Sydney Harbour, the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock…Do you think you’ve heard all about the big ‘must-see’ places in Australia? But what about the Big Lobster, the Big Pineapple and the Big Merino? That’s right, you’ve been deceived. Us Aussies have been keeping our best and biggest secrets close to heart – until now…
Australia’s wacky fascination with all things big began in the 1960s and now you can find over 100 big structures or ‘things’ spread out around the country. From beer cans to avocados and from penguins to gumboots, we’ve got it all! It’s time to slap on your sunscreen, strap on your camera and embark on one wacky expedition as we discover Australia’s biggest assets.
The Big Pineapple (Woombye, Queensland)
Image by Moondyne
Our journey begins on the beautiful Sunshine Coast, home to dozens of exquisite beaches and the iconic Glass House Mountains. Take the Nambour Connection Road turnoff from the Bruce Highway and voila! The view of the Big Pineapple will smack you right in the face.
Built in 1971, the 16 metre fibre glass Big Pineapple is accompanied by a large pineapple plantation, an indoor market, an animal farm and a small train. You can actually climb to the top of the Pineapple via a winding staircase; this seemed much more exciting (not to mention bigger) when I was a child, but it is still a must-do! Also don’t leave without trying a huge pineapple and mango parfait!
The Big Pie (Yatala, Queensland)
Image by BrisbanePom
After having that big dessert, you’re no doubt craving something savoury. Fear not! As we head down the Queensland coast, we will soon find ourselves near Yatala, also known as pie country! Yatala Pies have been serving up delicious mouthfuls of goodness for over 130 years and with daily sales of 3,500 pies, they don’t appear to be slowing down!
The Big Pie or ‘The Pie in the Sky’ is a large replica of a pie, mounted on a 10 metre pole. If only real pies came in this size!
The Big Banana (Coffs Harbour, New South Wales)
Image by Will Ellis
Travelling further down the east coast, we cross the state line and soon find ourselves in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. Sitting on the Pacific Highway is the iconic Big Banana. Built in 1964 by a local banana stall owner, the eye-catching banana is now part of a complex that features a souvenir shop, a banana plantation, an ice rink, a toboggan ride and a large inflatable waterslide. There is also a theatre experience on offer where you can learn all about the history of the humble banana!
The Big Golden Guitar (Tamworth, New South Wales)
Image by Rod Edwards (assisted by “Truffles”)
Moving away from the coast, we travel inwards to the ‘Country Music Capital of Australia’, Tamworth. Each year the city is inundated with visitors arriving to attend the Tamworth Country Music Festival and in 1988, the city embraced its status by unveiling the Big Golden Guitar. Modelled on the award given to celebrated Australian country music artists, the Big Golden Guitar stands at 12 metres and weighs in at 500 kilograms. While you’re here, enjoy a meal or a coffee at the Golden Guitar Coffee Shop and step into the Wax Museum, where you can see Australia’s most famous country music performers in *shock* wax form!
The Big Merino (Goulburn, New South Wales)
Image by James Cridland
Next stop is Goulburn! This regional city, about a two hour drive south-west of Sydney, is the home of the world’s largest concrete sheep. Yes, you heard me, the world’s largest concrete sheep. The Big Merino was built in 1985 as a tribute to the city’s impressive wool industry and was modelled on a local ram named ‘Rambo’. Inside the gigantic ram you will find a gift shop and an exhibition dedicated to the history of the wool industry. Visitors can also climb to the very top to peek out through Rambo’s eyes and enjoy a view of the surrounding area.
The Big Ned Kelly (Glenrowan, Victoria)
Image by Tamika Toune
Ned Kelly is one of Australia’s most legendary figures; hanged as an outlaw and murderer, Kelly is actually considered to be a folk hero by many. It’s here in Glenrowan, north of Melbourne, that Kelly and his gang had their last siege against the Victorian police force. To commemorate this, a six metre replica of the notorious bushranger was erected in 1992. There are many Kelly-related things to do and see in Glenrowan. You’ll be transported back in time when you head to Kelly Land, where you can see robots act out the Kellys’ last siege!
The Giant Koala (Dadswells Bridge, Victoria)
Image by sb_sims
Now we travel about five hours west to Dadswells Bridge, a small Victorian town located off the Western Highway. The town’s biggest inhabitant is Sam the Giant Koala. Standing at 14 metres and weighing 12 tonnes, Sam houses a small tourist complex. Next door there is a tavern, restaurant, lolly shop and a petting zoo which has two far smaller cuddly koalas!
The Big Lobster (Kingston, South Australia)
Image by butternmilk
It’s state line hopping for us once again as we travel to meet 17 metre-high ‘Larry the Lobster’ aka the next ‘big’ thing on our trip! Situated in the town of Kingston SE on the South Australian coast, Larry was unveiled in 1979 and was designed to attract attention to the restaurant and visitor centre near him. Rumour has it that Paul Kelly, the builder on the project, misread the measurements and feet became metres! Apart from the obvious photo opportunities, the Big Lobster is a great place to have a meal (lobster anyone?) and pick up some souvenirs.
The Big Rocking Horse (Gumeracha, South Australia)
Image by Jack Parkinson Pics
Heading north for about three hours and just past Adelaide is Gumeracha, home of the world’s biggest rocking horse. Just like Larry the Lobster, the Big Rocking Horse was designed to grab the attention of passing motorists when it was opened in 1981 next to a toy factory. At 18.3 metres, it certainly does just that! Visitors can climb to the top of the horse for a ‘ride’ before checking out the neighbouring wildlife park and toy factory. Don’t miss out on the chance to hand feed some cute wallabies!
The Big Boxing Crocodile (Humpty Doo, Northern Territory)
Image by Stuart Edwards
Our next big thing take us all the way to the Northern Territory. The town of Humpty Doo is about a 35-minute drive from Darwin and it’s here where you can come face to face with one of Australia’s most fearsome creatures: the crocodile. You can also fill up the fuel tank at the nearby service station – handy. Adorned with red boxing gloves, the humorous croc stands as a dedication of sorts to the local crocodile population.
You’ve had just a small glimpse of the big things Australia has to offer but don’t stop now! Check out flights to Australia and continue your zany adventure! Which big thing will you discover next?!