We are a small local business!
Our business goal is to offer private & personalised tours of Goolwa to complement the big tourism operator and volunteer cruises (PS Oscar W.) also available here at Goolwa. The best way to understand our service and booking process is that we are a marine version of a ‘Chauffeured Limosine’.
1. Where do we operate from?
We do not have an office, although groups are more than welcome to meet at the Coorong Quays marina office (plenty of parking available). Once a booking has been made, we can collect you directly from any jetty or wharf on the river: even from right in front of many waterfront properties. However we have three main pick-up locations (see maps below):
a. Main Goolwa Wharf (Cutting Road, Goolwa)
b. Jetty in front of the Aquacaf/Fleurieu Function Centre/Goolwa Aqautic Club building (Barrage Road, Goolwa)
c. Coorong Quays Fuel Dock landing in fromt of Islanders Tavern (Tolarno Drive, Hindmarsh Island)
When you make a booking we contact you to discuss which pick-up location is most suitable.
2. When do we operate?
Our standard cruise schedule operates from Tuesday right through to Saturday with 3 standard departure times: 10am, 12:30pm and 3pm (with a sunset tour in the evening). When you make a booking (by calling or online) you simply choose the cruise that you would like and the departure time that suits you best.
The 12:30pm cruise is optimised to return you to the Goolwa Wharf 15min before the last train departs for Victor Harbor.
However we are very flexible – so if booked in advance (generally 48hrs required), cruises can operate on any day or any time. For example, you may wish to combine the 2hr Goolwa History Cruise with the 60min Sunset Cruise. So when you call we will simply adjust the departure time to 7:00pm – and you get two cruises for the price of one!
3. Can I make a same-day booking?
From Tue to Sat the answer is generally – YES! However availability cannot be guaranteed unless you book in advance (24hrs), so just ring 0402826960 to check on the availability of same-day services.
4. How many passengers can we carry?
Our commercial license currently limits us to 4 passengers, regardless of age or weight. For commercial boats any person over 12 months of age is considered a passenger.
5. How long are the cruises?
Our boat does not have any wet facilities so a single cruise is limited to two hours, so we offer a range of difefrent services from 60min to 2 hours. However longer morning or afternoon excursions (ie. two 2hr cruises) can be organised by appointment.
6. Can anyone come on a cruise?
Generally YES, and we have PFD’s for all persons including infants. We have a customised boat entry frame which provides excellent handholds and support, however as you do need to step into and out of the boat passengers must have mobility equivalent to climbing a short set of stairs.
Our modern, Australian designed & built boat is safe, extremely comfortable & very stable – we are proud to report that we have not had even a single case of motion sickness. For those unfamiliar or perhaps a bit cautious about boating, we can restrict cruises to the confines of the Coorong Quays marina, where the waters are wind-protected and you are never more than a few metres away from the shoreline.
7. How do I make a booking?
a. Online: you can book & pre-pay defined start time cruises as long as you book at least 24hours in advance.
b. Phone: just call 0402 826 960 to make a booking. Cruises booked by phone can be booked for any start time that suits (if available).
c. Goolwa or Victor Harbor Visitor Centres: the friendly staff can book your cruise across the counter.
8. How do I pay?
Cash, EFTPOS (we have a portable terminal on the boat) or by credit card for online bookings.
9. Minimum Booking Fee
Most of our cruises are priced ‘per person’, however these cruises have a minimum booking fee equivalant to 2 persons. So if you are a single person, unfortunately you will need to pay the equivalent of a two person cruise.
10. Boat charters
Our evening cruises are priced as boat ‘charters’. This means there is a single cost for the cruise, so it is the same price no matter how many passengers (1,2,3 or 4).
11. What if the weather is terrible for your booked cruise?
As all of the on-water conditions at Goolwa are determined by the wind, even on windy days when the waters of the main Goolwa channel are looking TERRIBLE you an always cruise comfortably & safely through the protected waters of the Coorong Quays marina. However our business goal is for you to enjoy your cruise, so if a marina cruise is not a suitable alternative in most scenarios we will gladly reschedule your cruise to an another time (ie later in the day) or another date.
12. Do we cruise to the Coorong and the Murray Mouth?
No. We have plans to offer charters to the Coorong in the future, however at the moment we only offer cruises in the freshwaters of Goolwa, the Coorong Quays Marina and the Lower Lakes (upstream from the Goolwa Barrage).
Main Goolwa Wharf
As you head south down to the end of the main street of Goolwa (Cadell St named after Captain Francis Cadell) take the slight left-hand turn after the Visitor Centre and this leads you down to the Wharf precinct. Head over the railway line and turn right, then continue between the two buildings to the south end of the wharf. There is a car-park there and we dock right there on the water.
Goolwa Aquatic Club Jetty
As you head down Barrage Road past the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club, the road runs along the shoreline right down to the Goolwa Barrage and Beacon 19 boat ramp. There is only one building on the water side of Barrage Road, which houses the Aquacaf, the Fleurieu Function Centre and the Goolwa Aquatic Club. As you walk around the building, on the water there is a jetty where we dock. Further south along Barrage Road (past the building) is a public boat ramp, a large carpark and a playground.
Coorong Quays Marina
Head over the Hindmarsh Island bridge, and after 1.2km along Randell Road (named after Captain William Randell) you take the firsrt right-hand turn into the Coorong Quays marina. Take the right-hand exit from the first roundabout and head towards the Marina office. At the second roundabout (just before the Islander’s Tavern) again take the right-hand exit and this leads you down to the water where there is a carpark and this is where we dock. Note that this dock is the most wind-protected and is the best dock for passengers with limited mobility.