Road Tripping to Australia’s Big Things


… This post is brought to you by Bayswater Car Rental …


I recently discovered something wonderful. Australia will be getting another Big Thing, and this time it’s based on a cake. Yes, the Big Lamington is coming to Toowoomba, and as soon as I heard the news I just knew that when it was built I would drive out of my way to have a photo with it.

Maybe it’s something to do with my childhood memories of visiting the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour for the first time. Maybe it’s because Big Things are so fabulously kitsch. Maybe it’s because as a Big Lamington it’s bound to have lots of lamingtons. Which are yummy. Who can say, all I know is I can’t wait to pull up in front of it.

We Aussies are a bit of a strange bunch when it comes to Big Things. Ironically, our first Big Thing was a nod to another culture. The Big Scotsman was erected outside Scotty’s Motel in Medindie in Adelaide in 1963. That’s one year before The Big Banana took up residence in Coffs Harbour in ‘64.

Some have sadly been lost over the years, some have undergone some changes (The Big Prawn now being over a Bunnings for example) while others have been heritage listed and saved.

We now have literally dozens of Big Things around the country. We’ve got fruits like the Big Pineapple and Big Mango, animals from the Big Boxing Crocodile to the Big Galah, alcohol inspired ones including the Big Wine Bottle and Big Stubbie, and even sporting goods are covered with the Big Tennis Racquet and Big Golf Ball.

But as road trippers know, some are bigger than others.

The Big Merino, Goulburn, NSW

I’m not sure if there should be some kind of minimum size requirement before a sculpture or structure can claim to be a Big Thing.

For example, the Big Merino outside Goulburn is 49 feet tall and weighs 97 tonne. The Big Chook at Moonbi is around 6 feet tall. Sure, it’s big for a chook, but I’ve also seen some novelty letterboxes that are that big (hey, I’m from the country).

Then there are those that mysteriously get smaller as we grow up.

When I went to The Big Banana as a young child it seemed absolutely huge. I remember being blown away by it and thinking you could live in there. So I was genuinely shocked when I returned as an adult to find it was a relatively simple 11 metre long concrete banana with a walkway in the middle and some photos on the wall.

Mind you, these days there’s a lot more going on around it. They have toboggans and waterslides and laser tag. So much fancier than back in my day. But the Big Banana itself remains the same, as it should. And I look forward to visiting it the next time I’m on a road trip along the coast.

Of course one thing you do need if you’re going on a Big Things Road Trip is a car. Which is something I don’t have these days.

Fortunately there is a clever way around that. Even if you’re in your own city or state you can act like you would on a road trip in another country and hire a car.

For people like me in Sydney who may be considering a road trip to the Big Pineapple’s Music Festival, or perhaps to the Golden Guitar in Tamworth, Bayswater Car Rental puts special Sydney offers up on their website.

And one look at those prices is enough to make me want to call my friends, put together a mix tape (oh, okay, Spotify playlist) and pack a bag.

Of course if you’re in another city around the country you can also find great Bayswater deals on a hire car by going to the website and putting in your location.

So how about you? When it comes to Australia’s Big Things, what always makes you smile? And have you ever driven out of your way to see one only to find it a big let-down? I’m still adding to my own Big Things Road Trip list and am happily taking notes.

And just how big should a Big Thing be before it can claim the title?

This post was brought to you by Bayswater Car Rental, but as always all opinions and thoughts in the post remain my own.

About the Author

I love to travel. And I'm fond of a chat. These days I'm able to combine the two thanks to a weekly travel segment on Radio 2UE and networked stations, and I continue to share travel tales through my blog. When I'm not travelling I can be found enjoying my home town of Sydney's many charms with friends. Or possibly curled up with a good book and my cats. Just the two. Not that there's anything wrong with being a crazy cat lady... Amanda on Google +

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  1. Mike Tomalaris says:

    The Big Lobster at Kingston SE, SA. The Big Oyster, Taree, NSW. The Big Rocking Horse, Adelaide Hill, SA.

  2. I’ve taken cars, planes, trains and even walked a fair bit when it was necessary to see some ‘big’ things. Hasn’t always been worth it, but as they say, sometimes it’s just about the journey rather than the destination!

  3. In CANADA, town mascots are big too.It seems the smaller the town, the larger the town mascot aka BIG thing. We did a post on a bunch of these awhile back.http://roadstories.ca/big-mascots-in-canada/ Probably the most famous is the World’s Largest Dinosaur- a TREX which easily stands about 6 stories high.I have a question tho’. What is your first photo of? It kind of looks like an out-of-the-water Florida manatee or maybe a southern version of an Arctic muskox.

    • Ha! that first photo is the Big Merino.. a very very large sheep :)
      Glad to know Canada is in on the big action too. I’ll be sure to add a few to my next Canadian road trip. Thanks for the tips!

  4. I went to Australia on a school trip when I was 17 ( I won’t disclose how long ago that was!) I remember visiting the big pineapple and the big banana and deciding I wanted to come back and make a road trip of it. I haven’t made it back, but now I’m re-inspired!

  5. the is a Big Penguin in Tassie too. it’s in a town called …..Penguin!!!!…lol

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