Like camping, a floating holiday can take you closer to nature, but with much more comfort on tap. And it can be as relaxing or as adventurous as you wish.
Along the way you can swim, snorkel, fish off the deck, go hiking on the shore, visit riverside towns with quaint pubs or just lie on the deck and wait for the sausages to cook.
Here are 10 great places around Australia to cruise:
Murray River, VIC, NSW, SA
The mighty Murray measures over one million square kilometres, which is almost one-seventh of all the land in Australia.
It spans three states - NSW, Victoria and SA - so there are plenty of places along its path where you can pick up your vessel.
One of the most popular spots to embark on a floating holiday is the town of Mildura in Victoria, where there's a wide selection of houseboats on offer.
Holidaymakers can choose from small budget boats sleeping just two to large luxury vessels accommodating up to 12.
Many houseboats come with rowboats, on-board fishing equipment, canoes and barbecues.
McArthur River, NT
For something different, try exploring the NT's McArthur River by houseboat. You can hire a boat at Borroloola, a remote fishing town located on the eastern coast on the Gulf of Carpentaria.
Borroloola is almost as famous for its unique characters and history as it is for its fishing.
NT luxury Houseboats has two vessels that can sleep up to 12.
The Hammersley Inlet, Fitzgerald National Park, WA
At Hopetoun on the south coast of WA you can hire a boat and cruise around the Hamersley Inlet waters and explore the Hamersley River gorges and the stunning Fitzgerald National Park.
Hamersley Inlet is a nature lover's paradise, with abundant wildlife and plenty of peace and quiet.
Hopetoun Houseboat Hire has one houseboat for hire, The Lady Joanne, which sleeps up to six.
Tweed River, Qld
The Tweed is a peaceful river with abundant bird life, nature reserves and tranquil waterholes. If you're looking for more action than what nature can provide then there's an array of shops, galleries, museums and taverns dotted along the riverbank.
Tweed River Houseboat in Tweed Heads operates houseboats on the river between the Gold Coast and Byron Bay. They have cosy vessels that sleep four and larger boats with 12 berths.
Noosa River, Qld
One way to get absolute waterfront accommodation in Noosa is to hire a houseboat and cruise the Noosa River.
Take your boat up the river and stop at Lake Cooroibah, where you can visit the quaint village of Boreen Point. Further up the lake you can moor your houseboat near Elanda Point, hire a canoe and explore the mystical Everglades, where the tannin stained still waters create magnificent reflections.
Luxury Afloat Noosa Houseboats has a range of vessels for hire that sleep between six and ten.
Fraser Island, Qld
A unique way to see and explore the largest sand island in the world is by hiring a houseboat from Tin Can Bay, located on the Cooloola Coast just over two hours' drive north of Brisbane.
This area has sheltered waters that offer excellent conditions for houseboating trips.
Luxury Afloat has custom-built house boats that come with a 12-foot dinghy and crab pots.
Clarence River, NSW
The Clarence River, halfway between Sydney and Brisbane, is a pretty waterway that features friendly riverside villages, great fishing, beautiful scenery and about 100 islands.
Clarence Riverboats, located 30 minutes upstream from Yamba, has boats that sleep up to eight.
Hawkesbury River, NSW
The Hawkesbury River is the gorgeous playground of Sydney residents, where there's a number of businesses with boats for hire.
If you really want to holiday in style, Able Spa Houseboats at at Wisemans Ferry has five-star spa boats and an "ultimate spa" vessel that features a ten-person spa, private bedrooms with en-suites, full kitchen and a flat-screen TV with a home theatre.
Myall Lakes, NSW
Myall Lakes National Park, on the north coast near Newcastle, features one of the NSW's largest coastal lake systems. It offers countless opportunities for canoeing and kayaking, boating and fishing. The park also boasts more than 40kms of beaches that offer some good swimming and surfing spots.
Luxury Houseboat Hire has some fancy boats for hire that sleep from two to ten people.
Clyde River, NSW
At Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast you can hire a houseboat to explore the scenic Clyde River.
The NSW south coast region boasts ten national parks and plenty of gourmet wine and cheese trails.
Clyde River Houseboats at Batemans Bay has boats for hire that sleep up to ten people.
By Leah McLennan, AAP Travel Writer