Living on Lord Howe Island


Fish Feeding at Neds Beach

Posted by Pinetrees Lodge – Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Fish feeding at Neds Beach on Lord Howe Island

Contributed by Pia Funch: Spending a day at Neds Beach on Lord Howe Island means spending a day in a pristine South Pacific sanctuary zone. Famous for its snorkelling, sea turtles, seabirds, surf, golden sand, BBQ areas and clear turquoise water, Neds Beach has something extravagantly unique to offer visitors. At Neds, the distinctive reef and coral thrive just a few metres from shore making the beach a snorkelling paradise. But you don’t have to get wet…..

Feeding the fish at Neds Beach is one of those little happy moments in life we should all experience. It’s something so simple yet so memorable. Everyone can do it. Whether you are 5 years old or 75 years old. All you need to do is to bring a one-dollar coin.

The shed at Neds functions as a little information centre. You’ll find information about the beach as well an ‘honesty box’ where you can hire snorkelling gear. You’ll also find instructions on how to feed the fish properly and how to use the food dispenser. This is where the fun begins! Grab a container, put a dollar in the machine and turn clockwise. Instead of bubble-gum, food pellets will sprinkle out. Every pellet counts, so don’t lose them! The final step is to walk out to the water’s edge and wait for the fish to come to you!

The sight of big wild colourful fish surrounding a person with no fear whatsoever is mesmerising. Eager to find out more about this rather peculiar phenomenon, I asked our resident marine biologist, Caitlin Woods, about the species of fish joining the party at Neds. The list is impressive: Spangled emperor, Silver drummer, Sand mullet, Silver trevally, Salmon, Garfish, Surge wrasses and even juvenile sharks.

As they all push and wrestle each other to get to the precious pellets, some of the fish look at us begging for food with a smile (or so it seems). The Silver drummer look particularly friendly, even when they bite a finger left for just a little bit too long in the water. Next to them, the strikingly colourful Surge wrasse swims dangerously close to the shoreline – no beach or wave is going to stop him from getting a pellet. At the same time, the smaller Sand mullet form groups like little attacking soldiers around a large confused-looking Silver trevally. Who knew that fish could be so much fun!

Yes, fish feeding at Ned’s beach is an activity for everybody. Moments like these are the moments that teach us how the simple things in life are truly the best.

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About Dani Rourke

HELP! I have 2 children, 25 staff and up to 75 guests. I was a lawyer for 10 years, but escaped. My husband and I moved from Sydney to beautiful Lord Howe Island to run Pinetrees Lodge, which has been in my family for 6 generations. I'm writing about family business, island life and the whole work/family disaster. Did someone say balance? When I'm not writing, my lovely staff do it for me - they see more of the island than I do.

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