Jet Skiing Near Coolangatta: A Complete Guide
We look at the basic safety tips for beginners, licensing and regulations, and some of the best places in and around Coolangatta for jet skiing.
How to ride a jet ski
As with any physical activity, jet skiing could come with a level of risk, especially since jet skis can hit speeds of 112 kilometres an hour
or more. Following the advice of your guide and applying the following tips could keep you safe.
- Dress properly - Make sure you're dressed appropriately under your life jacket, with a wetsuit, drysuit, or bathing suit.
- Getting started - Start by familiarising yourself with the controls, including the throttle and the emergency shut-off. Cruise around at a low speed until you're more confident.
- Look ahead - Instead of looking down at the handlebars or the water, look up into the distance. This helps you drive straight, which is something a lot of first-timers have trouble with.
- Throttle out of trouble - The way most jet skis are built usually means you have to use the throttle to steer away from a collision. So if you have something to swerve away from, remember to keep your speed level rather than taking your finger off the throttle.
- Re-board safely - It's not uncommon for people to fall off their jet ski. To re-board safely, go from the back by pulling yourself up on the handle behind the seat. Trying to get back from the side could flip the jet ski.
- Relax - Keep your elbows bent as you lean forward slightly. Relax your grip rather than holding on stiffly and you could avoid the soreness and tiredness associated jet skiing. If you're a passenger, remember holding to your driver too tightly can make it harder to drive.
Jet skiing: Queensland laws and regulations
In Queensland, jet skis meet the definition of personal watercraft
(PWC) so you need to fulfil the legal requirements. This means you have to have a licensed person on board who can take immediate control in case of any trouble
or one of the following has to apply:
- You have both a PWC licence and a recreational marine driver licence.
- You have both a PWC licence and a commercial marine licence as master.
If you're unlicensed and being supervised by a licence holder, you can't carry passengers except for the licence holder. In addition, the supervising licence holder must wear the kill switch safety lanyard while you’re driving the PWC.
Other safety obligations
You're subject to a general safety obligation to make sure the PWC you're operating is in good condition, is used safely, and has all the required safety equipment for the type of water you're in. Be aware of the specific safety rules relating to speed and operating the jet ski that could apply depending on the circumstances.
How to get the relevant licences
You need to submit an application to the Department of Transport and Main Roads (DTMR) to get a PWC and/or recreational marine drivers licence
. For both, you'll need to be at least 16 years of age and have completed DTMR-approved training or hold an interstate equivalent licence. For the recreational marine drivers licence, if you don't have appropriate training or hold an equivalent licence from interstate, you need to have a Queensland, interstate, or Australian Maritime Safety Authority marine licence to operate a commercial or fishing ship as its master.
Commercial marine certifications (as master or otherwise) are mostly regulated through the national system, by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Best places to jet ski around Coolangatta
So once you've got the right licences or the right licensed supervisor, you'll want to know about the best places to jet ski around Coolangatta. Along with the spectacular Coolangatta Beach itself, check out the following areas.
- Greenmount Beach - Possibly one of Australia's most picturesque beaches, Greenmount Beach is to the east of Coolangatta Beach. It's north facing, so the area tends to be more sheltered with calm waters perfect for beginner jet skiers.
- Kirra Beach - Kirra Beach is also protected and north facing, and its waves are further weakened by the Greenmount groyne. This could mean calmer waters for beginner jet skiers who need practice before venturing out further.
- Rainbow Bay - Rainbow Beach and the adjoining Snapper Rocks Beach are the southernmost beaches in Queensland, and its protected location usually means lower waves. However, steer clear of Snapper Rocks Beach and its rocks.
- Currumbin - A drive from Coolangatta is Currumbin, home to a spectacular beach perfect for watersports.
- Palm Beach - This four-kilometre stretch of beach is one of the cleanest in Australia, and its flat waves are great for families and beginner jet skiers.
Before you set out, remember to check the Marine Safety Queensland website for a full list of restricted areas
where you can't use a personal watercraft.
Jet skiing companies near Coolangatta
Coolangatta's surrounding areas have a number of jet skiing companies offering equipment hire and/or tours. In Main Beach, you have businesses like Jet Ski Safaris
and Gold Coast Water Sports
, offering hiring and tour packages. In Surfers Paradise, try Surfers Paradise Parasail, Jet Ski, Jet Boating
, Surfers Jet Ski Tours
, and Paradise Jet Boating
Jet skiing is probably as tiring as it is fun, so you'll probably be looking for some downtime and rest after a big day of action. After your jet skiing adventure, re-fuel at The Strand at Coolangatta with the large range of dining options.