The fact that you can travel from the Gold Coast all the way to the heart of Brisbane without touching land or entering the ocean was something Jules Lund still wanted to put it to the test.
The Gold Coast has more waterways than Amsterdam and Venice combined, made up of 448km of canals and rivers. A gondola seemed a good way to start the journey.
Gold Coast Gondolas
These motorised vessels cruise along the canals around Surfers Paradise and can access smaller areas bigger boats can't. Ninety-minute tours start at Broadwater and do a circuit to Surfers Paradise and back. They take up to six passengers, but most people prefer a romantic cruise for two. Breakfast, lunch and dinner cruise packages are available and the gondolas are BYO.
Quite possibly the result of romantic gondola rides, the Gold Coast has one of only two floating chapels in the world. Built in 1997, Our Lady of the Sea
is a chapel on a barge, similar to a houseboat. They can assist with every element to make the big day a success. The chapel is also available for party hire and regular tours.
Choose from 25 vessels and hop on board. If you're more than 18 years of age you can drive one and have the time of your life. Discover Lower Moreton Bay, the sand dunes of Stradbroke Island and stop for a swim, ski or a spot of fishing or crabbing.
You might like to stop at Marina Mirage or Sanctuary Cove for some lunch and shopping. Maybe even visit a theme park.
Tootle around at 50km/h with the luxury of hot and cold showers, barbecue, stove, oven and grill, full linen and all the basics you need to float away. If you can't live without your electronic entertainment, there's plasma television, DVD player, radio, stereo, CD player and games. You will have two-way radio contact, navigational aids and charts, electric anchor winches, full safety gear and a 3.7m dinghy. They will deliver groceries, ice and bait on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
Smart Powerboat Hire
Choose from one of three Evinrude-powered boats: 50hp, 75hp or 115hp and head off. The boats can be taken anywhere in Queensland within smooth or partially smooth waters. You do need a license and a vehicle capable of towing the boat. Jules loved the final leg of his waterways adventure, travelling upstream towards the Brisbane CBD.
So there are plenty of ways to enjoy the beauty of south-east Queensland without the financial stress of owing your own vessel.
The waterways of Queensland's Gold Coast.
Gold Coast Gondolas have one-hour, 90-minute and two-hour cruises. An uncatered one-hour cruise for two people is $90 per person. The Ultimate Romantic Experience package for two includes stretch limo transfers, scenic helicopter flight over the Gold Coast, a 90-minute gondola cruise with main course and dessert and Moët & Chandon champagne, chocolates and red roses costs $335 per person. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and uncatered cruises operate every day. For more information, visit www.gcgondolas.com
Coomera Houseboats start at $695 for two- to four-berth vessels. They range up to 12-berth vessels with spa.
Virgin Blue has flights to the Gold Coast.
One-way fares from:
- Sydney $79
- Canberra $105
- Melbourne $119
- Adelaide $139
- Hobart $179
- Perth $279
There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the Internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are subject to change.
Prices correct at March 18, 2010.
For further information
Ph: 136 789
Gold Coast Gondolas
60-70 Seaworld Drive
Ph: (07) 5574 6883
Ph: (07) 5537 4835
Mob: 0416 263 972
Mob: 0419 792 104
Coomera Houseboat Holidays
84 Shipper Drive
Gold Coast City Marina
Ph: (07) 5502 6200
Fax: (07) 5502 6830
Smart Power Boat Hire
Mob: 0447 262 844
Gold Coast Tourism
Phone 1300 309 440
To find out more about the hot deals mentioned on the show, check out Holidays for Sale.