South Australia's finest wooden boats will again gather at Goolwa on the River Murray this coming April.  

The Goolwa Wharf Precinct is set to shine in 2017!

The Festival will have plenty to see and do with an exciting mix of both water and land based events.

Enjoy two action filled days where you can cruise on a paddle steamer, indulge in regional food and wine, with loads of entertainment the Festival is opportunity to get up close and personal with the River’s most diverse gathering of wooden river vessels, from kayaks and sleek classic speedboats to paddle steamers.

Boat registrations now open


 Looking for accommodation and want to find out more about Goolwa?

Contact the Goolwa Visitor Information Centre by telephone 1300 466 592 or view the website visitalexandrina.com



The Festival will be a wonderful showcase of beautiful wooden boats.

There will be boats aplenty, on water and on land, ranging from canoes and rowing skiffs, to traditional wooden boats large and small as well as a number of paddle wheelers led by our flagship the PS Oscar W.  Paddle steamer cruises will be available on both days.

This year’s Festival extends from the Goolwa Wharf Precinct along the Murray River to include Armfield Slip, the Goolwa Regatta Yacht Club and the Goolwa Aquatic Club.

The Goolwa Wharf Precinct will be the place to enjoy local food, wine and beer and provides great viewing of all the on-water activities.

The Rough and Ready boat building competition will again feature, this time with an additional twist – competition for innovative environmentally friendly powering systems!

The Festival Program will be released very soon.

For more information, see our News tab on this website.



Where the River Murray meets the sea and home of the

                         South Australian Wooden Boat Festival                          

Goolwa is a state heritage listed area located just over an hour's drive from Adelaide, on the southern coast of the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia. The township is the last on the River Murray before it flows into the Great Southern Ocean.

Goolwa is Australia’s first inland port and was built to connect to the neighbouring coastal town of Victor Harbor by rail.  With many historical features, the town's present day life is as a busy regional centre and is a gateway to the Coorong National Park and the Lakes system at the mouth of the River Murray.

The historic Goolwa Wharf Precinct is acknowledged as one of Australia's principal 19th century river ports and centre for paddle steamer and wooden boat building.

The Wharf Precinct provides splendid views of the River Murray and the Hindmarsh Island Bridge.  From here you can see the Goolwa Barrage, take a cruise, visit the Goolwa River Boat Centre and catch a heritage train. You can sample a beer at the brewery or wine at the cellar door, visit an art gallery, stop for coffee and a meal or simply sit back and enjoy the local bird life and recreational boating activities.

Festival flagship PS Oscar W

Enjoy a unique river experience from the decks of the PS Oscar W, a wood fired heritage paddle steamer operating from Goolwa Wharf Precinct. Celebrating over 100 years life on the river, passengers can watch the stokers fire the boiler, see the wheel house, and take in the sights of the Lower River Murray.

Visit the Goolwa Riverboat Centre (open 10am - 3pm daily) at the wharf and see models, historic photographs, memorabilia and interpretive displays. River Murray books and souvenirs are also available.

View the timetable and book a cruise (bookings recommended) at the Goolwa River Boat Centre or telephone 1300 466 592 or visit the website CLICK HERE

PS Oscar W will be cruising all weekend for the Festival, all bookings will be done on the day of cruising.



Welcome to online registrations for the 2017 Festival

The safety of participants and their boats is of highest priority. Mooring locations are determined by type and size of boats and will generally be Mediterranean style (stern to or bow to) subject to boat access. Where stern or bow access is not available please advise us. To ensure the safest and most effective mooring for all participants, marshals in tender boats will provide mooring assistance.

 All boat and associated event registrations are open until midnight Sunday 19 March 2017.

Register now - Due to the wharf and jetty sizes there is a limited space in each boat category. You will not be able to register in a category when it is full. 

Boat registration is $30 per boat. Please complete one form per boat.

It is mandatory that all registered boats have public liability insurance (minimum of $10,000,000)

Boat registrants are required to provide a copy of the boat's Certificate of Currency via email along with two good quality images (JPG minimum 300dpi) and details of the boat (maximum 70 words). Failure to provide this may result in your registration being declined and payment refunded.

After your registration and payment is complete please email the required information to info@sawoodenboatfestival.com.au

The images and description will be included in the Festival Souvenir Boat Guide and will assist with mooring placement.

We look forward to your registration and seeing you at the Festival. If you have any questions about registering or the registration process please email info@sawoodenboatfestival.com.au or telephone 1300 466 592. 

Additional activities (and fees). We are still working on some exciting activities be sure to check the website again soon.

Boatie BBQ                                    Friday 21st April $20 per person (exclusive to 2017 Festival boat registrants)

                                                                 (includes BBQ food, BYO drinks)

Rough & Ready                             Entry fee $30 Rough and Ready rules - Please read the rules before entering

Pond Yachts                                  Free entry