Eildon Houseboats 

Lake Eildon is the only inland waterway in Victoria where houseboats are permitted to operate. It is Goulburn-Murray Water's (GMW) role to control and manage houseboat operations, including water quality and other issues associated with over 700 houseboats. GMW must also ensure that allocated water is available for irrigators and other downstream users.

The GMW By-law No. 1-2013 – Recreational Areas governs GMW’s development and management of public access and recreational use of its managed land and waterways.

Houseboat Regulations

The Water (Lake Eildon Recreational Area) (Houseboats) Regulations 2013 (the Regulations) came into effect in June 2013. 

Why have houseboat regulations?

To ensure the long term sustainability of houseboat operations on Lake Eildon it is essential to have regulations which control and manage houseboat operations in the Lake Eildon Recreational Area. 

Who is affected by the regulations?

  • All licenced houseboats;
  • All new houseboats;
  • Existing houseboats that require a transfer of licence; and
  • All houseboats on Lake Eildon by July 1 2020.

Grey Water Treatment System Suppliers

GMW will not endorse or recommend any particular make or model of treatment unit but will only licence new houseboats with units installed that have demonstrated that they can meet the minimum discharge criteria for treated grey water specified in AS4995-2009 Greywater treatment systems for vessels operated on inland waters. 

The four companies listed below have been able to demonstrate they can meet this requirement.

Ph: 0419 223 293
Aqua Treat
Ph: 0418 320 673
Wastewater Aust.
Ph: 1300 856 237
North East Engineering & Fabrication
Greywater System
Ph: 0417 599 710


Houseboat greywater system review - Jacobs final report

Houseboats fitted with a Greywater Treatment System (GWTS) help to improve water quality on Lake Eildon for all recreational water users, the community and the environment.

The Regulations introduced in 2013 requires fitting all houseboats on Lake Eildon with an approved on-board greywater treatment system by 1 July 2020.

Following the introduction of the Regulations, houseboat owners raised concerns and lobbied the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to seek exemptions.  As a result, DELWP engaged Jacobs to investigate the issues and commission a response which amongst other things, provided options for reform. 

Jacobs has now completed the independent review and submitted a final report to the DELWP. 

You can download a copy of the final report here for your information.

DELWP is currently reviewing the final report.  The Victorian Government will announce its decision concerning the recommendations contained in the report to the Eildon houseboat community in due course.   

Should you have any queries prior to the Victorian Government's announcement, please email DELWP at

GMW currently does not require a GWTS to be fitted if the vessel is moving up a category or if its physical size is increased. There is still a requirement to fit a GWTS when transferring a licence from one owner to another or construction of a new vessel.

GMW remains committed to improving the water quality at Lake Eildon.  

Houseboat Licensing

Quick Forms

Water (Lake Eildon Recreational Area) (Houseboats) Regulations 2013 

Lake Eildon Houseboat Information Booklet

Application to Licence, Operate or Leave a Houseboat within the Lake Eildon Recreational Area

Houseboat Licence Terms and Conditions

Application for Transfer of Houseboat Licence

Compulsory Houseboat Inspection Report 

Restricted Term Licence for Lake Eildon

Application to upgrade or alter existing houseboat

Credit Card Payment form (Under  My Bills Menu)   

Change of Address form (Under  My Details Menu)   

Houseboat Licence Fees

Annual Licence Fees 2017/18  

Category 1 A trailable boat able to be transported without the need for a Vic Roads permit (upgradeable) - Maximum size 10m x 3.5m $413.00
Category 2 One enclosed level, non trailable (not upgradeable) - Maximum size 10.6m x 4.5m $761.00
Category 3

Two or more enclosed levels (upgradeable) - Maximum size 10.6m x 4.5m

Houseboat with one enclosed level (upgradeable) - Maximum size 13.7m x 5.5m

Category 4

Two or more enclosed levels (upgradeable) - Maximum size 13.7m x 5.5m

One enclosed level (upgradeable) - Maximum size 15.2m x 6.25m

Category 5

Two or more enclosed levels (upgradeable) - Maximum size 15.2m x 6.25m

One enclosed level (upgradeable) - Maximum size 18.3m x 7.25m

Category 6 Two enclosed levels (not upgradeable) - Maximum size 18.3m x 7.25m $2,611.00
Category 7 Special - commercial vessel - Maximum size 20m x 8m $3,047.00


Houseboat dimensions are inclusive of all structural components which includes walkways, duckboards, ski platforms, handrails, bumpers/buffers, eaves & motors.  Any part of the vessel that protrudes outside of the maximum allowable category dimension must fold or retract within the allowable category dimensions.

Application, Inspection and Transfer Fees in Respect of Houseboats  

 A. Application fee for initial houseboat licence $282.00
 B. Inspection fee for both single and multi-deck houseboats at Eildon $457.20

Inspection fee for both single and multi-deck houseboats at other locations

 D. Fee for transfer of houseboat licence to another person under regulation 12 $282.00

Application fee for restricted term licence



General houseboat information

New Houseboat Licence Labels

Houseboat licence labels will be mailed to customers upon payment of the Annual Licence Fee. The label is designed to be placed on the outside of the boat on the front window at an accessiblelocation. Owners are required to place the label in the window.

Houseboat Compulsory Inspection Program

GMW's houseboat inspection program was introduced to ensure compliance with the Regulations and to ensure that over a period of time, effluent issues that have the potential to threaten water quality and human health are minimised or removed. The program has now been in operation for ten years and has seen all boats on Lake Eildon inspected. The outcomes of the inspections have ranged from some boats getting the ‘all clear' to others being removed and replaced by a new vessel. 

Houseboat Rubbish

GMW is reviewing the management of waste services across all its 16 water storages. There have been some concerns with the management of the bulk rubbish associated with houseboats at Eildon. The service provided by GMW is for the removal of domestic household, or in this case, domestic houseboat rubbish. It is clearly evident that bins are being used to dispose of "hard" rubbish in the form of renovation materials, carpets, television sets, lounge suites, mattresses etc.

The cost for the service and the number of bin clearances have increased dramatically over the last 2 to 3 years and the problem has evolved without an increase in the number of houseboats on the lake.

GMW asks that operators and owners take responsibility for their waste and ensure that only domestic rubbish is placed in the bins provided. Please ensure that cardboard boxes are crushed to ensure maximum space for rubbish within the bins.

Houseboat owners should consult with their club or marina operator for all hard rubbish removal and containment requirements. GMW will monitor the bins over the current boating season and will make recommendation on changes to the present process should current practices continue.

Camping & Fires

Fires and camping are not permitted in any area around Lake Eildon, except in the designated camping areas.  Unregulated campfires are not only a potential hazard for bushfires, but also pose a risk to water quality along with discarded rubbish from camping activities.  To minimize these impacts, Parks Victoria provides defined areas where camping and fires are permitted. Visit Parks Victoria or phone 131 963 for further information

On declared days of Total Fire Ban ALL SOLID FUEL CAMPFIRES, PORTABLE GAS APPLIANCES AND KEROSENE LANTERNS ARE PROHIBITED.  This includes all gas stoves, gas lights, and gas fridges (including use inside tents). Fixed gas stoves may be used in houseboats with extreme caution. For information on fire and Total Fire Ban requirements visit the CFA website (Fires & Incidents Warnings & Advice) or phone the  Victorian Bushfire Information Line (VBIL): 1800 240 667.     

Motorbikes and Off Road Driving

Off Road driving and trail bike riding is only permitted on formed roadways that are above the lake full supply level and open to the public.   All vehicles must be roadworthy, registered and you must be fully licensed.  Off road driving and trail bike riding is not permitted on the exposed areas of the shores or the lake bed or in the National Park. 

Protection of Foreshore Vegetation

With lake levels now returning to areas where considerable natural vegetation re-growth has occurred, houseboat operators may experience some difficulty in accessing popular mooring areas around the lake.  Boat owners are reminded that native vegetation is protected and must not be removed.

Point Worner Mooring Head

The Point Worner Mooring Head (new effluent barge) is now operating as a stand alone barge. This provides access for four vessels at any one time. There have been some intermittent pump issues and GMW has been working with the Marine Sanitations to resolve these problems.

Please note the pumps are self-priming and will pump out at a greater rate than the old barge. A flashing red light on the top of a pump means the pump is locked out and unavailable for use. GMW would appreciate all faults to be reported to our Office on 5774 3900.

GMW has had great difficulty maintaining ropes on our barges in the past and will not be installing ropes on the Mooring Head Bollards. We recommend that each houseboat have appropriate ropes made up to suit the individual boat bollards and to secure to the Mooring Head when docking.

Boating and Events on Lake Eildon

GMW works with Transport Safety and the Victorian Water Police to ensure that boaters on all storages enjoy safe boating. Please ensure that you refer to boating information signage at boat ramps before entering the waterway.

There has been a significant rise in applications for events across the storages as our water level rise to full or near full. GMW the Victorian Water Police and Transport Safety are designing a process to stream line and ensure maximum safety measures are in place for all approved events.

It is a requirement that application and approval process must be managed by GMW prior to any organised event taking place.     


GMW wishes to remind owners of their responsibilities when bringing dogs onto GMW recreational areas. There has been past reports of dogs attacking wildlife and also being a nuisance to other boat owners. When a dog is within a GMW recreational area they must be:

  • Under proper control on a leash; and
  • Effectively restrained from causing injury or annoyance to people, damage or interference to property and disturbance or injury to wildlife;

Dogs of a dangerous or restricted breed are prohibited from entering or remaining within a recreational area.

Parks Victoria have also asked us to remind all visitors that dogs are prohibited within all of Lake Eildon National Park with the exception of the Parks Victoria camping area at Jerusalem Creek.