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Published April 4th 2018
See some amazing Aussie wildlife for free every day
A visit to the Gold Coast in Queensland is the most popular school holiday destination in Australia. All families would have made a trip here while children are growing up. With family orientated attractions such as the theme parks and the golden beaches, there is plenty to keep kids busy. But most outings do cost a lot of money. Here is one event, held every day, that is lots of fun and totally free.
It must be 1.30pm by now. Image by Kat May
At last he is here with the fish buckets. Image by Kat May
The pelican feeding at Labrador is an amazing experience with nature. Arrive a little earlier to see hundreds of pelicans swoop in across Ian Dipple Lagoon, to make a landing at the rear of Charis Seafoods.
Be sure not to block the area of sand to the shore as this is the pelican's landing runway. Visitors stand in a U- shape along the path at the rear of the shop and down the sides keeping the shoreline clear.
Waiting at the rear for a fish morsel. Image by Kat May
Hundreds of birds turn up and they need room to gather and mingle with their feathered friends. Pelicans are very large birds up close, and with flapping wings can be a little frightening to young children, so be sure to stand back and give the birds some space. There is no fence to stand behind. You are able to walk around on the sand and take photos and there is plenty for all to see where ever you stand.
The feeding frenzy is on. Image by Kat May
Some just come for the entertainment or a chance to rest. Image by Kat May
Many years ago the owner was throwing out some fish offcuts and must have thrown some to a couple of pelicans hanging about. Word soon got out and more pelicans started turning up.
Today, while the morsels of fish thrown out to the birds are nowhere near the total amount of food they need in their daily diet, they still come.
While I was watching the pelicans I observed some do not even bother trying to catch the scraps, but they come anyway. It is like an afternoon pelican social gathering more than anything and it is amusing to watch the quiet ones who happily pose for a photo with the kids and the aggressive ones who squabble over the pieces of fish.
While others can't help but squabble over a tiny piece of fish. Image by Kat May
Nearby there is Harley Park where kids can play before or after the show. You could also walk along the lagoon foreshore or go bike riding. After all the action is over, you can wander into the fish shop and look at the huge array of seafood for sale. You can order fish and chips from the kiosk, but it is very busy at lunchtime. We purchased some local fresh fish and took it back to our apartment to cook for dinner with some salad.
Charis Seafoods is the biggest seafood store on the gold coast. Image by Kat May
We had been swimming at 'Wet and Wild' all morning so after lunch, we had just enough time to drive here to see the pelican feeding at 1.30pm. We stayed here about an hour and a half. Then back to the hotel and relax at the pool. This activity is good for one of your quiet days, perhaps after a morning at the beach or shopping at the nearby malls. Experiencing the pelicans here was a wonderful way to end another fabulous school holiday big day out on the Gold Coast.
Get up close to a pelican and say thankyou. Image by Kat May