The classic Boys’ Weekend Away is a near-sacred tradition. Often difficult to negotiate with partners and loved ones, they are hard earned and come at a high cost – in brownie points at the very least. Here then is a little Mancation inspiration: the best of the best of boys’ weekends in Australia. So unwind, enjoy, and remember . . . it’s all in the name of manly fun. Words by AT Staff, edited by Craig Roberts.
Not all Mancations require fear sweats, the total annihilation of your friends’ self-respect or seedy hangovers. For the more civilised among us, just floating along between parched rock escarpments and a River Red Eucalypt-lined shore with a line in one hand and a glass of Shiraz in the other is ideal.
The alternative is to cram into a car with your friends every day, with your entire luggage crammed in around you every day, then booking into a new hotel every day. But half the fun of any holiday should be getting there – and houseboating eliminates the need for booking a new room wherever you go, the need to sacrifice your personal space, the need to smell another man’s armpits, the need to unpack more than once and the need to decide just exactly where you’ll go on any given day.
When the sky turns crimson, just sit back, relax with a tinny or bottle from the wine tour and sail into the night trying to scam all your mate’s money with a few hands of poker.
Plus it’s incredibly easy and you don’t even need a boat licence. For mates looking for flexibility on a long weekend away, houseboating offers a smorgasbord of activities with operators usually providing all the gear needed for fishing, kayaking, water skiing and much more. This makes sense on a flat, uncrowded, 200m-wide waterway filled with delectable Murray River Cod (which, by the way, are known to grow up to 1.8m long and weigh 110kg).
For mates looking for flexibility on a long weekend away, houseboating offers a smorgasbord of activities with operators usually providing all the gear needed for fishing, www.dreamboatel.com.au), a houseboat so expensive you’ll not even want to think about gutting a fish within a 100m radius of its decks.
Not interested in your mate’s “cooking” skills? Lash your boat to a tree and chow down on some pub grub at any one of the towns dotted along the shore, while sating (of course) the amber nectar monster that dwells within. While on land there’s more to enjoy than just fishing and floating; golf (especially between Renmark and Waikerie), wine trails, native wildlife tours and local hospitality. Then, when the sky turns crimson, just sit back, relax with a tinny or bottle from the wine tour and sail into the night trying to scam all your mate’s money with a few hands of poker.
Brag Factor // Brag? We’re too relaxed to brag right now.
Partner Pitch // “Honey, you don’t understand. This is a reconnaissance mission for the Barossa Wine Tour I plan to take you on. One day.”
Details // Unforgettable Houseboats, Mannum, SA, prices start at $1390 and go up to $7400 for the more luxurious boats in high season (www.houseboats.com.au, 1800 656 323).