Visit the Seabird Rescue Centre at Ballina (and meet the turtles too)

The Australian Seabird Rescue, Research, Rehabilitation and Coastal Education Centre in Ballina is a fun and interactive experience for people of all ages.

The community group  delivers training and education to the public for the capture, handling and first aid of all types of sea and shore birds around the Ballina and  Richmond River area.

It is also licensed to rescue, rehabilitate and release sea turtles. You will have the opportunity to learn about the turtles in their care and if you are lucky, witness their release on the beach.

Visit or contact the centre direct and  see the wildlife currently in their care or even be involved in their emotional release back into the wild.

Open : 9-11 am weekdays.

Contact 02 66862852

Located at 264 North Creek Rd, Ballina,

email: admin@sea

The interactive, hands on approach of the centre gives you an unforgettable experience that you can take home and share with others. All presentations include a one hour informative talk by one of the trained volunteers, as well as a chance to see wildlife that may be in their care. Animals that you may get the opportunity to get a close-up look at may include pelicans, other sea birds, shore birds, and even the fascinating sea turtles.

Learn about and enjoy the rescue stories. Discover how you can help and even better prevent a seabird getting in distress. So many birds get caught in old fishing lines left thoughtlessly on our beaches.

Be part of the release team experience. There are few things more emotional than seeing a rehabilitated turtle making its way back into the ocean.

Next time you come to stay at Alstonville Country Cottages  arrange a visit to the centre. All ages are welcome.

Who was Lance Ferris?

Lance Ferris, ‘The Pelican Man’  was the founder of the group and was welknown for his spectacular leaps on injured seabirds. In 1992 Lance’s work started on the sand spit opposite the wharf after he noticed any pelicans injured by fishing lines and hooks.  His passion to rescue and rehabilitate seabirds extended to other seabirds and to the endangered seaturtles.

To learn more about our Local Legend read the article  ” If pelicans could cry-the passing of the pelican man..” >2007/10/15

Lance Ferris Wharf

Find the large Bronze Pelican sculpture raised in his memory at Lance Ferris Wharf, a fishing pier in the centre of Ballina along the Richmond River.

The sculptor is Frank Miles of Alstonville.  If you like his work you can visit him in his studio and watch him at work.



“A wonderful bird is the Pelican.

His beak can hold more than his  belly can.

He can hold in his beak

Enough food for a week!

But I’ll be darned if I know how the hellican?”

 Limerick by Dixon Lanier Merritt