Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Around the Central Coast (part 1) - Day 4

On Saturday, 8th June, our second day in Berkeley Vale, I drew back the curtains and peeped out to the cosy patio when I got up, to find 3 cats staring at me. When I opened the patio door, two of them ran away and hid under some bushes, but one accepted my pats.

The lovely patio and outdoor area of the Airbnb
The 3 shy cats from the Airbnb
We showered, had breakfast and left the house for our day trip around the area. 
It was a gray and wet day, but our first stop - Shelly Beach, was full of surfers.
On to the next beach, Toowooon Bay just to see the views. 

Top photo - Shelley Beach, Bottom photos - Toowoon Bay
Back in the car, we drove further north to Norah's Head to visit the lighthouse. 

It was the last lighthouse to be built in State of New South Wales. It has a 27 metre (89ft) high tower, and was completed in 1903, with funds from Edward Hargraves, an English born gold prospector who bought land in this area to build his residence, Norahville. 
After a considerable number of shipwrecks on "his" coastline he decided the area needed a lighthouse.

I'd never climbed to the top of a lighthouse, so for a $6 entry fee I joined a small group with a lovely elderly gentleman as the tour guide, who explained all about the construction of the lighthouse,  the numerous shipwrecks in that coast, and the jobs of the keepers, who had to be men, married and short.

We climbed the 96 narrow steps all the way to the top, going past the window with the red light and then further up to where the optic prism light is located, and climbed out onto the surrounding balcony to enjoy 360 degree views of the spectacular coastline.

We learned about the duties of the lighthouse keeper, how the light was originally moved by 
kerosene that the keeper had to carry all the way up. The lighthouse light has been electrified
since 1961 and automated since 1995. 
Before then the 700 lenses of the optic prism also had to be regularly cleaned due to the 
kerosene fumes.

The former Lighthouse keepers cottage has been converted into two fully equipped 3 bedroom 
cottages for holiday rentals, and the lighthouse is also popular for wedding parties.

The Lighthouse keepers cottages (bottom right)

Views from the lighthouse balcony. You might spot Jose  in a black jacket waving to me to the right of that white shed

The dark skies over Norah's Head Beach

When we left we drove back to The Entrance about 15 min away to watch the Feeding of the Pelicans held at 3,30pm at Memorial Park. The town of The Entrance is  known as the Pelican capital of Australia and the town gets about 200 thousand visitors keen to watch this spectacle.


We arrived half an hour before and there were lots of birds already waiting near the shore. Closer to time they started making their way to the feeding platform.

The feeding started in 1979 when a guy who worked at Clifford's fish & chip shop started feeding them during his lunch break. The birds soon got used to it and if he was late they would waddle across to the shop and wait. 
Later the town management took over the feeding with the help of sponsors and donations. During the 30 minute show they also collect donations and sell pelican soft toys.

Almost time and the Pelicans are on their way

We managed to get a front row seat and noticed the birds weren't scared of the tourists.  
Jose was sitting next to the gap where the feeders walked past, and a couple of pelicans would come and go following the feeding lady, flapping their wings and trampling on people's feet.

Waiting time.....
This one was next to me before Jose took his seat where the bird is now

The volunteers who feed them are also on the lookout for pelicans injured by fishing line and tackle. 
The volunteers explain facts about the pelicans, such as: the Australian Pelican is the only species found in Australia (there are 8 different ones around the world), is also the largest and has the longest beak. It can hold 13 litres of water and they need to eat 1 to 2kg of fish/crustaceans/frogs a day.
They weigh about 4 to 8 kgs (8,82 to 17,64 pounds), and can glide on thermals as high as 3000mt for about 24 hours and can travel hundreds of kilometres.
There are about 300 to 500 thousand pelicans in Australia with about 500 living in this area (Tuggerah lakes) and about 80 coming to the daily feeds.
The ones who attend the feeding don't migrate as they get free fish year around 😉. Clever aren't they?

Can you see the beak laden with fish?
Fish going down the throat - can you see the lump?

After the show we went across the road to the Fish & Chips shop for an early dinner (or very late lunch). There was a long queue so we presumed the food was good, while the fish & chip next door was empty, so we ordered a mixed seafood basket for both of us, but were disappointed with the food.
When we finished we bought an ice-cream cone in a nearby shop.

The boardwalk where we ate under the big pine tree, the fish & chip shop and the ice-cream shop

The sun was setting and we walked back to the parking lot and drove back to Berkeley Vale.

 There didn't appear to be anyone at the house when we arrived, and we went into our room, put the heater on and while Jose read his emails I sat in bed downloaded my photos and then read my book.
A few hours went by and we both commented how relaxed we felt, with no tv or other noise in the background, just sitting there quietly.

It was about 10pm when Jose said he was feeling peckish and went to the kitchen to make us a few slices of toast with cheese and a cup of tea, before we went to sleep. 

                                                  My youtube video of the Pelican feeding

Berkeley Vale to Norah's Head and The Entrance

Hope you enjoyed meeting the pelicans as much as I did 💓😊.



  1. A kitty to love and a lighthouse to explore. I never pass a lighthouse.

    I would have loved to see the pelican feed. Wow.

    Have a fabulous day, Sami. ♥

    1. I seem to find cats wherever I go. The pelican feed was the highlight of the trip. Thanks Sandee

  2. The pelican army has landed on the coast.

  3. I have never seen so many pelicans in one place! : )) Gee ... never got close to them. I would have liked to see the pelicans being fed. Quite a treat for me and for them!

    : )

    1. It really was a treat Catarina, the highlight of our trip.

  4. What a beautiful start into the day!
    Interesting facts about the lighthouse.
    Those pelicans sure are huge. Sad they have to be looked after for such injuries...
    Always disappointing when you wait for crap food....
    Wow, you put on the heater and we had nearly 40C!

    1. Thanks Iris. Yes it's sad that the pelicans tend to get tangled with fishing gear. I usually see pelicans on top of the lights on Canning Highway, and had never been close to them, but they are huge.

    2. I know, one once chased me at Monkey Mia. They´re fast ;-)

  5. What a lovely patio! I would have loved the resident cats, too! And isn't a view from a lighthouse wonderful? That looks like a fun (and long) climb up and interesting too. As for the pelicans, well, your photos are drop-dead gorgeous, especially those close ups. Wonderful work, Sami.

    1. Cats and I are always a good combination Jeanie.
      The views from the lighthouse were fabulous, despite all the stairs, lol.
      The pelicans were fabulous for sure.

  6. The pelicans look like real characters!

    The views from the lighthouse are incredible.

    The feline greeting committee members are adorable.

    1. Thanks William, I loved the pelicans, they certainly knew what they wanted.
      The views were fabulous.

  7. Gracious! Where are their manners? :-)

    1. No manners there, they just wanted to be the first in line to get some fish :) Thanks Revrunner.

  8. O ar descontraído dos pelicanos e dos gatos é impagável!!

    1. Obrigada Pedro, estavam todos de ferias no paraiso :)

  9. Belas fotografias e gostei de ver os pelicanos, aproveito para desejar a continuação de uma boa semana.

    Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
    O prazer dos livros

    1. Obrigada Francisco, boa semana para si tambem.

  10. Dearest Sami,
    It always puzzles us when we see kittens on their own... are they being cared for?
    While in Bulgaria and Romania we spotted lots of stray dogs and kittens.... such a sad sight!
    You had a marvelous experience at the old lighthouse. Just imagine the tremendous responsibility it was back in the beginning for those keepers! And for keeping their lights visible with all the kerosine fumes blackening it.
    That Pelican feeding is quite some event and one wonders how dependable these birds actually have become.
    Not safe for sitting down everywhere I bet, as they might leave some droppings...
    Glad you had a wonderful day, even if you ended up with some hunger pangs late at night!

    1. The cats weren't on their own Marianne, they were owned by the owner of the Airbnb who lived in a granny flat behind the house and she let them out into the garden during the day.She had mentioned the 3 cats were rather weary of strangers. We had to put paper tissue down before we sat as we had seen bird poo all over.

    2. Why you changed my name in the last replies?

    3. Sorry Mariette, don't know what happened there.

  11. What a marvelous day you two had. First the welcoming cats, then the trip to the various beaches. Next your bravery on those winding stairs in the lighthouse. Sort of reminded me of the Statue of Liberty and how tight the steps were. Finally, those pelicans. I LOVED it. Great photos that were not to be missed. Thanks for sharing these, as I've never seen a pelican before, even in a zoo.

    1. Thanks Elizabeth. Those stairs were tricky, narrow and winding.
      I loved the pelicans too, even though I had seen them in Perth just not that close. Amazing birds :)

  12. Thank you for joining the Feline Friday Blog Hop.

    Have a purrfect Feline Friday and weekend, Sami. ♥

  13. I enjoyed seeing everything here Sami. I'm so envious of your climb up in the lighthouse, I looooove lighthouses, was a real treat to see 💙

    1. Thanks Grace, I really enjoyed going up the lighthouse.

  14. Hello, Pretty views of the beach and coast. I love lighthouses. Great view from the top. Cute kitty. The pelicans being fed is a neat sight, I would love to see them. Great photos and video. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend! PS, thanks so much for leaving me a comment.

    1. Thank you Eileen. Lighthouses are interesting buildings.
      I loved the pelicans and it was a thrill to see them being fed. Have a lovely weekend too.


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