of the river has improved dramatically over the last few years due to professional fisherman being removed from the river. Our boats are set up with rod holders, so you can easily use 4 to 6 fishing rods out the back of the houseboat (2/person is allowed). No licence is needed in SA waters.

Callop (Yellow Belly) and Murray Cod prefer live shrimps as bait whilst Carp prefer worms. If you are using worms, put the hook through the tail of a shrimp first so that is a curving back away from the head of the shrimp, and then add a worm.

We suggest that you tie up the houseboat securely using all 4 ropes so that it will not move around, and then tension your fishing lines with a bell added to the end of the rod to warn you when a fish is taking your bait. Pick the outside of bends so as to be in the deeper water and be organised to start fishing early in the morning or late in the afternoon.

You can hire or buy from us fishing rods, bells, bottom assemblies, landing net, and a yabby net to catch shrimps. It is a good idea to also have a shrimp keeper to keep shrimps alive and also a fish keeper so that you do not have to worry about filleting your catch until later when the fishing action has eased off.

In our section of the river the scenery is so varied as ochre coloured cliffs give way to white sand bars, wetlands and creeks or thick red gum forests.

River Attractions

cliffsSome say our section of the river is the best part of the Murray. The attractions include:

  • Wilkadene’s Woolshed Brewery. Fastly becoming one of the must see attractions on the Murray
  • Red Gum forests born from past floods
  • Rich ochre coloured cliffs sculptured by nature
  • Inspirational sunsets echoed in the still waters
  • An abundance of bird life
  • Bookmark Biosphere – a huge world famous wilderness reserve
  • Lock 6, and state borders to cross
  • Your only neighbours at dusk are likely to be kangaroos