How a Heavy-Duty Military Vehicle Ended Up As One of the Best Gold Coast Attractions

Taking thousands of tourists on exciting tours of the Gold Coast every year, the AquaDuck is a much-loved experience. Fun for the kids and interesting for the grown ups, AquaDuck's original name is the LARC-V (Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo, 5 ton). A vehicle that can effortlessly go from driving on land to floating in water is pretty cool, and the story of how this kick-butt military vehicle ended up as one of the most fun attractions in Queensland is pretty cool too.

Developed and built in America in the 1950's, the LARC-V is capable of carrying up to 5 tons of weight. It's aluminium hulled and amphibious. This means that it can drive around on the street like a car or bus, and then it can drive straight into water and float like a boat.

The LARC-V is approximately 10m long, 3m wide (since modified to 2.5m) and 3m tall, and weighs 8,600kgs! It can reach a speed of 48 km/h on land and 15.3 km/h (or 7.5 knots) on water. LARC-Vs were originally built with a Cummings diesel V8 (220kW/300HP) engine, but the AquaDuck now has a Cummings diesel Straight 6 Turbo (220kW/300HP) engine.

Not just anyone can take the AquaDuck for a spin. To drive an AquaDuck in Queensland, the driver needs to have a Medium Rigid Motor License and a Coxswains License, as well as a Driver Authority showing a clean record with police in all states of Australia. So when you join us on a tour, you know our drivers will keep you safe.

Approximately 968 LARC-Vs were originally made and 500 have since been destroyed, mainly in Vietnam conflicts or just left behind after the war. About 200 are still used by the U.S. Military and another 100 are privately owned, like the AquaDuck.

They were used extensively in the Vietnam War to deliver supplies to ground forces via water. They supported the 101st Airborne Division in 1967 and the 1st Cavalry Division. Military forces in Australia, The United States, Argentina, Portugal, The Philippines and Iceland still have uses for them.

After the Vietnam War, the U.S. Army began to sell off its surplus of the LARC-Vs. A small number of people around the world saw its potential for carrying tourists and invested a lot of time and money into making them safe for passengers. Some business operators used them as amphibious workhorses in seaports and also sold them after their useful life. Some were purchased by private collectors and can still be found in back yards, wreckers and on farms, although they are becoming very rare.

It's the perfect vessel for exploring the extensive waterways, the Broadwater and the canals of the Gold Coast. The conversion process costs over half a million dollars. It's because of this conversion that the AquaDuck can safely seat 30 passengers (plus 2 crew) while showing them the sights of the Gold Coast.

The first AquaDuck tour took place in 1996 and we have been proud to maintain and operate these amazing amphibious vehicle in the interest of showing off one of the most beautiful areas of Queensland ever since.

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Our Location

Aquaduck Gold Coast Attraction

36 Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise
QLD 4217

Phone (07) 5539 0222

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Tour Departure Times

  • AM
  • 10:00am
  • 11:15am
  • PM
  • 12:30pm
  • 1:45pm
  • 3:00pm
  • 4:15pm
  • 5:30pm