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Located next to the historic Birks Harbor Marina, Boathouse - Birks River Retreat offers stunning views and is surrounded by abundant birdlife. Barbecue facilities and an outdoor dining area are provided.

Boathouse - Birks River Retreat is only 0.6 mi from Goolwa main street and 3 kms from Goolwa Beach. Adelaide is a 1-hour drive away.

The Boathouse Retreat includes a free gourmet breakfast basket. It also features river views, original artworks and both maritime books and artifacts. Free WiFi and free parking are offered.

Your air-conditioned, self-contained apartment or cottage also comes equipped with a flat-screen TV, DVD player, kitchen and an private bathroom with organic free toiletries as well as a hairdryer and bathrobes. Beach towels are provided.

Couples in particular like the location – they rated it 9.8 for a two-person trip.

We speak your language!

Your stay will include:
Dining area Fireplace Flat-screen TV Terrace Sun deck

Boathouse - Birks River Retreat has been welcoming guests since May 8, 2013

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Top Location: Highly rated by recent guests (9.8)

Breakfast Info


Free Private Parking Available On Site

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Sleeps Accommodation Type Price
Max adults: 2
Boathouse One-Bedroom Cottage with River View
  • Bedroom 1: 1 king bed
  • Living room: 1 sofa bed
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4 reasons to choose Boathouse - Birks River Retreat

  • Prices you can't beat!
  • Booking is safe
  • Manage your bookings online
  • This host will welcome you in English

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Find more info in the questions and answers. Need something else? Send your own question to the property below.

About Boathouse - Birks River Retreat

Welcoming guests since May 8, 2013

We speak your language

The property usually replies within a few days

Thanks! You'll receive an email as soon as the property answers your question.

  • Hi. I sent a question 3 days ago but haven't heard back :( I want to know if there is a stovetop to cook on in the kitchen please. Thanks you.

    Hi, sorry for the delay, there was a error within the site. The Boathouse has a Galley Kitchen, fully equipped, digital hotplate, gas weber & grill plate, airfryer/mini oven, microwave, toaster, coffee machine, etc. Hope this assists!

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    Answered on October 25, 2021
  • Would it be possible to bring our cavoodle with us?

    Hi, We don't allow pets in the Boathouse Retreat. Birks Harbour Marina has waterbirds living at the Marina. No dogs allowed in our Retreat. There is a highly recommended doggy day/overnight care nearby we can recommend. Thank you. Cheers Wendy Watson

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    Answered on February 11, 2020
  • Hello can you let me know how much extra the gourmet breakfast package is Thank you

    Hi, it’s included in the tariff!

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    Answered on October 14, 2020
  • How can I get to the closest beach from the property?

    Goolwa beach is only a few minutes drive (2 km)

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    Answered on October 19, 2019
  • Is there a shuttle available to get to the closest beach nearby? What are the other transportation options?

    There is no shuttle to get to the beach. You can hire bikes, it is only 2km drive from the Boathouse Retreat.

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    Answered on October 19, 2019

Hosted by Wendy & Phil Watson

Host Review Score 9.6
Wendy & Phil Watson

Wendy & Phil Watson

NOTE - MINIMUM BOOKING OF 3 NIGHTS AT PRESENT Boathouse - Birks River Retreat is overlooking the Murray River at Goolwa on the Fleurieu Peninsula, only one hour scenic drive south of Adelaide, South Australia. A spacious luxury Retreat with elegant décor, is the perfect base for short or long term stays. The Retreat is self-contained, open plan living and fully equipped with everything you need to unwind and recharge. Located at historic Birks Harbour with classic wooden boats, abundant birdlife and magnificent views. Nearby, guests can explore the attractions in the region, beautiful pristine beaches, eco-cruising, nature walks, coastal cafes & restaurants, farmers markets, local artisan galleries and world class wineries. Experience this unique 5 star luxury setting at Goolwa, perfect for relaxation, romantic getaway for couples or enjoy the natural surroundings and beautiful landscaped gardens. It has been designed with total privacy where guests can relax and indulge the senses Boathouse - Birks River Retreat offers a unique experience surrounded by majestic trees overlooking the Murray River. Voted in the 10 BEST VIEWS IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA “BIRKS HAR

Phil & Wendy Watson are self confessed wooden boat fanatics. Besides owning historic wooden boats, which they have lovingly restored over the years, they also bought a historic marina at the River Port of Goolwa. With a unique collection of maritime artifacts and local artworks, reflecting the era of the historical River Port. Both have been involved in the organisation of the South Australian Wooden Boat Festival which has become an iconic event. They have tried to create a sense of history at the Boathouse - Birks River Retreat located at the historic Birks Harbour Marina. With their love of boats, they fitted out the old boat shed, which is now the iconic Boathouse Retreat at Birks Harbour. The Retreat offers an individual style and layout with stunning décor and maritime ambience. The Retreat is self-contained and has been designed with total luxury and privacy for guests to relax and enjoy the experience of this unique historic setting.

Goolwa is the last historic town on Australia’s largest river and joins the Great Southern Ocean at the mouth of the Murray River, gateway to the Coorong National Park. FROM THE LOCALS EYES… SOAK UP this unique historic setting and if you feel like a short stroll along the river visit the historic wharf and jump on a paddlesteamer or a steam train or drive only minutes to one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches … You can do all of this at BOATHOUSE - BIRKS RIVER RETREAT and nearby … discover the birdlife, experience the peaceful setting, view the sunsets, rest and relax, laze on the chaise lounge on the deck, watch the boats sail past, sit and appreciate the ambience of the Murray River, taste the hand selected South Australian Wine, read a book, view the original artworks, revel into the historic maritime collection, enjoy a swim at the nearby pristine beach, chill out, enjoy the space and fresh air, treat yourself to a Pamper Package, indulge in the organic bathroom goodies, savour the elegant surrounds and modern luxuries, relish in the Gourmet Breakfast Basket and much more...

Languages spoken: English

Area Info *
Guests loved walking around the neighborhood!
Excellent location – show map
What's nearby
  • Coorong Quays Hindmarsh Island
    1.2 miles
  • Clayton Bay Boat Club
    6.9 miles
Restaurants & cafes
  • Restaurant Hectors on the Wharf
    0.6 miles
  • Cafe/Bar Bombora Cafe
    1.2 miles
Natural Beauty
  • Ocean/Sea Southern Ocean
    1.2 miles
  • Lake Alexandrina
    6.2 miles
  • River Murray
    0 miles
Beaches in the Neighborhood
  • Goolwa Beach
    2.4 miles
  • Middleton Beach
    3.3 miles
  • Basham Beach
    6 miles
Closest Airports
  • Adelaide Airport
    41.2 miles
How to get to Boathouse - Birks River Retreat from Adelaide Airport
    Free parking is available.
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Amenities of Boathouse - Birks River Retreat
Free private parking is available on site (reservation is not needed).
  • Accessible parking
  • Secure parking
WiFi is available in public areas and is free of charge.
  • Dining table
  • Cleaning products
  • Toaster
  • Kitchenware
  • Electric kettle
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Kitchenette
  • Linens
  • Wardrobe or closet
  • Alarm clock
  • Walk-in closet
  • Extra long beds (> 6.5 ft)
  • Toilet paper
  • Towels
  • Towels/Sheets (extra fee)
  • Bathtub or shower
  • Private Bathroom
  • Toilet
  • Free toiletries
  • Bathrobe
  • Hairdryer
  • Bathtub
  • Shower
Living Area
  • Dining area
  • Sofa
  • Fireplace
  • Sitting area
  • Desk
Media & Technology
  • iPod dock
  • Flat-screen TV
  • CD player
  • DVD player
  • Radio
  • TV
Room Amenities
  • Sofa bed
  • Drying rack for clothing
  • Fold-up bed
  • Clothes rack
  • Entire unit wheelchair accessible
  • Entire unit located on ground floor
  • Picnic area
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Outdoor dining area
  • Outdoor furniture
  • Terrace
  • Sun deck
  • Barbecue
  • Private pool
  • BBQ facilities
  • Patio
  • Balcony
  • Terrace
  • Garden
Health & Wellness Facilities
  • Beach umbrellas
  • Air conditioning
  • Smoke-free property
  • Hardwood or parquet floors
  • Heating
  • Soundproof
  • Private entrance
  • Soundproof rooms
  • Heating
  • Fan
  • Family rooms
  • Ironing facilities
  • Non-smoking rooms
  • Iron
  • Air conditioning
Food & Drink
  • Fruit
  • Bottle of water
  • Wine/Champagne Additional charge
  • Breakfast in the room
  • Tea/Coffee maker
  • Bike tours Additional charge
  • Temporary art galleries Off-site
  • Beach
  • Full-body massage Additional charge
  • Hand massage Additional charge
  • Head massage Additional charge
  • Couples' massage Additional charge
  • Foot massage Additional charge
  • Neck massage Additional charge
  • Back massage Additional charge
  • Cycling
  • Hiking Off-site
  • Library
  • Massage Additional charge
  • Fishing
  • Golf course (within 2 miles) Additional charge
  • Private check-in/out
  • Baggage storage
  • Wake-up service
  • Express check-in/out
  • Ironing service
  • Laundry
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Garden view
  • Lake view
Front Desk Services
  • Invoice provided
Safety & security
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Smoke alarms
Languages Spoken
  • English
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Sustainability initiatives

This property has taken steps to provide more sustainable and eco-friendly travel

House rules Boathouse - Birks River Retreat takes special requests – add in the next step!


From 2:00 PM


Until 11:00 AM


Cancellation and prepayment policies vary according to accommodations type. Please enter the dates of your stay and check what conditions apply to your preferred room.

Children & Beds

Child policies

Children not allowed.

Crib and extra bed policies

There's no capacity for cribs at this property.

This property doesn't offer extra beds.

Age restriction

The minimum age for check-in is 18

Mastercard Visa Boathouse - Birks River Retreat accepts these cards and reserves the right to temporarily hold an amount prior to arrival.


Smoking is not allowed.


Pets are not allowed.

The fine print

Please note that Boathouse - Birks River Retreat does not accept payments with American Express or Diners Club credit cards.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), additional safety and sanitation measures are in effect at this property.

Please inform Boathouse - Birks River Retreat of your expected arrival time in advance. You can use the Special Requests box when booking, or contact the property directly using the contact details in your confirmation.

FAQs about Boathouse - Birks River Retreat

  • Boathouse - Birks River Retreat is 1.1 miles from the center of Goolwa.

  • The prices at Boathouse - Birks River Retreat may vary depending on your stay (e.g. dates, hotel's policy etc.). To see prices, enter your dates.

  • Boathouse - Birks River Retreat offers the following activities/services (charges may apply):

    • Massage
    • Cycling
    • Hiking
    • Library
    • Fishing
    • Golf course (within 2 miles)
    • Couples' massage
    • Beach
    • Neck massage
    • Temporary art galleries
    • Hand massage
    • Bike tours
    • Back massage
    • Head massage
    • Foot massage
    • Full-body massage

  • Guests staying at Boathouse - Birks River Retreat can enjoy a highly-rated breakfast during their stay (guest review score: 10.0).

    Breakfast option(s) include:

    • Continental

  • From the nearest airport, you can get to Boathouse - Birks River Retreat by:

    • Car 1h 10min

  • Check-in at Boathouse - Birks River Retreat is from 2:00 PM, and check-out is until 11:00 AM.

  • Room options at Boathouse - Birks River Retreat include:

    • Bungalow

  • The following parking options are available to guests staying at Boathouse - Birks River Retreat (subject to availability):

    • Parking on site
    • Private Parking
    • Parking
    • Secure parking
    • Accessible parking
    • Free parking