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Hiring a boat in the Gold Coast is one of the best ways to explore this stunning part of Queensland. Whether you are meandering through the pristine waterways, spending a few hours fishing, or taking a few lazy days camping on the beautiful South Stradbroke Island, there is something for everyone.
There are plenty of operators to choose from, many with self-drive boat hire options where a boat licence is not required, skippered hires and luxury private charters. Without the need for a licence, you can easily hire a boat in Surfers Paradise and explore the Gold Coast Broadwater. These boats are easy to drive, with no experience needed; you’ll be shown everything before you hit the water.
With lots of choices, this means that you can get some really good value-for-money boat hires. Pontoon boats offer the best value when sharing the cost; some come in at just $17 per person for this incredible experience.
Most boat hires are available with a captain or to be skippered for you at an additional cost.
Gold Coast Boat Hire locations
It’s best to have in mind which part of the Gold Coast you want to explore before choosing an operator to hire with. Wave Break Island divides the accessible areas when hiring without a boat licence.
If you are interested in visiting Runaway Bay, Sanctuary Cove, Tipplers, Harrigans Calypso Bay, Sovereign Island, Couran Cove and Wave Break Island, choose one of these operators located north of the Gold Coast:
- Gold Coast BBQ Boat Hire
- Gold Coast Boat Hire
- Gold Coast Party Pontoons
- Coastal Ventures (boat licence needed)
If you are looking to hire from Surfers Paradise to explore this area of Wave Break Island, Sea World, Macintosh Island, Paradise Island, Cronin Island and Nerang River, choose one of these operators located central and south of the Gold Coast:
Thinking of hiring a boat with a captain already onboard? Check out Budget Cruises Gold Coast for a range of boat hires from BBQ & Water Activity Cruises, Breakfast Cruises, Sightseeing Cruises, Party Functions and much more!
Self-drive and skippered boat hire in the Gold Coast
Duffy Down Under on Main Beach offers a unique Eco-friendly boat hire option in the Gold Coast with their luxury Duffy Electric Boats. Explore on the whisper-quiet vessel from 1 hour to 5 hours, being your own captain or hire one of them too! Safety briefings and route maps are provided before hitting the water. No boat licence or experience is required.
Their Duffy Snug Classic seats up to 10 passengers, has an iPhone port and radio onboard, BYO Food and Beverages is available, as well as catering options.
If you are looking for something slightly larger, hire their Duffy Limo boat. This luxury vessel seats 12 adults, has more space for lying down, and has a refrigerator and sink onboard, along with a toilet, iPhone port, radio, microwave, ice chest, swim ladder and anchor for when you have found that perfect place to rest. There’s even mood lighting for that perfect occasion or special party!
Launching from Paradise Point boat ramp, Gold Coast Boat Hire offers half day, full day, 24 hour and multi-day hire. Starting from a good sized tinnie to a larger bow rider, their larger, faster vessel does require a valid boat licence to hire. If you are looking to tow your own, 2 of their boats are available for you to drive away.
Capri Boat Hire is one of the longest operators in the Gold Coast for boat hire. They offer 3 different types of hire from Surfers Paradise:
- Half Cabin with a fishing platform and shaded cover
- Bow Rider with plenty of seating, shade and a sunbathing area at the front of the boat
- Pontoon Party boat for up to 12 people, a BBQ, table, sink, chairs, benches, large esky, a stereo and even a toilet!
No boat licence is required for their boat hires, and free fishing gear is available on request.
Check out this map of where you can explore with a Gold Coast boat hire from Capri Boat Hire and most providers south of Wave Break Island without the need for a boat licence:
Head north to Hope Harbour Marina, and you’ll find Gold Coast BBQ Boat Hire and their BBQ Pontoon Boats. Choose from either a 10 seater or 12 seater Pontoon with everything on board that you could possibly need. Being situated at the northern end of the Gold Coast, you can explore the most untouched and quieter part of the coast. This includes Tipplers Resort which reaches as far south as Wavebreak Island.
Check out their BBQ boats for hire with luxury upholstered seating, BBQs with cooking utensils, large eskies, powerful Fusion stereos with Bluetooth connectivity, large shaded areas, electric flush toilets, sinks with fresh water and quiet 4 stroke engines.
Gold Coast BBQ Boat Hire takes great pride in offering an unforgettable experience onboard.
Gold Coast Party Pontoons are a popular hire choice. Their Pontoons come with a lot more hard shelter on board, making them perfect against all elements.
Ideal for cruising the Gold Coast Broadwater, they offer half and full day self-drive hire. There are 4 vessels to choose from, seating up to 10, 12 and 20 people. Look out for the new “SlipnSlide” vessel coming soon, which is Australia’s first and only self-drive boat with a slippery dip!
Charters are also available, including the Pub Crawl Charter, perfect for party occasions, and the 3 hour sunset cruise, which is not to be missed.
If you are looking for the ultimate fun boating experience, check out Coasting Around. These unique Round Boats are perfect for exploring the calm waters of the Gold Coast canals.
Seating up to 10 people, take in the 360 degree water views as you sit around the table, cooking away on the Heston Blumenthal charcoal BBQ (optional) with the Bluetooth speaker playing your summer tunes and relaxing under the ‘Sumbrella’!
No boat licence is required.
Hire with Coastal Ventures at Runaway Bay and you’ll find faster boats with loads of extras. A boat licence is needed for all vessels due to their larger, unrestricted engines:
- Ranger 4900 Tinnie – ideal for cruising and fishing with a Yamaha 70HP engine, seating for 5, fold down bimini, fishing rod holders and fishfinder onboard
- Sports 5500 Bow Rider – perfect for taking the family out for fun, fishing, wakeboarding, tubing or skiing, this Bow Rider comes with a 115HP engine, ski pole for watersports, seating for 6, bimini, GPS system and Bluetooth radio/sound system. The optional watersports pack includes tow ropes, sports lifejackets and a 2 person tube
- Tropical 2450 Performance Pontoon – take this next level Pontoon boat out on the water with its impressive 150HP engine, luxury seating for 12, full length bimini, GPS system and Bluetooth radio/sound system.
Do you have a favourite boat hire in the Gold Coast? Are you thinking of booking with one? We would love to know in the comments below.
Water loving British girl who moved to Australia and seriously caught the travel bug! Loves to explore and share destinations that inspire others to spend more time on the water and in the great outdoors. Typically, you’ll find her on a boat or next to the ocean, often in a daydream!