Home » Kids Classes & Clubs » Creative Classes » Dance Classes

Pelican Feeding Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is home to an impressive population of truly magnificent pelicans.  Our guide to pelican feeding on the Gold Coast will ensure that these birds stay healthy and happy for generations to come.

Pelicans are a wild bird and require a special diet to stay healthy.  Learn the best place to watch Pelicans being fed and what you should and shouldn’t feed them.


Pelican Feeding Gold Coast


What do pelicans eat?

The truth is that pelicans will eat pretty much anything from pet food through to ham sandwiches.  But while a modern pelican’s tastebuds might be rich and varied their bodies are designed to thrive on eating fish and only fish.

Pelicans who eat food other than fish will get sick and their babies will struggle to survive.  As tempting as it may be to toss your left over BBQ snags to the majestic and slightly intimidating pelican that’s making greedy eye contact with you, please remember that while it’s amazing and fun to watch those massive beaks in action, you’re actually not doing the bird any favours.  That pelican giving you the half starved bird routine is simply smart and lazy, not hungry.

A far better option is to visit the daily pelican feeding from Charis Seafood on the Gold Coast where you can enjoy the spectacle of hundreds of pelicans being fed healthy fresh fish daily.

Pelican Feeding Gold Coast: Where you can see it every day

Pelican feeding occurs at 1.30pm daily from Charis Seafood, found between Harley Park and Ian Dipple Lagoon on Broadwater, Labrador.  The pelicans begin gathering en masse from around 12 noon in anticipation of the fishy feast.  You can swim with the pelicans in Ian Dipple Lagoon while you both wait for the feeding frenzy to begin.

It’s a popular tourist event so get there early, especially on the weekends to ensure you get a park and secure a shady spot to relax and enjoy your own lunch.  Ian Dipple Lagoon is perfect for swimming and safe for toddlers and children making it a perfect family day out for a swim and to watch the pelican feeding.

At 1.30pm sharp, staff at Charis Seafood throw the fresh fish scraps to the impatient pelicans.  You’ll witness impressive aerial feats as the pelicans compete for the tastiest morsels of fish heads and fish guts.  Don’t get too close to the feeding pelicans as they will peck!  Also, be warned that the pelican feeding attracts plenty of seagulls as well as tourists, locals and greedy pelicans; a sky filled with seagulls means plenty of bird poop.


Pelican Feeding Gold Coast


The best fish to feed pelicans

Whilst the debate rages on amongst bird and wild life experts as to whether we should actually feed wild birds such as pelicans at all, they all agree that if you do choose to feed a pelican responsibly, then feed them fish and nothing else.  These are the best fish for feeding pelicans:

  • Whiting
  • Bream
  • Flathead
  • Mullet

They’re not fussy and will eat the head, bones, guts, scales and all.  They don’t need a lot either, a few fish will keep them going happily for an entire day.

Please don’t feed bread to pelicans

Avoid feeding the following food to pelicans:

  • Bread
  • Pet food
  • Sausages or other meat
  • Chicken

Feeding a pelican food other than fresh fish can make them weak and sick.  It also results in pelican babies who struggle to survive due to malnutrition.

Pelican feeding on the Gold Coast is an amazing experience for the whole family to enjoy.  Just remember that pelicans should only be fed fresh fish and nothing else to help keep these spectacular birds in good health and tip top shape for everyone to enjoy.


Find more related reading on Families Magazine:



Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

1 thought on “Pelican Feeding Gold Coast”

Leave a comment