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Road Tripping to Australia’s Big Things

We Aussies are a bit of a strange bunch when it comes to Big Things. And strangely enough 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, including the way the Big Prawn now shares a space with a Bunnings, 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).

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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.

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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.

Music lovers could even combine one with a festival, and hit the road for the Big Pineapple Music Festival, or to visit the Golden Guitar in Tamworth during the Country Music Festival.

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?

Love a good road trip? Here are seven great Australian road trips to check out, as well as a fun music themed one through America’s deep south. 

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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 a while back.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!

    • Hurrah! There are SO many to choose from. I look forward to reading your blog about it when you do. And seeing if you make it to the Big Chook 🙂

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

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