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10.45AM     2.30PM
12.00PM     3.45PM
1.15PM       5.00PM

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Departing from:

Cnr Elkhorn Ave & Orchid Ave
Surfers Paradise

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What Is An Amphibious Tour Bus?

An amphibious tour bus is a purpose-built vehicle with unique and rather remarkable capabilities. Often referred to as an Aquaduck, they can travel both on land and in the water thanks to their distinctive design, which resembles a bus with an aluminium hull. These buses are not sold in any vehicle sales yard. They are either constructed from the amphibious vehicles used by the United States military in the 1960s or designed and built from the ground up.

Our vehicle was built by in the Gold Coast and specifically designed from ground up to meet the demanding requirements continuous tourist operations in a salt water environment. Some notable features of our amphibious vehicle include its environmentally friendly construction and its improved comfort. We have managed to eliminate all grease points below the vehicles’ waterline to ensure that no grease or oil entered the water. To improve the comfort of their amphibious vehicles, we designed this bus with axle suspension for a smoother ride, with reduced the exhaust and noise emissions.

The result is that these amphibious vehicles are perfect for use in tourism operations, such as the Quack’rDuck’s duck bus tours in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast.

The original mass produced amphibious vehicle were built for the USA army specifically for World War II amphibious army operations. These were named DUKWs and was a modified version of the 1940s GMC CCKW six-wheel-drive military truck. A steel hull was used to keep the vehicle watertight.

Where Did The Term Aquaduck Come From?

The name ‘Aquaduck’ has commonly been associated with various types of amphibious tour operators, especially in the USA, e.g. Albany Aquaducks in New York, which sold its business in 2012. One of the original Duck Companies Aquaduck Cruise Tours operated on Dells Country Lakes USA (mid-1970s), managed by Soma Boat Lines. Both of the Companies above used the original Steel Hull USA Army DUKW (hence the use of the ‘aquaduck’ name, as it stemmed from the original military DUKW vehicles).

Aquaduck Cruise Tours – Aquaduck entering Mirror Lake in Dells County 1970s
Aquaduck Cruise Tours – Aquaduck entering Mirror Lake in Dells County 1970s

Why Are Some Amphibious Vehicles Called LARCs?

In the late 1950s and early 1960s the USA Army focused on the design and construction of a purpose built army amphibious vehicle that would be more durable and more suitable for Army applications. It came up with the LARC (Lighter, Amphibious, Resupply, Cargo) series of amphibious craft. The hulls of these craft were constructed of aluminium rather than steel, so they were much lighter, which allowed greater access on beaches and estuary inlets to keep military supply lines connected.

The 5 tonne (carrying capacity) version of this series proved popular for conducting scenic tours in the tourism industry worldwide. Australia alone has been the only country to successfully modify the 5 tonne LARC for public roads, which required the width of the vehicle to be reduced to 2.5 metres.

These vehicles still remain with several serious limitations. They are without suspension and thus have a characteristic rigid ride on the road. High maintenance and parts supply remain problematic. The aluminium hulls of these craft were designed to drive on soft sandy surfaces, not on solid Tarmac roads (no suspension to cushion the rigid hull).

Custom Made For Fun!

The amphibious vehicle that Quack’rDuck utilises has been designed to exceed the capability of any current military designed amphibious vehicle. The hull has been made from structural aluminium and hull skin is a thicker gauge than those used in the military. Our vehicles are not converted military vehicles like most other operators, but instead have been designed specifically for tourism purposes. The Quack’rDuck duck bus is an all-wheel-drive vehicle and incorporates three differential locks that can be engaged individually or all together, ensuring that the vehicle keeps traction on any terrain. Our vehicles are custom built and designed to maximise fun, adventure and comfort! Looking to explore both land and sea at Surfers Paradise? Book a Quack’rDuck tour today!

Book Now or call 07 5679 3279