Family activities in Surfers Paradise – Aquaduck review
Do you have a spare hour in your holiday schedule in Surfers Paradise? Why not take the kids for an Aquaduck Safari!
Aquaducks are vehicles which take Surfers Paradise visitors on an adventurous tour around the Surfers Paradise area – but in a really different way. They are amphibious vehicles, which means that they can go on both land and water!
You have to experience this tour to appreciate just how fun it is. First Aquaduck is a bus which you have a tourist cruise through Surfers Paradise on – next it’s a cruise boat which gives you a sight-seeing cruise of the waterways behind Surfers Paradise – so it’s two tours in one! At about one hour long, and with tours running throughout the day, this is a great way to fill in a some time with a super-fun family activity.
We had seen Aquaduck buses getting around Surfers Paradise for years – they are so very distinctive with their enormous painted-on duck beaks and eyes, and their super-huge tyres. The kids had been nagging at me for ages to be one of those lucky kids staring out from this strange duck-mobile, so we jumped at the opportunity of being their guest on-board one of their morning tours.
We boarded the Aquaduck from their departure point of 36 Cavill Avenue. This location is right in the middle of Surfers Paradise, and within a stones-throw of lots of the big hotels and resorts there. We walked there from Soul, near the Cavill Mall and Surfers Paradise Beach in just five minutes.
The jolly captain and his beautiful assistant welcome you on-board the Aquaduck – the wheels are so big, to get onto the Aquaduck you need to climb up a steep-ish set of stairs. There were mostly families on board – the kids all knew they were going to get a turn to steer the boat when it was in the water, and excitement reigned!
Off we went on our Aquaduck adventure, down the Esplanade and along the main beach strip road of Surfers Paradise. Finally my kids got to be the lucky kids looking out from the Aquaduck’s big windows!
There is interesting tour guide commentary along the way (including some wise-quacks from the Aqua duck himself), and you get to learn a whole lot about Surfers Paradise that you probably don’t already know (For the parents already totting up how much it would cost to move to the Gold Coast to live in a beach front apartment, hopes were slightly dented with the news that most start at around the 5 million dollar mark!). Within about 10 minutes we were at the boat ramp where we entered the water.
It was surreal to be motoring along the road and then – with some prior warning of course – plunging into the water. Not a beat was missed as our bus turned into a fully fledged cruiser!
The sides of the Aquaduck are open with ropes hung along the base of the huge open windows in a suitably nautical theme, allowing the water breezes to drift in, and a great view of all there is to see on the Broadwater of the Gold Coast.
We cruised along, spotting Whale tour boats, ski boats and private motorboats. The Gold Coast canals are lined with houses of the very rich and famous – fascinating to sticky-beak at. We were told many an interesting tale of the ultra rich sliding into bankruptcy and having to sell their amazing water-front mansions for a knock-down price. 20 million cut down to 9 million? Unfortunately, we parents with Gold Coast dreams were still not on that page – darn!
Soon it was time for each child to take their turn at being the ship’s Captain. Parents were allowed to accompany their child to get that great photo of their child steering the Aquaduck. My two girls were looking forward to this experience most of all. What a thrill to sit in the Captain’s seat and steer the boat! My 10 year old was possibly a little too enthusiastic when she swung the wheel a full 360 degrees! Luckily, our capable captain was on hand to ensure the boat didn’t turn too much in the wrong direction.
When each child had had their turn, they were handed an Aquaduck Licence Certificate – a very proud moment. We were given the opportunity to purchase souvenirs on board too – the girls chose fluffy ducks ($15) and duck whistles ($5), but you can also get stuffed Aquaduck replica toys ($15) and captain’s caps ($15).
Eventually it was time to emerge from the water way via another boat ramp – the experience of transitioning from boat back into bus was just as exciting the second time around! You can see what this was like here in our video.
Ten minutes later we had cruised along the roads of Surfers Paradise, right back to where we started – it was time to disembark from the Aquaduck!
What a brilliant time everyone had on board the Aquaduck – if you are in Surfers Paradise and have a spare hour, you should really consider taking the kids on an Aquaduck Safari!
Let’s Go Info!
Family of 4 $120
36 Cavill Ave, Surfers Paradise.
Tours depart regularly from 10am to 5:30pm
All prices are accurate for August 2016
We reviewed this tour as guests of Aquaduck
Have you ever been, or do you plan to take the family on the Aquaduck? Comment below!