You don’t need to travel too far around Australia to discover our countries love affair for “BIG THINGS”. No matter what town you are currently in you are never too far from one of Australia’s Big Things attractions.
On our trip to the tip in September 2018 we hadn’t even considered adding a BIG THINGS itinerary to our trip. Our plan was to leave our home in country North East Victoria, travel north to Cape York. Visit the northern most point of the Australian mainland, via some iconic locations and four-wheel driving tracks and then back down the east coast, stopping by Byron Bay, NSW, to visit the most easterly point of the Australian mainland and then finally make our way back home after 6 weeks on the road living out of our tent and trusty Triton.
The following is a list of Australia’s BIG THINGS attractions which we visited during our time away.
- The Massive Termite Mounds – Cape York Peninsula, QLD.
- The Golden Gumboot – Tully, QLD.
- The Big Mango – Bowen, QLD.
- The Big Pineapple – Woombye, QLD.
- The Big Prawn – Ballina, NSW.
- The Big Banana – Ballina, NSW.
- The Big Golden Guitar – Tamworth, NSW.
- The Big Ned Kelly – Glenrowan, VIC.
The Massive Termite Mounds – Cape York Peninsula, QLD.
These termite mounds vary in height, ranging in height from a miserly 1 foot to a staggering 3 metres or more, can easily be found leaving even the tallest of travellers feeling dwarfed when standing next to them.
Whilst not a man-made tourist attraction, the massive termite mounds found throughout the Cape York Peninsula are an awesome example of nature at its most creative in that the natural beauty of the mounds simply has to be seen to be believed.
The Golden Gumboot – Tully, QLD.
On return from our Cape York adventure we called into Tully in Far North Queensland (FNQ) for a break from driving and a bite to eat for lunch. Tully is home to a sugar cane processing mill and the unique odour of the sugar cane process is a different experience, at least for a passerby to the town.
Upon entering the town you are greeted by a rather large Golden Gumboot, with an equally large Green Tree Frog positioned on the side of the said gumboot. Standing at almost 8 metres tall The Golden Gumboot was a surprising, not so little, attraction that certainly piqued the interest of everyone in our trusty Triton.
We never set out to find the Golden Gumboot, in fact, we had no idea it even existed, until we detoured into Tully itself. Curiosity got the better of us so we had to find out what the Golden Gumboot was all about, Wikipedia states that “The Golden Gumboot is a competition between the Far North Queensland towns of Tully, Innisfail and Babinda…for the wettest town of Australia…The winner for the competition (since 1970) was awarded a rubber boot.”
The Big Mango – Bowen, QLD.
Continuing our way south, our travels took us through the town of Bowen in QLD. To our surprise we stumbled across yet another BIG THING attraction, this time it was The Big Mango. Again we were unaware that Bowen was the home to one of these large attractions, so we decided to call in and have a photo or two with the oversized piece of fruit.
Standing at a height of 10 metres, The Big Mango sits next to the Bowen Tourist Information Centre. This large piece of fiberglass fruit was built-in honour of the towns proud Mango growing history.
In 2014, the 10 metre tall mango was also mysteriously “stolen”. It was later revealed to be an elaborate marketing stunt carried out by food chain Nando’s. The overgrown mango was removed and then hidden under tarpaulins behind the tourist centre in an “over the top” marketing ploy to advertise a new mango flavoured sauce. The good news is the Big Mango was returned to its rightful place soon after and is still there for everyone to enjoy and have their picture taken in front of.
The Big Pineapple – Woombye, QLD.
Further south down on the Sunshine Coast, we knew that we would be somewhere near The Big Pineapple, so we decided to go and visit yet another BIG THINGS attraction.
Besides this being the largest attraction, about 16 metres tall, that we had visited so far, we felt that at the time the pure size of The Big Pineapple was about all it had going for it. The observation deck to this once iconic location was closed with little to no sign of it reopening anytime soon. Whilst there was still some side attractions operating, such as the Big Pineapple train ride and the neighbouring wildlife zoo, it was a real shame to see how run down this attraction and it surrounds had become.
NOTE: Since returning from our travels I have learnt that the whole site of The Big Pineapple and its surrounds is currently undergoing an extensive replanning to improve its future as a complete experience. Hopefully this all comes to fruition and return this once mega attraction to its former glory.
The Big Prawn – Ballina, NSW.
Entering the North Coast of NSW, an area we had earlier ear marked for a couple of nights stop over, weather depending, we pulled into the town of Ballina for a fuel stop, as we entered, in the distance above roof tops we could see what looked like a Big Prawn. Urban adventure took over and we headed off to investigate.
Arriving to the edge of town, at the local Bunnings Warehouse, we found the large crustacean, The Big Prawn. Standing at approximately 9 metres tall and weighing an apparent 35 tonnes, this was one prawn that you may want to avoid throwing on the BBQ to cook.
There is really no tourist attraction attached with the Big Prawn, although some may say the famous Bunnings Sausage, onion on the top of course, is all that this epic attraction needs to accompany it.
The Big Prawn was a pleasant find and addition to our ever-growing list of BIG THINGS attractions visited.
The Big Banana – Coffs Harbour, NSW.
As we moved even further south down the coast we planned to have a couple of nights break in the picturesque Coffs Harbour. Choosing to stay at the motel next door to the Big Banana, it gave us a really good opportunity to get to The Big Banana Fun Park and have an explore.
Starting with the obligatory photos with the iconic attraction, we then went and had a look around the facility, although it was a rather wet and rainy old day there were still plenty of things to see and do, we even decided to take the tour through the banana plantation, which was great value with plenty of local history explained during the tour and even a complimentary banana offered for you to devour during the tour.
We then finished our time at the Big Banana with a visit to the cafe, for some banana flavoured morning tea, followed by a visit to the gift shop for some souvenirs before taking off into the heart of Coffs Harbour for a look around.
The Big Golden Guitar – Tamworth,NSW.
Leaving the coast line behind in search of better weather, we travelled inland to the home of Australian Country Music, Tamworth, via the stunning Waterfall Way. Side note, if you enjoy a scenic drive, the Waterfall Way drive is an amazing drive across the Great Dividing Range.
On visiting Tamworth I had to visit and see the famous Big Golden Guitar. At 12 metres tall this is definitely a BIG THING attraction. Situated at the aptly named Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre in Tamworth, the oversized stringed instrument is hard to miss as you drive along the New England Highway.
Unveiled in 1988 by the King of Australian Country Music, Slim Dusty, the Big Golden Guitar is now almost as iconic as the great man himself.
The Big Ned Kelly – Glenrowan,VIC.
Finally returning to Victoria after 5 1/2 weeks on the road living out of our trusty Triton, The Big Ned Kelly at Glenrowan is the closet BIG THINGS attraction to our home.
Glenrowan, a town in the North East of Victoria, a town that certainly doesn’t shy away from its dramatic history that includes the infamous Kelly Gang siege of 1880, has immortalised itself, its history and the infamous bushranger and his gang with a large 6 metre statue of Ned Kelly in his home-made, plough disc armour suit.
The side entertainment of visiting some of Australia’s BIG THINGS attractions were not something we had planned on seeing or doing during this epic trip of ours, however I am glad we did as it was definitely an enjoyable addition to the trip, one we would not have experienced had we put the blinkers on and drove home with tunnel vision and has now planted the seed to visit more of these iconic attractions.