Lake Eildon is the only inland waterway in Victoria where houseboats are permitted to operate and it’s Goulburn-Murray Water’s (GMW) role to manage the water quality and other management issues associated with over 700 houseboats to ensure that allocated water is available for irrigators and other downstream users when required.

Houseboat Newsletters

Lake Eildon June 2013 newsletter [3 MB]

Lake Eildon July 2012 newsletter [1 MB]

Lake Eildon December 2011 newsletter [2 MB]

Houseboat Regulations

The Water (Lake Eildon Recreational Area) (Houseboats) Regulations 2013 are used by GMW to control and manage the operations of houseboats on Lake Eildon.

These regulations commenced in June 2013. The new regulations are largely the same as the 2003 regulations with some extra provisions to help GMW better manage house boating on Lake Eildon and improve water quality in the Lake.

Under the new regulations, all houseboats on Lake Eildon will need to be fitted with a greywater treatment system by 1 July 2020. Further details on grey water treatment systems can be found below.

GMW is working with houseboat licence holders and other stakeholders to resolve any concerns relating to the new regulations or other issues as they arise.GMW has no plans to issue additional licenses in any category at this time.

Houseboat Licensing

Quick Forms

Water (Lake Eildon Recreational Area) (Houseboats) Regulations 2013 [153 KB]

Lake Eildon Houseboat License Agreement [8.3 MB]

Application to Licence, Operate or Leave a Houseboat within the Lake Eildon Recreational Area [76 KB]

Application for Transfer of Houseboat Licence [86 KB]

Compulsory Houseboat Inspection Report [88 KB]

Construction of a Houseboat for operation on Lake Eildon – Information sheet – new form coming soon

Houseboat Licence Fees

Annual Licence Fees 2013/14

 1. A trailable boat able to be transported without the need for a Vic Roads permit (not upgradeable) – Maximum size 10m x 3.5m $380.00
 2. One enclosed level, non trailable (not upgradeable) – Maximum size 10.6m x 4.5m $700.00
 3. Two or more enclosed levels (upgradeable) – Maximum size 10.6m x 4.5mHouseboat with one enclosed level (upgradeable) – Maximum size 13.7m x 5.5m $1,200.00
 4. Two or more enclosed levels (upgradeable) – Maximum size 13.7m x 5.5mOne enclosed level (upgradeable) – Maximum size 15.2m x 6.25m $1,650.00
 5. Two or more enclosed levels (upgradeable) – Maximum size 15.2m x 6.25mOne enclosed level (upgradeable) – Maximum size 18.3m x 7.25m $2,000.00
 6. Two enclosed levels (not upgradeable) – Maximum size 18.3m x 7.25m $2,400.00
 7. Special – commercial vessel – Maximum size 20m x 8m $2,800.00

All prices include GST unless otherwise stated.

Houseboat greywater

There are new rules for releasing wastewater from your houseboat into inland waters.

Lake Eildon is the only inland waterway in Victoria where houseboats are permitted to operate and it’s GMW’s role to manage the water storage which includes over 700 houseboats.

The Water (Lake Eildon Recreational Area) (Houseboats) Regulations 2013 are used by GMW to control and manage the operations of houseboats on Lake Eildon.

Why have houseboat regulations?

To ensure the long term sustainability of houseboat operations on Lake Eildon, GMW has been working with Standards Australia to develop new standards for on-board greywater treatment for houseboats on inland waters and the Department of Environment and Primary Industries to remake the regulations ahead of the existing regulations expiring.

What are the regulations?

The new regulations require grey water treatment systems to be fitted for;

  • All new houseboats
  • existing houseboats that require a transfer of licence after 1 July 2015.
  • all houseboats on Lake Eildon by 1 July 2020.

When will the new regulations be in place?

The new regulations are effective from the day they were made which is 12 June 2013.

What do l have to do?

As a houseboat owner on Lake Eildon you will continue to receive information about the regulations and new greywater standards. Houseboat customers will soon receive a newsletter to outline these changes.

Grey Water Treatment System Suppliers

GMW will not endorse, approve or recommend any particular make 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.

Aerofloat                  Ph: 0419 223 293

Aqua Treat               Ph: 0418 320 673


Wastewater Aust.    Ph: 1300 856 237

General houseboat information

New Houseboat Licence Labels

Houseboat 2013/14 labels will be mailed to customers upon payment of your Annual Licence Fee. The label is designed to be placed on the outside of the boat on the front window at an accessible location. Owners are required to place the label in the window at their earliest convenience.

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 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 (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.

Houseboat Compulsory Inspection Program

GMW’s houseboat inspection program was introduced to ensure compliance with the houseboat 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.

GMW has now commenced issuing a second round of slipping notices to vessels that were slipped up to ten years ago, when the program was first introduced.

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 Ph: 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.

Blue Green Algae (BGA)

It is fantastic to see storage levels increasing and recreational users returning to GMW storages. With the significantly increased inflows there has been an increase in nutrients being washed into the storages which contributes to possible BGA blooms. BGA is a naturally occurring algae and levels can vary over time.

Blue-green algae can be dangerous to the health of humans and animals. People should avoid contact with any surface scum or suspect water that is green or discoloured and musty or earthy smelling. Characteristic signs of algae contact are skin rashes or itchiness; sore eyes, ears and nose; or, if swallowed, nausea or vomiting.

GMW undertakes sampling at various locations within the Lake to determine the algal status, as part of its routine water quality management program. For information on current BGA Alerts please click here

Jerusalem Creek Effluent Disposal

To further reduce risks of Houseboat sewage leakage that could impact water quality and to further bolster Houseboat sustainability, GMW is investigating the replacement of the current Jerusalem Creek sewage barge with a new mooring head with capabilities similar to Point Worner.

The existing barge currently operates with a transfer vessel which needs to travel to Point Worner on a regular basis to transfer sewage to the Point Worner system.

The potential risk of water contamination during the double handling and transport process will be removed by constructing a new mooring head within the Jerusalem Creek Marina area.  A new system would pump sewage directly from houseboats via protected pipelines that will link with the Jerusalem Creek Camping Ground’s new sewerage system. The Park’s new sewerage system is being developed throughout the Park with pipeline linkage to the Eildon Township’s sewage treatment facility, over the next 4 years.

The timeframe for completion of both projects is estimated to be by the end of 2014.

Boating and Events on Lake Eildon

GMW is working 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.

In addition to the protection of wildlife Parks Victoria also wish to notify dog owners that a Fire Recovery cross tenure Predator Control program is underway within Lake Eildon National Park for the control of foxes and wild dogs until June 2011. Keeping your dog secure and out of National Parks ensures that your pet does not inadvertently take a bait.

For further information on Parks Victoria on Predator Control Programs around Lake Eildon refer to the Parks Victoria website

– See more at:

On 15th April 2014 Goulburn Murray Water sent out information to the Lake Eildon Houseboat Industry which covers alterations to a vessel, it’s effluent system and grey water systems.   Click Here for details.  GMW regulations for houseboat renovations

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