Australia’s Big Things
Aussies love their big things. Spread all over the country, they make for fun pit stops.
TrueBlue Magazine - June/July 2019
Words by: Libby Masi
The Big Merino - Goulburn NSW
The Big Merino was built in 1985 modelled on Rambo, a stud ram from local property Bullamallita. Blown up in size to 15.2 metres high, the giant ram is 18 metres long and weighs 97 tonnes. After a change in the expressways around Goulburn, the Big Merino was left in no man’s land, so the gigantic concrete and steel ram was transported 800 meters to ’greener pastures’. Today it celebrates the 200th anniversary of wool history in Australia. It marks a place for passers-by to purchase quality Merino products and to learn about the industry.
The Big Mango - Bowen Qld
Adjacent to the Bowen Visitor Information Centre, where visitors can enjoy fresh sorbet, this 10 metre mango is the largest in the world. The Big Mango was at the centre of a Nando’s publicity stunt back in 2014, when it mysteriously disappeared overnight and reappeared at one of its restaurants. Now, back in its rightful place, it’s the perfect backdrop for a funky fruity photograph.
The Big Cassowary - Mission Beach QLD
Just like a real one, the Big Cassowary is extremely large and flightless. The difference is, it’s the only cassowary you’re encouraged to walk up to and snap a photograph with. As much as this bird stands out, it also fits right in, because Mission Beach is known for its dense population of cassowaries.
The Big Miner - Kapunda SA
Known as Map the Miner, the Big Miner is a massive monument dedicated to the work of the Cornish miners in the Kapunda and other South Australian mines. Established in 1844, the Kapunda mine is the site of Australia’s first successful metal mine, which boosted the country’s economy. Map the Miner was first revealed in 1988, and was destroyed by a fire in 2006. A little more than a year later he was rebuilt and now stands proudly for all visitors to see.
The Big Stockwhip - Fly Creek NT
60 kilometres south of Darwin is where road trippers will find the Big Stockwhip. There’s no confusion about how to get to Mick’s Whips because the seven-metre-tall stockwhip forms the homestead’s front gate – which is perfectly fitting because the place is a dedicated 20-acre whip-themed property.
The Big Prawn - West Ballina NSW
Designed 30,000 times larger than a real prawn, the Big Prawn was built in 1989. Visitors enjoyed walking up the spiral staircase which brought them into its head and allowed them to see the view through its eyes. The Big Prawn’s fate was up in the air in 2010, when the service station it was built upon went out of business. Ballina locals started a petition that was signed by thousands to save the landmark. The faded prawn went through a $400,000 renovation in 2013, in which a tail was added. Although the staircase feature was removed, the nine metre high and 35 tonne prawn remains quite a sight to see.
The Big Rocking Horse - Gumeracha SA
The Big Rocking Horse towers over Gumeracha in South Australia at 18.3 metres high and 17 metres long. This massive children’s toy is set within 80 tonnes of concrete to prevent the rocking horse from actually rocking. The attraction was built with three viewing platforms which visitors can climb up to, located on the rocker bows near the base, on the saddle, and at the top of its head. The Big Rocking Horse is a part of a larger complex which includes a wooden toy factory, café, and wildlife park.
The Big Banana - Coffs Harbour NSW
Opened in 1964, the Big Banana started Australia’s craze for big things. This 11 metre long and five metre high banana is located in front of a gift shop surrounded by banana plantations and plenty of exciting things for families to do. The Big Banana Fun Park in Coffs Harbour is equipped with a water park, toboggan track, laser tag, and a mini golf course. After a long day in the park, visitors can enjoy a banana split as a tasty treat next to the Big Banana.
The Big Buffalo - Adelaide River NT
This big thing of Australia is especially unique as it is not made from cement, metal or fibreglass, but is a real stuffed water buffalo. In fact, the Big Buffalo is actually Charlie the water buffalo who appeared in Crocodile Dundee. Make the pit stop to grab a drink and hypnotise the buffalo as Mick Dundee did in the iconic movie scene.
The Big Ned Kelly - Glenrowan Vic
Wearing his iconic tin mask, the Big Ned Kelly pays tribute to the infamous outlaw. He is located in Glenrowan, Victoria, which is also the site of the last stand shootout that ended both the bushranger’s life and his notorious gang in 1880. Today, Ned Kelly stands immortalised at six metres tall and 1.5 tonnes.
The Giant Ram - Wagin WA
Whimsical and wacky is Wagin’s Giant Ram, which also goes by the name ‘Bart’. Bart is located in Wetlands Park and attracts many tourists to the region. The ram is nine metres tall, 13 metres long and six metres wide, weighing in at a crushing four tonnes. Sculptor Andrew Hickson was commissioned to build the ram in commemoration of the district’s role in the Aussie wool industry. He added his own touch by giving Bart some impressively large genitalia, which is a main feature in visitors’ photos.
The Tallest Bin - Kalgoorlie WA
The Tallest Bin was built in 1980 with the intention to serve as a reminder for the townsfolk not to litter. In today‘s world full of rubbish, the Tallest Bin still stands at eight metres tall, constructed using a pipe from the town’s water supply. Local school children were given the task of painting and decorating the rusty pipe, with the words ‘the world’s tallest’ added later on.
The Big Boxing Croc - Humpty Doo NT
This 13-metre-high crocodile sporting a pair of red boxing gloves is a sight no one can miss when driving through Humpty Doo on the Arnhem Highway. It was constructed in 1987 as a play on the iconic ‘Boxing Kangaroo’, the symbol used for Australia’s challenge for the America’s Cup. Costing $137,000 at the time, the fibreglass croc was built strong enough to fight off tropical cyclones.
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