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Australia's big things

The Big Things of Australia are a loosely related set of large structures or sculptures. There are estimated to be over 150 such objects around the country, the first being the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, which was built in 1964.

The big things have become something of a cult phenomenon, and are sometimes used as an excuse for a road trip, where many or all Big Things are visited and used as a backdrop to a group photograph.

List of Big Things (by State / Territory)

A.C.T.

Name Location Built Size Notes Image
Big Mushroom Belconnen 8m x 4m Located in the Belconnen markets, Belconnen.

New South Wales

Name Location Built Size Notes Image
Big Ant Broken Hill
Big Apple Batlow
Big Avocado Durandah
The Big Axe Kew
Big Ayers Rock (see Leyland Brothers World) Karuah 1990 Technically not a Big Thing (as it is substantially smaller than the item it is modelled on), the Rock Restaurant is loosely grouped with the Big Things as an object of roadside 'art'.
The Big Banana Coffs Harbour 1964 13m x 5m Considered to be the first 'Big Thing' in Australia
The Big Beer Can Cobar 1990 5m x 2.5m Tooheys New design. Located above the entrance to the Grand Hotel.
Big Bench Broken Hill In September 2002 as part of the Landscapes and Backgrounds exhibition, a 2.5 times scale park bench was constructed on the top of the Line of Lode, which is a high hill of mine deposits in the center of the city of Broken Hill.
The Big Blue Heeler Muswellbrook 2001 2m high
Big Bottles Mangrove Mountain and Hanwood
Big Bowl Port Macquarie and Armidale
Big Bull Wauchope 14m x 21m
Big Bunch of Bananas Sawtell
The Big Bicycle Chullora 1997 9m x 6m The Bicycle built by Jonh Ridley, Andy Lugiz and Phillip Becker adorns the entrance to the Chullora Waste Transfer Station, Chullora NSW
Big Cheese Bodalla
Big Cherries Young 2m x 4m
Big Chook Moonbi 1970s 2m x 4m
Big Chook (2) Mt Vernon 4m x 4m
Big Flower Ourimbah
The Big Gold Panner Bathurst 5m x 3m
The Big Golden Guitar Tamworth 1988 12m x 4m Modelled on the Golden Guitar trophies given to winners at the Country Music Awards of Australia ceremony night during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.
The Big Merino Goulburn 1985 15m x 18m Goulburn and The Big Merino were bypassed by the freeway in 1994, leading to a reduction in visitor numbers. On May 26, 2007 Rambo (as the Merino is locally known) was relocated by low-loader to a new home within sight of the Hume Highway.
The Big Miner's Lamp Lithgow
Big Mosquito Hexham 1993 Ossie the Mossie at the Hexham Bowls Club is modelled on the local Hexham Grey mosquito species.
Big Murray Cod Tocumwal 2m x 7m
Big Orange Tenterfield
The Big Oyster Taree 12m x 4m
The Big Playable Guitar Narrandera 1991 6m x 2m The largest playable guitar in the world.
The Big Potato Robertson
The Big Poo Kiama
The Big Prawn Ballina 1989 6m x 9m
The World's biggest Sundial Singleton
The Big Trout Adaminaby 1973 10m x 3m
The Big Trout Oberon
Big Windmill Coffs Harbour
The Big Wine Bottle Pokolbin 1998 7m x 1.5m Located at the Hunter Valley Gardens The neck forms a chimney for an open fire contained within.
The Big Wine Cask Wentworth 8m x 6m

Northern Territory

Name Location Built Size Notes Image
The Big Boxing Crocodile Humpty Doo 8m x 8m
The Big Stockwhip Acacia 7m x 10m
The Big Stubbie Larrimah

Queensland

Name Location Built Size Notes Image
The Big Apple Stanthorpe 4m x 3m
Big Banana North Mackay
The Big Barramundi Normanton 6m x 2m
The Big Barramundi Daintree 6m x 2m
The Big Brolga Townsville
The Big Bottle Bundaberg
Big Bulls Rockhampton
The Big Cane Toad Sarina
The Big Captain Cook Cairns 7m x 2m
The Big Cassowary Mission Beach 5m x 5m
The Big Cow Yandina 6m x 10m
Big Crab Cardwell
Big Crab Miriam Vale
Big Crocodile Daintree
Big Crocodile Hartleys Creek
Big Crocodile Normanton
The Big Dugong Rockhampton
The Big Dinosaur Ballandean
The Big Easel Emerald
Big Golf Ball Broadbeach
The Big Golden Gumboot Tully 2003 8m x 6m
The Big Gun Underwood A 155mm field gun mounted on top of a two-story fruit shop. The gun was in a metal scrap yard that occupied the site in the 1960s before the shops and offices were built in the 70s.
The Big Hard Rock Guitar Surfers Paradise 10m x 3m
The Big Macadamia Nut Nambour 5m x 10m
The Big Mandarin Mundubbera 11m x 15m
The Big Mango Bowen 2002 12m x 8m
The Big Marlin Cairns 8m x 2m
Big Merino Blackall
The Big Miner Rubyvale
The Big Mower Beerwah
The Big Ned Kelly Maryborough 8m x 2m
The Big Orange Gayndah
The Big Paperclip West End, Brisbane 3m x 2m
The Big Peanut North Tolga, Queensland
The Big Pelican Noosaville
The Big Pick, Shovel and Sieve Sapphire
The Big Pie Yatala 4.5m diameter Mounted atop a 10m pole next to the car park of the Yatala Pies drive-through pie shop.
Big Pineapple Gympie
The Big Pineapple Woombye 1971 16m x 6m
The Big Pumpkin Beaudesert
The Big Red Elephant Lockyer Valley
The Big Redback Eight Mile Plains, Brisbane 1996 3m x 3m
The Big Rum Bottle Bundaberg 6m x 1m
The Big Sapphire Anakie
The Big Sapphire Ring Sapphire
The Big Shell Tewantin 3m x 1m
The Big Shoe Chermside A large shoe mounted on the roof of a car sales yard on the corner of Rode and Gympie Roads.
The Big Spanner Sapphire
The Big Stubby Tewantin 9m x 4m
The Big Whale Kinka Beach

South Australia

Name Location Built Size Notes Image
The Australian Farmer Wudinna 2008 8m
The Big Galah Kimba 1993 8m x 2.5m
The Big Kangaroo Border Village 5m x 2m
The Big Lobster Kingston SE 1979 17m x 15m Nicknamed Larry.
The Big Cornish Miner Kapunda 1988 8m x 2m Named Map Kernow - "the son of Cornwall". The statue was destroyed by a fire in 2006 but has since been rebuilt.
The Big Orange Berri 15m x 12m
The Big Pelican Loxton 1992
The Big Ram (male sheep) Karoonda 2m x 3m
The Giant Rocking Horse Gumeracha 18m x 17m
The Big Scotsman Medindie, (Adelaide) 5m x 1m
The Big Winch Coober Pedy 8m x 5m

Tasmania

Name Location Built Size Notes Image
Big Apple Spreyton
The Big Penguin Penguin 1975 3m x 1m Constructed from fibro cement to mark the centenary of the proclamation of the township of Penguin. Unveiled 25th October 1975.
The Big Platypus Latrobe
The Big Spud Sassafras
The Big Tasmanian Devil Mole Creek 2m x 3m

Victoria

Name Location Built Size Notes Image
Big Abalone Laverton North A fibre glass replica of an abalone that sits illuminated and rotating atop a 5.3 m tower at the Plummer Road premises of the Australian Abalone Exports office.
Big Apple Bacchus Marsh
The Giant Koala Dadswells Bridge 14m x 8m

The Big Koala is 27km north-west of Stawell in the small township of Dadswells Bridge. The Koala is 14m high, and weighs 12 tonnes. Made of bronze set on a steel frame. The sculptor is Mr Ben Van Zetton and was hired in 1988 to design and construct the piece.

Big Mallee Bull Birchip
Big Mallee Root Ouyen
Big Miner Ballarat opened December 1st 2006
Giant Murray Cod Swan Hill 3m x 9m
The Big Ned Kelly Glenrowan 6m x 2m
The Big Pheasant Tynong 8m x 17m
The Big Purse Melbourne 1m x 2m

The world's largest Rolling Pin Wodonga
Big Smoke Myrtleford
Big Strawberry Koonoomoo 2m x 4m
Big Watermelon Wantirna South
Big Wool Bales Hamilton 3m x 12m
The Giant Worm Bass 250m x 4m

Western Australia

Name Location Built Size Notes Image
Bert Bolle Barometer Denmark 1985 Over 12.5 metres A working water barometer being the largest barometer in the world, recognized by the International Guinness Book of Records. Built in the Netherlands by Bert Bolle and donated to the community of Denmark in 2007. The barometer is considered a monument and carries the name ’The Bert Bolle Barometer’. It is set up in The Barometer Tower in the Denmark Visitor Centre.
Big Apple Donnybrook 7m x 4m
Big Banana Carnarvon 6m x 1m
The Big Camera Meckering
Big Cow Brunswick Junction 5m x 1.5m
The Big Crocodile Wyndham 18m x 3m
Big Orange Harvey 2m diameter
The Giant Ram Wagin 10m x 8m
Leeuwin Way Whale Eucla 10m x 3m

In popular culture

  • The ABC produced a documentary titled Big Things as part of its programme The Big Picture.
  • The National Museum in Canberra has a comprehensive multimedia exhibit displaying many Big Things.
  • In 2007 Australia Post issued a set of 50c postage stamps commemorating five of the most iconic Big Things:
    • The Big Banana at Coffs Harbour (NSW).
    • The Big Golden Guitar at Tamworth (NSW).
    • The Big Lobster at Kingston SE (SA).
    • The Big Merino at Goulburn (NSW).
    • The Big Pineapple at Nambour (QLD).
  • Danny Wallace mentions Australia's big things in his book Yes Man.

References

General references

  • "Big Things" by David Clark, published by Penguin (ISBN 0-14-300200-7).Specific references and notes

See also

External links

  • Australian Big Things Comprehensive list of Australian big things, big things statistics and photographs
  • ABC Online - Friends, Family and Big Things - photographs of Australian Big Things, including lesser known examples
  • Big Things Guide Learn all about this great Australian art form, marvel at the photos or add stories of your encounters, in Travelmate's BIG THINGS.
  • Coastalsurvey Big Stuff in Australia. Coastalsurvey found some notable additions -- including the big lobster.

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