Australia is a big country. In fact it’s the 6th largest country in the world and the largest island on Earth. Perhaps this is where Australia’s obsession with “big things” comes from.
There are an estimated 150 of these big things scattered all over Australia. Most of the big things originated as tourist traps found along major roads, seducing tourists to stop and hopefully spend some money. Nowadays Australia’s big things are somewhat of a pop culture phenomenon and many are considered works of art. Some are even heritage listed.
If you’re into history then you might want to visit the first big thing to grace the Australian landscape, the Big Scotsman. Built in Medindie, Adelaide in 1963 the Big Scotsman or “Scotty” as it’s colloquially known, stands proudly nestled into the corner of Scotty’s Motel. However, in terms of “bigness” and sheer wow factor the Big Scotsman doesn’t quite make the cut. The following are our picks of the best big things in Australia.
The Big Bottle of Bundy Rum
The Queensland town of Bundaberg is famous for one thing, its notorious rum of the same name. As a tribute to the world famous spirit a giant bottle of Bundy (as it’s affectionately called) was erected outside the Bundaberg distillery to mark the 100th anniversary of the drink. If your ever in Bundaberg the distillery is a must-see and as well as snapping a selfie with the giant bundy bottle you should take a tasting tour of the distillery and check out the museum too.
The Big Merino
The Big Merino is a towering concrete merino ram that is a front for a wool themed gift store and wool display. Situated in Goulburn, New South Wales and locally known as “Rambo” the Big Merino was opened in 1985. Unfortunately, in 1992 the Hume Highway which brought Rambo up to 40 bus loads of tourists per day bypassed the town. This eventually resulted in the mammoth task of moving the 97 tonne Big Merino 800 metres down the road to a location that would be more attractive to passers by.
The Big Golden Guitar
The Big Golden Guitar is a 12 metre tall celebration of Tamworth’s history and prominence in Australia’s country music scene and it’s actually a replica of the trophy used for Australia’s Annual Country Music Awards. It was unveiled in 1988 by Australia’s greatest exponent of country music, Slim Dusty. Dusty has won more golden guitar awards then any other country music artist in Australia. Unfortunately for the guitar, it has no strings. This is because it was created as a direct replica of the trophies.
The Big Pineapple
Laying claim to the biggest pineapple in the world, the Sunshine Coast’s Big Pineapple stands a mighty 16.2 metres tall and is one of the big things that is on Australia’s heritage list. Having attracted millions of visitors since it opened in 1971 the Big Pineapple is one of the most popular big things in Australia and is one of many “big fruits” that make up the list of Australia’s big things. Located on 165 hectares in the town of Woombye, the Big Pineapple now hosts the biggest all weather markets on the Sunshine Coast and is well worth the visit.
The Big Lobster
“Larry the lobster” sits triumphantly in the town of Kingston, South Australia. Towering at 17 metres tall the Big Lobster is one of the most impressive of Australia’s big things. He was built in 1979 to lure visitors to the adjoining restaurant and visitor centre and was designed and built by Paul Kelly who also built Australia’s first big thing, the Big Scotsman. It’s rumoured that the lobster is so big because the units on the plans were in feet but were mistakenly interpreted as metres!
There are literally hundreds of other big things in Australia and they are part of what makes road tripping around this great country such an awesome experience.
What’s your favourite big thing in Australia?