Either you’re a visitor to Brisbane or a resident who’s looking to hire your 1st jet ski and explore the endless Queensland waterways. I’ve got you covered!
This is a list of 5 places where you can hire a jet ski near Brisbane for under $100. Both options are here: Group tours and Self-Hire (unsupervised).
If enjoying the endless Australian sunshine on a powerful personal watercraft sounds like the dream, then continue reading. I’ll share with you my top recommendations in SEQ so you can spend a few fun hours soaking it all in.
Going beyond Brisbane for Jet Ski Hire
Truth be told that there aren’t any jet ski hire shops in Brisbane city itself. You’ll actually have to stretch a little further out, at least 1 hour to be exact.
The obvious places are the Gold Coast (best spot) and the Sunshine Coast (2nd best spot). But did you know that Moreton Bay and particularly Bribie Island allows people to hire jet skis?
So if you’re looking to hire a jet ski near Brisbane, you’ll really need a car to get you out to these places. The Gold Coast is a bit easier with the train/tram system so you can avoid the car, especially on weekends when the M1 is very busy.
You can also hire a jet ski in Hervey Bay but that’s obviously a stretch and isn’t suitable for a day trip. Ditto with Airlie Beach.
Let’s drill down a bit deeper here.
I would recommend the Gold Coast first and foremost. This is because the Broadwater lends itself to the perfect haven for beginners to jet ski riding.
The tidal variation is quite low and with the many islands, provides relatively calm waterways except for the windy days.
As I ride here often, one of the main hazards is merely other jet ski riders. There are literally thousands of people on the Gold Coast who own a jet ski. Go out on a Saturday or Sunday during the summer months and you’ll no doubt find them quite easily.
Some of them are quite irresponsible and for that reason, the water police in the Gold Coast are very present. You’ll get fined quite quickly for speeding past the 40kt speed limits.
But apart from that, it’s an epic place to ride.
The best part about the Sunshine Coast is the lack of crowds and hooligan PWC riders. It’s really a flip around from the Gold Coast.
One challenge that makes it less popular is the lack of riding areas. The waterways here aren’t so developed so jet ski tours on the Sunshine Coast are quite limited in their offerings.
It’s clear that the Sunshine Coast has a very aging population. Very few retirees are into personal watercraft, so you’ll find relatively very few riders here. Most of them actually travel up to the Whitsundays for a multi-day trip to go riding.
When it comes time to own a jet ski, you’ll find the Sunshine Coast to be ideal if crowds aren’t your thing.
Moreton Bay islands
This really is the best of both words. Take the flat waterways of the Gold Coast and mix it with the less crowded Sunshine Coast and you’ve got the Moreton Bay region.
Bribie Island is where you’ll find a couple of jet ski hire shops. You won’t get to explore so much as it’s not scenic as the Gold Coast or Sunshine Coast, but if you just want to ride in a place that’s very accessible, then start with Bribie.
I would try to avoid the weekends here too just like the Gold Coast. It just gets too busy. Winters in Moreton Bay are totally fine and a little warmer than the Gold Coast actually.
As for owning a jet ski, it isn’t the best place but certainly idea for learning how to ride and developing your skills!
Top 5 Brisbane jet ski hire shops
Time to discover who actually has the best jet ski hire shops near Brisbane. All of these are Australian owned which is great for our local economy!
- Caloundra Jet Ski Hire
- Ocean Jet Ski (Mooloolaba)
- Noosa Jet Ski Hire
- Gold Coast Watersports
- Moreton Bay Jetski Hire and Ride
All of these are quite affordable with their pricing actually. You can go with each one costing under $100 AUD, though this would be a short ride.
I would recommend a longer tour if you’re able to afford it (or handle the power, for that matter). Take a friend and split the cost between the both of you!
Every personal watercraft hire shop has a sliding scale. That is – you hire by time, but it gets cheaper for the longer you hire. A 3-hour tour generally costs under $400 but you can ride for 5x more than you can for a $100 tour.
I would recommend booking a few days in advance, especially for a weekend booking. This is because it’s otherwise booked up by Brisbane locals who want to take a jet ski for a ride on the weekends.
Who to pick
Bribie Island really only has the one jet ski hiring shop, but the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast has numerous. This way you can pick and choose the right one for you.
It’s good to look at online reviews. Both Facebook and Tripadvisor are great resources to research these companies.
Here is what I would be asking:
- How much is the jet ski rental bond?
- Will they charge if your friend joins on the back?
- If you can get a refund if it starts to rain or get too windy?
- The top speed of the jet skis in their rental fleet.
- Frequency of tours (Like, do they run them on weekdays?)
- How old their jet skis actually are (old often means slow)
- If you can ride yourself or if you need to join in with a tour.
- Discounts available if you simply hire for the entire day.
I’ve noticed that some places are open to you hiring for a self-ride option if you have a jet ski licence. Others are a definite no-no. This is really a liability and insurance issue and you shouldn’t take a rejection personally if they say no to your request for a solo adventure.
When to ride
I’ve quite well covered where to ride. The Gold Coast simply is the best place to hire a jet ski, followed by the Sunshine Coast. You won’t be disappointed with either, unless you pick the wrong time to ride.
This is why it’s important to cover when to ride.
You can see this as two questions.
- The time of year to ride (summer/winter)
- The time of day to ride (morning/afternoon)
Seasonality wise, both summer and winter are great times to ride a jet ski in Queensland. Most hire shops provide you with a complimentary wetsuit to keep you warmer in winter.
Summer naturally is a great time to ride as well, but the main issue is the wind. There is simply more swell on the waterways and it’s hard to accurately predict your days. One great resource is Swellnet.
For that reason, I would recommend morning rides. It’s much more fun to ride early morning when the winds haven’t picked up yet, than it is to ride in the afternoon. It’s also warmer too so you won’t get so much windchill.
Riding in winter is certainly fine both morning and afternoon.
Riding in the Brisbane river
Some people assume that you can simply ride in the Brisbane River when doing a jet ski group hire. This is incorrect.
As I said, the only places available are the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Bribie Island which are all close to Brisbane but require some travel time.
Brisbane itself doesn’t lend itself well to marine enthusiasts. The river is murky and very few PWC riders ever enter the waterways.
It’s hard to ride a jet ski in the Brisbane River. There are three main issues here:
- The volume of ferries is quite significant and difficult for a tour to traverse.
- Submerged logs which you can’t see until you hit them which could cause injury to a rider.
- No real beach or scenery apart from concrete office buildings, so it’s hard to beach a jet ski.
So clearly it’s hard for a jet ski hire company to establish itself in Brisbane. There are much fewer challenges in other neighbouring areas, which are more beautiful too.
Sorry, Brisbane, your dirty river doesn’t really paint a great picture!
One option if you have a jet ski licence and you still want to enter the Brisbane river system is to use Brisbane Boat Hire. They have a SeaDoo 130 which you can tow away and use for the day in the waterways. They are based in Underwood which is easily accessible for most people.
Within 2 hours of Brisbane there are now approximately 10 jet ski hire shops that cater towards people ready to experience the thrill. Just about all of these allow you to hire a personal watercraft for less than $100.
But with only 30 minutes of actual riding time, you’ll be wanting so much more.
I would recommend you spend that bit extra to have much more fun.
Stay safe and enjoy your day out. I’ll see you out there!