Fuel and water on the river

Refuelling Locations

The Voyage Planning Guide provided to members of the RMBOA provides information about refuelling locations (on-river and off-river). Some information about refuelling locations are displayed in the RMBOA Murray River Cruise Calculator on the Calculator Web Page.


Liquid fuels such as petrol represent a significant hazard. Fuels such as petrol are volatile and the fumes can be exceptionally explosive. Fuels are petroleum based and also represent an environmental danger if spilt.

Please refer to the EPA refuelling guide. The information is primarily aimed at coastal waters, but it does provide good information about best practice and the dangers.

Saving Money

It is tempting to plan your refuelling stops based on the riverside fuel pumps. If convenience is more important than cost, then this is the way to go. However, if cost is a larger driver than convenience, it is best to avoid these pumps as much as possible. Clearly river pumps are targeting a specialist market and will generally have less turnover than a normal petrol station. As such, these costs will be higher to cover the higher operating costs. The price differential between petrol station and riverside pumps can range between ten (10) and twenty (20) cents per litre.

Also remember that many petrol stations now accept shopper dockets that can give you an additional eight (8) cents or more per litre. There is a down side to using petrol stations - you have to carry the fuel to the boat from the petrol station. If you have to take on a few hundred litres, this can be quite a tedious exercise. For this reason, if you plan to carry fuel from petrol stations, it is recommended that you fill up as often as you can. This ensure that each fuel run is kept to a manageable amount. Using a trolley or similar, it is possible to easily carry up to 40 litres per trip. Two trips to the petrol station will give you eighty (80) litres. Any more than two trips starts to get tedious.

Frequent refuelling also increases your safety margin. If a fuel site is out of order, or unexpectedly closed, it should not be problem to wait until the next fuel location. If, however, you are expecting to fully refuel at that point, it may be inconvenient, to say the least.

Fuel & Water Containers

Modern containers designed for water and fuel come in various colours to reduce the confusion about the contents.

The popular sizes are 5 litre and 20 litre containers. The 5 litre containers are ideal for dinghies. The 20 litre container are used where more fuel needed to by transported, but obviously the container is four (4) times heavier. The pourer is often flexible with a channel that allows air to flow into the container as it empties.

Both Willow products and Proquip plastic containers and accessories display their product ranges on their websites to give you an idea of what's available.

Please note that the RMBOA is not affiliated with either of these companies.