Pelican Feeding at Charis Seafoods Gold Coast; A great day out!
For a great day out head to Harley Park, located in Labrador at the northern end of the Gold Coast, and enjoy the spectacle of pelican feeding at Charis Seafoods.
Harley Park, located on picturesque Broadwater, provides a relaxing escape for all ages and boasts terrific barbecue facilities, shaded picnic tables and an awesome adventure playground overlooking the water that includes a sunken ship, slides, rockers and a flying fox.
At the back of the park is the Ian Dipple swimming lagoon, a sand bar protected swimming area that has plenty of sun shades around its shoreline, as well as nearby public facilities such as beach showers to rinse off the seawater and drinking fountains. The calm crystal clear water of the lagoon is a great place to swim, especially if you’ve got kids or are seeking an alternative to the Gold Coast’s surf beaches.
Harley Park is the perfect place to relax and look out over the beautiful Broadwater scenery while you indulge in some freshly cooked prawns and/or hot fish and chips. Harley Park has become a bit of a tourist attraction and can get very busy, especially on the weekends so if you want to get a car parking space and secure one of the shaded picnic tables, I recommend that you get there early before they’re all taken.
The park area also provides access to a boat ramp, enabling water sport enthusiasts to make the most of the surrounding Broadwater and nearby Wavebreak Island. It also offers a great choice of fishing spots.
On alternating Sundays there is often live music or free lunches in the park. For events that are coming soon, visit the Gold Coast City Council’s ‘Parks Alive’ program website.
Enjoying hot fish and chips by the picturesque Broadwater is a must do experience while you are on the Gold Coast and one of the best places to get fresh seafood is Charis Seafoods, perfectly situated next to Harley Park. Charis Seafoods is an award winning family run business with over 30 years of experience. Between their seafood market and Fish and Chips Kiosk, they boast over 7,500 visitors each week during busy periods.
At the Charis Fish and Chips Kiosk customers have the option to select fish straight from the seafood market’s ice filled display cabinets, have it cleaned, filleted and cooked fresh. This can be more expense than the standard fried fish and chips on offer, and it may take a bit longer to get your order but I think it is well worth the wait.
Pelicans are the largest flying bird in Australia (emus and cassowaries are land-based birds), and the Broadwater has plenty of them in habitat.
Several years ago the Charis Seafood attendants began feeding seafood scraps to the Broadwater’s pelican population at around 1.30pm each day (except Mondays when they are closed). Ever since the feeding began, approximately an hour or so before feeding time, dozens of pelicans eagerly gather at the swimming lagoon where they patiently wait for their lunch-time feast. You can even join them for a swim in the lagoon if you feel like cooling off!
The entertainment starts as soon as the back door of the seafood market opens and the attendant appears. That’s when the pelican’s excitedly waddle up to the shoreline, vie for the best feeding position available and then captivate their audience with their ability to catch high flying seafood scraps, which they masterfully gobble down in one gulp. It’s amazing how much they can fit in their huge beaks! And if you’re lucky, the attendant will give you some fish scraps that you can to feed to the pelicans yourself.
The spectacle of the attendants feeding the pelicans has become a bit of a tourist attraction as it provides a great opportunity to take some up close and personal photographs of these magnificent creatures, but be warned; don’t get too close or they’ll use their long reaching beaks to snap at you. Remember – respect nature and nature will respect you!
The pelican feeding is also very popular with Gold Coast locals. Living in close proximity to Harley Park I often get the opportunity to enjoy the pelican feeding and I never get tired of it. It’s always entertaining and well worth the trip!
Overall, I think the combination of Harley Park, the Ian Dipple Swimming Lagoon and the pelican feeding at Charis Seafoods makes for a great trip and best of all, it’s free!
Harley Park and the Ian Dipple Lagoon are located next to Charis Seafoods which is located at 371 Marine Parade, Labrador, QLD 4215.
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