Australia’s a big place. It takes a long time to drive between major cities, so there are plenty of landmarks scattered along the roadside to keep the weary traveller entertained. A giant prawn, for example. And a giant rolling pin. You know, standard highway-side stuff. Nothing weird going on here, nothing at all.
There are estimated to be over 150 ‘Big Things’ in the land of Oz – every state has at least one, and road tripping around the country ticking them off one by one has become a cult phenomenon. Here are 10 of the best – and weirdest – big things to be found in Australia.
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1. The Big Prawn
Just when the residents of Ballina, NSW thought they’d be rid of the faded, flesh-coloured 9 metre high crustacean when there were plans to demolish it a couple of years ago, hardware giant Bunnings stepped in to save the day. A fresh coat of paint, polished glass eyeballs and he’s as good as new.
2. The Big Mango
Last month this 9 tonne mega-structure in Bowen, QLD went walkabout. Staff at the Bowen Tourist Information Centre turned up to work to find it had disappeared. A social media campaign ensued as locals rallied to find the missing three-story fruit. Of course, it turned out to be a publicity stunt for a fast food chain who won’t be named.
3. The Big Banana
Coffs Harbour, NSW is home to the Big Banana – a thriving tourist attraction featuring a banana that you can walk through (there’s a bucketlist item right there). Loads of banana-related products are sold at the centre, which is actually on the site of a banana plantation, and there are plenty of banana-themed souvenirs at the gift shop. There was even a banana postage stamp to commemorate the banana. How many times can we use the word ‘banana’ in one paragraph? Banana.
4. The Big Bench
There’s nothing like an oversized bench to make you feel like a kid again. Two and a half times the size of a normal bench, it can seat eight people – perfect for a group photo op (and not much else).
5. The Big Galah
This eight metre high Galah in Kimba, South Australia is a very important photo opp – not just because it’s the biggest Galah you’ve ever seen, but because it marks the halfway point across Australia from its east and west coasts. At least that’s what they say – although if you calculate the distances it doesn’t really work out that way. But let’s not spoil the fun, shall we?!
6. The Big Pineapple
Some people come to the Sunshine Coast, QLD for the spectacular beaches. Others come for the pineapple. At 16 metres high it claims to be the biggest pineapple in the world – and this is a more competitive title than one would think: is succeeded to the throne only after a pineapple shaped Hawaiian water tower was dismantled in the 90s. Phew.
7. The Big Macadamia Nut
Brought to you by the same people who gave us the Big Pineapple, the Big Macadamia Nut in Nambour, QLD, is a macadamia-lover’s dream. Some say it’s the poor cousin of the more widely adored pineapple, but we think that’s nuts. (Sorry.)
8. The Big Merino
The locals call him “Rambo” after the real life Ram he was modelled on, and he is a celebration of all things wool. The 15 metre high ram in Goulburn, NSW was built as a monument to the area’s wool industry, and he houses a museum recounting the 200 year history of wool in Australia. Keen visitors can get an insight into what it is to be a giant ram by climbing to the top and looking out his eyes. You know, in case you wanted to.
9. The Big Golden Gumboot
Every year, three of Australia’s wettest towns battle it out – whoever receives the highest rainfall, wins. The revered winner is awarded the Oscar of rain-related accolades: a rubber boot. One of the contestants, Tully, in far north Queensland, stuck two fingers up to the competition in 2003 when it erected the 8 metre high Golden Gumboot in the town centre and started holding a festival to celebrate it. Take that, Innisfail and Babinda.
10. The Big Lobster
The unofficial king of Australia’s Big Things, the Big Lobster (that’s Larry the Lobster to you), stands a colossal 17 metres high. Some say Larry’s gargantuan physique is an error – plans made in feet were misinterpreted as metres – but we wouldn’t change him one bit.
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