Located at Noosaville Lions Park along the Noosa River, the Big Pelican was built around 1977 as a float for the Festival of Waters Parade. As the emblem of Noosa Council at the time, it’s called Percy the Pelican, possibly after Mr Percival from Storm Boy. The pelican can rotate its head, blink its eyes, open and close its bill, flap its winds and even wiggle its tail, all controlled by a collection of levers, pulleys and ropes from within.
Originally, the Big Pelican was a metal frame with chicken wire and papier mache, but because this wasn’t waterproof, it was later rebuilt with fibreglass. During the 1980s, it fell into disrepair and was relocated several times – at one point it even capsized in the Noosa River. It was eventually dumped on a block of land before being discovered by the owners of the Pelican Boat Hire company. The Big Pelican was restored and set up as a permanent fixture near Pelican Boat Hire along the foreshore of the Noosa River. That said, it is mounted on a trailer and is sometimes used for street parades. The restoration cost over $10,000 and took 6 months to complete.