Imagine the scenario: you’ve been driving through regional Australia for a few hours now, and you’re getting a little tired on your journey. You realise there is something up ahead but it must be a mirage of some kind because what you’re seeing is a giant sheep! Meet Rambo and he’s real (as long as your about to drive passed Goulburn, New South Wales that is). Rambo is one of more that 150 so called “Bigs” of Australia and they’re quite the cult phenomenon.
Towns love tourists even if they’re just passing through. Now, the best way to get people to stop at your town, to buy a meal perhaps, even take a rest stop for the night, is to have something eye-catching and what could grab attention more than a 2 storey sheep? Or a gigantic banana or an enormous floating tap for that matter. Well, this is where the idea of Australia’s Big Things came from. These tourist traps definitely do their job as visiting these larger than life phenomena has become a traveller trend and now you can become one of the many who road trip down under “Baggin’ Bigs” as they go.
There is no real theme to Bigs other than their larger than life size with the exception of “The Big Ayres Rock” which is in fact 1/40th of the size of the real Uluru and oddly located in New South Wales. These massive photo ops definitely cover all bases. There are famous people such as “The Big Captain Cook” and “The Big Ned Kelly”, and animals such as “The Big Koala”, “The Big Cow” and even “The Big Pelican” . And there’s a few odd ones too; such as the “Big Ball of Wool” and em…”The Big Poo” located in Kiama, near Sydney. So there’s definitely something for everyone. Here a few more to add to your Australian Big Things road trip:
The Big Lobster: The town of Kingston is one of several natural stopping points for road-trippers headed along the South Australia Coastal routes. But Larry, as he is locally known, was commissioned to draw attention to the visitor information and restaurant found at the site. Some fun facts about Larry; he was built in 1979 and took 6 months to construct. He was designed by Paul Kelly but the actual size is said to have been a mistake as the plans were drawn in feet but the structure was made in metres. We discovered Larry during our road trip between Port Fairy and Robe, South Australia
The Big Trout: Found just off the Snowy Mountains Highway in New South Wales, the trout is in tribute to a fishing story about the one that got away. It stands 16 metres tall and located in Adamiaby.
The Big Golden Guitar: A visit to Tamworth, Country Music Capital of Australia, would not be complete without a trip to The Big Golden Guitar. Located slightly out of town, off the New England Highway, this Big is modelled on the awards trophies given out during the Country Music Festivals.
The Big Ant: Built in 1980 and originally located next to a hotel it found itself opposite Broken Hill’s visitors centre after being donated to the town ten years after its construction.
The Big Banana: One of the most famous Bigs in Australia, The Big Banana is part of a larger banana themed park. There is the structure itself as well as the usual cafe and shop but along side is also a museum and adventure park complete with banana themed indoor ski slope. This is one of Australia’s oldest Big Things built way back in 1964.
The Big Dice: A pretty simple structure, this set of six concrete cubes are painted as dice and can be found of the Barrier Highway between Yunta and Mannahill in South Australia.
The Big Golden Gumboot: A fairly new addition to the Big Things family the Gumboot was erected in 2003 and is a nod to the golden gumboot tradition in which the wettest town in the region is giving the title for the greatest annual rainfall. Tully decided to claim the title permanently by building this structure which has a small display of the town’s rainfall history.
The Big Penguin: is located funnily enough in the town of Penguin in Tasmania. A little on the small side this Big stands at just 3 metres tall in a picturesque view point over the Bass Strait and is made entirely out of cement.
The Big Wave: This is a particularly good Big for photo opportunities as the Big Wave also include a surf board precisely for this reason. A very clever advertising tool it is located outside a surf shop just past San Remo on Phillip Island, Victoria.
The Big Crocodile: Built by a local college in 1987 and measuring 3 metres high and 18 metres long this croc in Wyndham is a replica in of the ones who inhabit nearby Cambridge Gulf. Locals encourages people to take pictures and feel free to clamber on top for a better photo.
Have you toured the Big Things of Australia? Which was your favourite? Tell us below.