Big Australian Tourist Attractions
Australia has many natural wonders..the Great Barrier Reef, Sydney Harbour, Uluru, the Top End, glorious beaches and the Phillip Island Penguin Parade to name but a few but for the discerning tourist, there are other intriguing, man-made attractions to inspire the adventurous visitor.
Enormous structures can be found dotted throughout regional Australia - inspiring shrines to our fruits, vegetables, agricultural industries and native animals. They are reflections of a nation swamped by pride and largesse but most of all they are BIG. In country Australia...size matters.
The Big Merino
Overseas vistors are often beguiled by the proud Merino, which stands guard over the Trappers Inn in Goulburn NSW like a woolly sphinx. This magnificent ram would surely compare with any of the wonders of the world. It has the majestic bearing of the Taj Mahal, the structural integrity of the Pyramids and the inscrutable mystery of an Easter Island Statue.
The Big Gumboot
Any Australian will tell you that gumboots are an essential part of our wet weather gear as well as a symbol of our sartorial elegance. Matched with an Akubra hat and RM Williams moleskins, the rural Australian male is hard to beat for macho style.
In recent years it's become popular to wear your gumboots with an appliqued plastic green tree frog, as the little amphibians are common to the area. Many a farmer has felt the squishy horror of a frog in the bottom of the gumboot, while dressing in the morning.
The eight metre high Golden Gumboot is brought to you by the Tully Council in Queensland, in recognition of a town that proudly held the 1950 record for the highest rainfall in Australia.
The Big Koala
Our much loved, unique Australian animals are always a popular draw for visitors but as they are now an endangered species, stocks are low.
Not be deflated by this situation we decided to build one big Koala. Hence the attractive monolith at right - now a sacred place where marusupial worshippers can gaze in awe at our national bear.
Although at first glance The Big Koala may appear to be a paper-mache mish-mash put together by giant pre-schoolers, it is in fact a skillfully constructed piece of contemporary art, admired by International art critics. The Koala can be found at Dadswells Bridge, Victoria.
The Big Potato
The Big Potato - also sometimes disrespectfully referred to as The Big Turd by jealous overseas visitors, just oozes Aussie charm. Set in the delightful potato growing region of Robertson, in the NSW highlands, the potato is a testament to the architectural genius of its creators,
Such a complex design took many months to complete and alas, the magnificent structure was recently wantonly mocked by despicable vandals, who thought it would be amusing to turn it into a Mr. Potato head (see photo at right). Fortunately, the Big Potato has been lovingly restored by it's original designer, local farmer Jim Mauger and continues to charm and entrance people from all over the world.
The Big Ned kelly
The Big Ned Kelly is a tribute to our national hero, outlaw Ned Kelly. The aura and stance of this friendly but imposing figure, cradling his loaded gun, is strategically placed to welcome visitors while at the same time serving as a gentle warning to tourists, not to mess with us or we'll blow their heads off.
You'll find the six metre high Ned on the main street of Glenrowan in Victoria, near the site where the real life Ned was himself blown to smithereens by a shower of police bullets. Fun times in Glenrowan. Inside the General Store you'll find a plethora of Ned Kelly memorabilia - perfect souvenirs to send back home to loved ones.
The Big Banana
What curious tourist visiting the spectacular north coast of NSW could resist the lure of the Big Banana? In the best tradition of regional kitsch the bulky banana reflects the significant industry of the region..in this case, bananas.
The giant yellow fruit, which has been described as "a bunch of fun", rests just outside the busy tourist destination of beautiful Coffs Harbour and houses a delightful tourist gift shop, where visitors may purchase banana key rings, butter dishes and various pieces of quaint Australiana made in China.
The Big Pineapple
Such fruity delights we have in this corner of the world! The Pinapple has long been a symbol of tropical plenty and nowhere is this delicious connection more evident than in the Big Pineapple, billed by its owners as the "taste of Queensland". Yum.
The Pineapple, which is located at Woombye, close to Nambour in Queensland, is 16 metres high and has been sitting grandly on its owner's rural property for forty years. Visitors to the Pineapple can hop on the Nutmobile for a fun ride or alternatively, take an exciting mini-train through the pineapple plantation, accompanied by an informative tourist guide who will explain the local flora and fauna.
The Big Mango
Not to be outdone by The Big Pineapple, The Big Mango has its own colourful charms. You'll find the Mango in Bowen, right next to the Bowen Visitor Information Centre on the Bruce Highway, overlooking Edgecumbe Bay.
Here you can by unique Mango souvenirs, jams, snacks, drinks and best of all the famous locally produced Mango Ice Cream, which is so delicious you may never leave.
The Big Prawn
How attractive is The BIg Prawn? This giant, salmon pink crustation rests proudly but precariously on top of the Trident Fish Bar, Cafe and Gemstone Museum. It's spindly claws hug the glass structure protectively, like a sentinal gaurding the precious gems inside.
The adorable Prawn is the chief feature the charming town of Ballina on eastern coast of NSW
The Big Peanut
Standing erect like an eccentric scarecrow, The Big Peanut presents a warm, smiling face to the casual visitor, as if to welcome them to the region and indeed those outstretched arms, just visible beneath the head, further cement this impression.
The Peanut's jaunty top hat is meant to sublty alert the tourist to the area's formal dress code, which includes dressing for dinner and not being seen in town without a hat.Queensland peanut growers pride themselves on their traditional, elegant standards.
The tasteful Big Peanut stands in front of the Big Peanut Fruit Shop, in the Atherton Tablelands and is really not that big but since peanuts are small, it seems big.
Note to the Tourist
Dear potential tourist,
The monuments featured here are just the tip of the iceberg..I. haven't even mentioned The Big Ant, The Big Abalone, The Big Apple, The Big Avocado, The Big Canetoad, The Big Galah, The Big Glasses, The Big Gold Panner, The Big Axe, The Big Blue Heeler, The Big Boomerang, The Big Lawnmower, The Big Mandarin, The Big Macadamia, The Big Guitar (Tamworth), The Big Guitar (Narrandera)The Big Joint, The Big Orange, The Big Bottle, The Big Hotdog, The Big Lamington, The Big Kangaroo, The Big Milkshake, The Big Milkshake Container, The Big Miner, The Big Mobile Phone, The Big Mosquito, The Big Muffler, The Big Murray Cod (Swan Hill), The Big Murray Cod (Tocumwal), The Big Barramundi, The Big Marlin, The Big Trout, The Big Mushroom, The Big Pavlova and...phew, sorry I just can't go on...there's too many.
I hope..no, I'm sure, I've whetted your appetite for Australian travel with this commentary on our fabulous BIG attractions. Who could resist? See you when you get here!
- Phillip Island Fairy Penguins
At just 40 centimetres the Fairy Penguin is the pygmy of the penguin world and found only along the southern coast of Australia and New Zealand, away from the ice and snow usually associated with penguin habitat. The most famous colony in Australia c
- Travelling in Australia: The City of Darwin
Situated at the top of the Northern Territory, on the Timor Sea, Darwin is a multi-cultural capital city of approximately 125,000 people. This is in contrast to the rest of the Territory, which is sparsely populated