Duck Bus Tours Downunder
How Many Duck Bus Tours do we have in Australia?
How good is Australia? No, seriously, with everything you could possibly seek in a family holiday all only a road trip or domestic flight away, who even needs a passport anymore?
Ok, maybe you don’t really have a choice to holiday anywhere else but here right now, but even if you could, we think Australia has some of the most stunning landscapes, natural scenery and culturally rich destinations you will find anywhere across the globe.
One of the best ways to explore a location is on board a duck bus tour. Amphibious ducks make the perfect vessel for exploring both land and water as well as learning some local history and geography through the on board commentary.
There are currently 6 duck bus tours available across our great southern land. We have taken some time to do the research for you so you can choose which tours you would like to do. Or maybe you will become ad-duck-ted and experience them all. If a duck bus tour is a ‘must-do’ for your next family holiday, we’ve put together a summary of Australian amphibious duck tours to help you decide. Aussie, Aussie, Aussie… Quack, Quack, Quack.
If you visit the picturesque central Queensland town of Seventeen Seventy on the southern great Barrier Reef, keep your eyes out for the hot pink 1770 LARC. Utilising two ex-military Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo (L.A.R.C) vessels, the 1770 tours make the most of the natural environment including sand 4wding, climbing headlands and travelling through tidal creeks.
1770 LARC tours offers four different duck bus tours as well as group charters. On the company’s signature ‘Paradise Tour’, guests have the opportunity to go inside Queensland’s only operating Lighthouse that is open for tours. Take your camera with you as the view across the tidal sandbanks from the lighthouse balcony is beautiful.
Quack’rDuck , Surfers Paradise
The Gold coast is without a doubt the duck bus capital of Australia with two companies operating a total of 4 amphibious duck vessels. There are two operators to choose from on the Gold Coast and both depart from Surfers Paradise. Quack’rDuck and Aquaduck. Operating since 2009, Quack’rDuck operates a single duck bus departing from the northern end of Surfers Paradise. The tour travels along the Esplanade and through Main Beach before splashing into the Broadwater at Sea World and cruising through the waterways. The duck then travels back through Main Beach before returning to the starting point approx. 1 hr after departure.
Australia’s first amphibious duck bus city tour was operated by Aquaduck back in 1996. Since then the Aquaduck has taken out almost 2.5million happy customers and has become a Gold Coast icon. It’s almost impossible to wander through Surfers without seeing an Aquaduck come driving past with kids waving out the windows. Aquaduck is now a ‘must do’ Gold Coast activity. The 1hr tour travels across land and sea with a live tour guide providing interesting commentary about the history, geography and culture of the Gold Coast. Parents can sit back and relax enjoying the scenery while the kids are amazed by the amphibious nature of the vessel as it splashes down into the Broadwater. Kids even have the opportunity to steer the duck while on the water.
If you thought the Aquaduck was just for kids and families – think again. The secrets scandals and sunsets tour provides an extended 1.5hr tour with drinks and nibbles and a slightly cheeky commentary recommended for 15+ years. Get all the gossip on the Gold Coast’s rich and famous with bubbles in hand as you watch the sun setting over the water.
This late afternoon tour operates a slightly different route to the Aquaduck family day tour. Have your camera ready to capture the beautiful views at golden hour as you travel along the Surfers Paradise Esplanade to Main Beach before diving into the water at Main Beach. Enjoy the sunset while you sit back with a glass of bubbles and learn the tales of some of the most famous Gold Coast identities from fraudsters to millionaires and movie stars. The Cruise Paradise Waters, Cronin Island, Chevron Island and canals against the backdrop of a glittering Surfers Paradise skyline.
Image: Rainforestation Nature Park Image Library
Set amongst the lush green vegetation of the Kuranda rainforest near Cairns, Rainforestation Nature Park is the starting location for the Rainforestation Army Duck. Your 45 minute tour through the rainforest operates aboard a WW11 DUKW amphibious vessel. The educational onboard commentary provides information about the flora and fauna of the area. The duck bus then splashes into a lake where you can look out for more wildlife as you cruise through the waters. At the end of the tour, guests can learn about over 60 species of tropical fruit from all over the world which are grown in the on-site orchard.
Other activities guests can enjoy whilst at the nature park include seeing wild animals in the Koala & Wildlife Park and learning about the local aboriginal culture at the award winning Pamagirri Aboriginal Experience. There is also an onsite café offering a range of food and beverages so you can refuel while you explore the park.
Now you can experience amphibious duck bus tours on the Sunshine Coast. The Aquaduck departs from right outside SeaLife Mooloolaba. With a 1hr duration, tours include informative drive along Mooloolaba Beach, the Esplanade and Sunshine Strip before splashing down for a cruise through the canals and waterways. On the water, kids are invited up to take a turn in the skippers seat and receive their own captains certificate to take home.
The Aquaduck is great for both kids and adults offering a mix of beautiful natural scenery, wildlife, and waterways lined with mansions of the mega rich and famous. On board you’ll hear stories featuring the history of the region including those from the traditional owners, beach culture, local produce, wildlife and more. What better way to see and experience the heart of the Sunshine Coast than onboard the Aquaduck.
Guests are encouraged to bring cameras, phones and go pro’s to capture the great photo opportunities on tour.
Enjoy exploring Australia and we hope you give some of these duck tours a try and support our local tourism operators who are all very grateful for your support.
When our international borders reopen and it’s safe to travel again you might like to try a duck tour in another location across the world. See our article on worldwide duck tours here.