Every morning at 10am, the volunteers at Clontarf Visitor Information Centre bring out a bucket of fresh fish to feed the (transient) local pelican population. The pelicans often gather an hour in advance in anticipation of their breakfast while the caring volunteers check the seabirds for any injuries. Visitors are most welcome to observe these metre tall birds up close while the pelican feeding takes place. The pelican numbers tend to fluctuate from day to day as they continuously search for fresh food sources (their favourite meals being flathead, whiting and bream) and perfect weather conditions.
These beautiful birds are actually native to Australia and are most often found around river estuaries and coastal mud flats. Adult pelicans have a huge wingspan of about 3 metres making it quite a unique experience to see them soar across the water. They’re quite nomadic and unpredictable as they can stay aloft for 24 hours and cover distances of hundreds of kilometres.
Pelican Park is named in honour of these amazing winged creatures. The park is located at the southern end of Redcliffe Peninsula just next to Bells Beach. It juts out into Bramble Bay, making it the perfect spot for pelicans to land. They can often be seen perched atop the light poles across Old Honribrook Highway Bridge, waiting for the catch of the day. Often they return at sunset to perch high above the bridge as the hues of red and gold bathe the sky – a marvellous sight to behold for commuters travelling home across the water.
Apart from huge feathered friends, Pelican Park boasts a popular all-abilities playground with a Liberty Swing overlooking the bay. There is also a fully fenced boat-themed playground with undercover electric barbecues, picnic tables, toilet facilities, boat ramp and stretches of golden sand. To make the most of your visit, it is a good idea to take along a packed picnic lunch, kites, bucket and spade, and some swimming gear.
Moreton Bay Cycleway (MBC) passes through Pelican Park and continues along the coast to the north and south. There are many cafes and take away fish and chip shops located along the Woody Point foreshore providing park-goers and cyclists a great opportunity to pull over and refuel. For those arriving by car, there are designated car parks within the Pelican Park Redcliffe area.
Where: Pelican Park, 101 Hornibrook Esplanade, Clontarf
Phone: It is advisable to call the Clontarf Visitor Information Centre on 1800 659 500 ahead of time to check whether the pelicans are home for their morning pelican feeding before heading out.