Australia & NZ
Australia: 10 Must-See Big Things
Australia is far from the only country with a bizarre fetish for brassy highway-side attractions (a road trip across the likes of Canada, the United States of America and New Zealand will confirm this) but nobody, it seems, engineers the garish and jumbo quite like Oz.
What do you expect from a country-continent with two paragon natural wonders of the world in a massive sandstone monolith and a barrier reef that is not only good but, indeed, Great? For decades now, evidently, small towns and suburbs across Australia have made it a municipal mandate to cobble together fibreglass icons to wave a flag of sorts and lure tourists in the mold of the big boy UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Kitsch sells, apparently, because from the inaugural Big Scotsman in Adelaide to the Big Church Block Bottle in McLaren Vale, Australia’s Big Things, with a few exceptions, show no hint of decline. With that, discover ten of our favourite must-see man-made leviathan landmarks across the country, from South West, Western Australia to Far North Queensland.
The Big Merino, Goulburn, New South Wales – Photo credit
Bert Bolle Barometer
Visitor Centre, Denmark, Western Australia
Wee Denmark’s Visitor Centre, some 54 km west of Albany, was home, until February 2011, to the most colossal barometer in the world. A municipal kerfuffle has left the fate of the mammoth meteorological instrument in limbo, however.
Where to stay: Chimes Spa Retreat Denmark
Fairfield Industrial Dog Object (FIDO)
Fairfield Railway Station, Fairfield, Victoria, Australia
One of the most controversial art projects to hit metro Melbourne in recent years, the hardwood canine sculpture that sits at Fairfield Railway Station is now a fixture.
Where to stay: InterContinental Hotel Melbourne The Rialto
The Big Slide Rule
University of Tasmania School of Mathematics and Physics, Hobart, Tasmania
Before the Museum of Old and New Art there was the Big Slide Rule at U of T.
Where to stay: Islington Hotel Hobart
The Big Orange
Berri, Riverland, South Australia
The Big Orange in Berri is notable for a couple of reasons. First, as the foremost sphere, for a time, south of the equator and two, as the only Big Thing in Australia to operate a commercial establishment. Be sure to climb to the obervation lookout on the top floor.
Where to stay: Comfort Inn Citrus Valley Renmark
The Big Lobster
Kingston, South Australia
One of the most recognisable Big Things in the country, the Big Lobster easily claws into any South Australia road trip itinerary.
Where to stay: Econo Lodge Kingston
The Big Pineapple
A staple tourist target of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, the Big Pineapple sits on a bona fide farm and zoo.
Where to stay: RACV Noosa Resort
The Golden Gumboot
No symbol is more apropos in the rainy Wet Tropics of Queensland than the Golden Gumboot, one of many photo-ops on the Cassowary Coast.
Where to stay: Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach
The Big Boxing Crocodile
Humpty Doo, Northern Territory
A pugilist reptile seems to suit a place with a name like Humpty Doo.
Where to stay: Mantra on the Esplanade Darwin
The Big Merino
Goulburn, New South Wales
Some 200 km southwest of Sydney, the Southern Tablelands city of Goulburn has a winner in “Rambo”, the Big Merino Ram.
Where to stay: Best Western Centretown Motel Goulburn
The Big Banana
Coffs Harbour, New South Wales
One of the first and most famous Big Things, the Big Banana punctuates the World of Bananas plantation tour in beautiful Coffs Harbour.
Where to stay: Smugglers On The Beach Coffs Harbour