The Big Pelican in Noosaville, Queensland

The Big Pelican
The Big Pelican in Noosaville. (Source: Creative Commons)

The Big Pelican is another one of Australia’s Big Things. It is found on the Noosa River’s foreshore in Noosaville, Queensland. This massive sculpture is one of Noosaville’s tourist attractions; it draws the attention of both locals and visitors to the serene atmosphere and the pelican birds.

A Brief History of the Big Pelican

The Big Pelican was built in 1977 as a float for the Festival of the Waters Parade. The Noosa Council selected the pelican bird structure because it was the emblem of the council. 

The pelican float could flap its wings, turn its head, move its beaks and blink its eyes. The movements were controlled by two people operating pulleys, cables, and levers located inside the oversized pelican sculpture. 

Interesting facts about the Big Pelican

Here are some interesting facts about this gigantic pelican monument you probably didn’t know. 

  • Its back has a unique floor, which is open for parades to allow passengers to ride in it and wave at crowds
  • The viewing floor has previously hosted celebrities, beauty queens, politicians, sports stars, local heroes, dignitaries
  • The Big Pelican previously appeared on postcards and other materials for tourism
  • On the postcards, it was famously known as ‘Percy the Pelican’


Initially, the big pelican was constructed with materials that were not so durable and water-resistant. Its body was made of a metal frame and a box trailer. The frame, on the other hand, was covered in chicken mesh and paper mache. 

The pelican float’s reconstruction included a steel frame and fiberglass covering, restoring the bird’s shine and mobility. The structure now sits in a small, enclosed garden donated by Rotary Noosa Heads club. After the refurbishing, the Big Pelican was re-opened on October 13, 2007, under the Pelican Boat Hire’s management and help from the rotary club.
To view more Big Things in Queensland, please visit the Queensland section on our blog.

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