• Ducks driving on beach

    The History Of The DUKW

The history of the DUKW or ‘Duck’ is truly fascinating. The Duck is a WW2 vehicle designed in collaboration with GMC to supply troops during the war and bring back the wounded. At Rotorua Duck Tours, we are very lucky to operate New Zealand’s ONLY genuine WW2 landing crafts and keep a genuine icon of history alive.

The Ducks took over 1 million tonnes of mixed supplies such as first aid and ammunition to the troops during WW2. They would simply load them up, drive them off the supply ships, and right up the shore to the troops. Without these supplies, the allied forces would not have had the success that they did. Later in the war, the Ducks were used for troop landings. The Ducks most famously played a pivotal role during the Normandy landings.

Around 21,000 Ducks were produced between 1942 and 1944. It’s hard to determine how many are left today but we think the number is only around 1000. Many can be found in America, some in Britain, Australia, and Asia. Our two in NZ are the only ones that are operational. They are approaching 80 years old and we are so proud to be able to offer tours that are safe, fun, and historically significant. We explain in more detail how these Ducks were used during the war, how they work, and go right through to our use of them today.

For more in-depth information check out our blogs on the Ducks below. Don’t miss your chance to ride on a piece of history!

The Colourful History of the DUKW – from WW2 to now

The Colourful History of the DUKW The Eye-Opening History of the Amphibious Boat: Invented for WW2

There are great videos on YouTube of the DUKW. This is one of our favorites!

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  • “Highly recommend this tour for families, Shaun was our guide, had so much fun, laughter music and learnt alot about Rotorua Lake District. If you are thinking of doing it - do it you will not regret it.”

    A quacking great tour!

  • “The entire experience of booking on iSite, boarding the tour, very friendly and child attentive tour operator Sean, my children ages 12 & 9 loved the entire 2 hours and so did my wife and me. Even the safety drill was conducted so well, the children and adults had a short stint at the wheel in the lakes, made them feel really special. The tour operators choice of music was excellent too. Not a moment was wasted on this lovely journey!”

    Family, Fun & Stunning Views of the Lakes of Roturua

  • “My sister and I took my two kids on a 90 minute tour which included going onto the Blue and Green Lakes. It was so much fun. We had a driver and tour guide that were a lot of laughs. The kids found it so entertaining and there were plenty of facts and info for adults too. Would highly recommend for anyone looking for something different to do.”

    Had an absolute blast

  • “We had an awesome time on our duck boat tour today - with a very entertaining tour guide (Shelly) who kept us laughing... the rain didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves either! Definitely recommend it! Thanks guys :)”

    Duck Boat tour

  • “What a great day we had. Our tour guide Marcus was very knowledgeable on the history of Rotorua. Had a great sense of humour with plenty of laughs, from start to finish, especially with our complimentary duck whistle. If your ever in Rotorua this is definitely a must do tour.”

    lots of laughs

  • “The Duck Tour is a very great opportunity to discover beautiful Rotorua and its surroundings. On a really funny tour we learned a lot and saw amazing landscape and lakes. Very unique because of this really cool vehicle, where else can you drive a duck on your own?! I would highly recommend the Duck to everybody who wants to have a special experience in Rotorua!”

    Rotorua from another nice perspective


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