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Do It Yourself Boat Cruise: Gold Coast Canals

Gold Coast Boat Rental
Driving a rental boat through the canals of the Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is famous for being one of the premier tourist destinations in Australia.  There are so many things to do on the Gold Coast, it’s impossible to do everything in one visit.  This means you have to choose wisely.  For those of you who don’t know anything about the Gold Coast, it’s set on a VERY long stretch of beach on one side, and an intricate system of canals on the other.  It actually has more canals than Venice.  I’ve been living here for the past 4 months, and my time is ending in a week, so I’m scrambling to do everything I’ve not managed to do yet.  This afternoon we decided to rent a boat and cruise the Gold Coast Canals, and it turned out to be one of my favorite things to do here.

Surfers Paradise From Boat
A view of the high rise apartments of Surfers Paradise from the boat

There is a company in Surfers Paradise called Tiki Boat Hire, they’re located in the Tiki Village Wharf, at the river end of Cavill Avenue (in the heart of Surfers Paradise).  Tiki Boat Hire has boats available for rent in several sizes, little 4 person boats, all the way up to big pontoon boats with BBQ’s on board and everything.  It’s run by a nice Aussie couple, they got us up and running in just a few minutes.  Theres no license required, and you don’t have to have experience driving a boat.  They’ll give you a quick rundown of how to do everything before you leave, and then you’re off on your own to cruise around the canals.  Prices were more than fair, especially if there is a group of you, and you consider what it would cost to catch a ride on one of the bigger tour boats.  We paid $75 for an hour in our 4 person boat.  If you go for longer (and I would recommend it) the prices drop off quickly, a half day is only $150, and a full day is $200.  Obviously it get more expensive when you rent the larger boats, but even the Tiki Party Pontoon is only $350 for a full day.  If you’re in a large group that’s a lot cheaper than anything else around the Gold Coast.  Keep in mind a bond is also required, but it’s fully refundable, and only $300-$500 depending on the boat.

Homes on the Gold Coast Canals
The homes along the Gold Coast Canals are very, very nice

If you come to the Gold Coast, you have to do some sort of cruise through the canals, and I highly suggest you do it yourself.  Renting a boat lets you do it on your terms, for whatever length of time, you can go wherever you want, and it works out much cheaper in the end.

Note: Don’t swim in the canals of the Gold Coast, it’s a popular breeding ground for Bull Sharks

Tiki Boat Hire Contact Information:

Tiki Village Wharf

River End Cavill Avenue.

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast. Queensland 4217.

Mobile: 0425 087 300

Open every day except Christmas Day.  Monday – Sunday 9am – 4pm

Tiki Boat Hire Map

2 Good comments on "Do It Yourself Boat Cruise: Gold Coast Canals"

  • Shaun Haddrill  @ Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 7:52 PM

    We had a great day out on the Surfers canals and broadwater on one of the Tiki boats. We hired the party pontoon which has a bbq, comfortable lounges, an esky and cover from the strong Gold Coast sun. I highly reccomend a day trip on these boats. Check out the website for more info.

    • Mike  @ Wednesday, January 4, 2012 at 10:54 PM

      We were going to do the Pontoon, but our friends weren’t able to make it in to town in time, so we just took the small one since it was only 2 of us. That BBQ sounded really cool though, would love to take the big boat out for the day.

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