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Houseboating in Noosa

Houseboating in Noosa

“So where is our next destination?” I asked my husband and son. After a full week or so of driving up to the Capricorn Coast and back down to the Sunshine Coast, stopping where our noses told us to spend the night, we thought that our next destination should not really be a destination. Rather, we decided to book ourselves on a three-night trip where we can take the kitchen and the bed with us—not exactly a destination for sure, but a journey.


Our road trip took its toll on us on the way back from Capricorn Coast heading back down to the Sunshine Coast. We were exhausted from being strapped up in our seats for hours. So for our last stop before heading back home to the Gold Coast, a houseboat adventure awaited on Noosa River.


Without prior bookings, we headed down to the Noosa River in Tewantin, and consulted with Luxury Afloat Noosa down at the Memorial Park Jetty. My husband made an executive decision to take Happy Jack, a six-berth 33-foot houseboat with three decks. It was to be our first houseboat holiday as a family.


The boat had all the amenities necessary to live in it. Clean linen, complete sets of kitchenware and dinnerware, cleaning items, fishing tackle, full emergency gear, and an outdoor dining set on the top deck—all made it feel like home on the water.


Our itinerary set, we were driven upstream to our first anchorage across Make Peace Island. We did not feel so isolated yet at this point, as the resort was a stone’s throw away. The night was quiet and peaceful on the river, and my son and I looked out onto the horizon for a beautiful sunset as we waited for the eagle to visit its chicks on the nest on top of one of the trees by the riverbank on the side of Noosa North Shore.


For some reason, while we were there, catfish were abundant in this part of the river, so dinner was a barbecued one. I do not think that many people would think of eating catfish, but it is a common fish dish for Asians. We also caught a cod and similarly placed it on the barbie to grill.


Moving upstream, we ventured into a more serene anchorage, past Lake Cooroibah, close to the infamous John’s Landing camping grounds. Our second night was more relaxed as we already felt settled. Our five-year-old son was also more familiar with the boat, so he was behaving more confidently inside and outside. In the morning, we climbed into the dingy and headed to the campsite. We were told there was a small shop there for some groceries so we thought of visiting. The campsite is—let’s just say, it is what it is. We walked through the campers and up the road to the shop, which sold very basic items, but enough to get you by if you do end up using up your supplies.


Our third anchorage was downstream, right across Gympie Terrace—the heart of Noosaville. With sandbars and more tourist spots to visit on land, we enjoyed our dingy trips to the mainland to have satisfying meals, special sweet treats, and freshly brewed hot coffees—a more touristy experience for sure.


Our son was happy building his “ginormous” sand castle on a sandbar, and spent a whole afternoon on the sand. He loved the quick trips on the dingy and exploring the shallow banks where the pelicans were.


But as in all journeys, this one also had to end. Our last afternoon was spent on the sandbar and jumping in the water from our boat. We had dinner in one of the restaurants on the tourist strip, and enjoyed a nightcap in the boat under the star-filled sky.


Our first houseboat holiday is one that is more an experience than just another tourist activity. Life on board is not easy, but it is simple and enjoyable. Without the hard ground beneath you, floating in your own little “hotel” accommodation is what you may call a “rocking” adventure.


By Roselle Tenefrancia



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