Australia seems to be obsessed with bigger versions of regular things. There are an estimated 150+ big things littered all around Australia. Some began as tourist traps, while others began as works of folk art, but what all of them are now are a cult smash-hit. From the Big Banana - featuring as a major focus in the Dune Rats magnum opus Dalai Lama Big Banana Marijuana - to the 100 tonne Big Merino, this is one time where size really does matter. But not every big thing is equal, and today we’re the judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to deciding what some of Australia’s best big things are.
Image thanks to Smith’s Lawyers
With a population of just over 4,000 people, there isn’t a whole lot to do in Humpty Doo. But what Humpty Doo does have is probably our vote for Australia’s best big thing - and if not, number 1 it’s at least top 5. The incredibly underrated Big Boxing Crocodile was built in 1987 by Humpty Doo local, Marcel Britnal. Standing at 13 meters high, this fully stacked semi-aquatic statue was an expensive endeavor. The croc cost $137,000 back in 1987 (or ~$334,347 today after inflation) in order to be strong enough to beat down the competition, as well as stand up to its own Ivan Drago, the savage tropical cyclone. The Aussie Boxing Kangaroo never stands a chance.
Image thanks to Melbourne Tourism
That Papier-mâché looking body. Those giant wiry ear hairs. That expression that somehow says “I’m unimpressed by every other koala” and “I’ll fight you if you look at me the wrong way”. And those eyes. Those giant beady discolored eyes. This by far wins the scariest looking big thing in Australia, and we’ve even got The Big Funnel Web Spider.
Image thanks to Guinness World Records
Located in Dadswells Bridge, Victoria the Koala was built in 1989 on the tail end of the big thing boom. At 14 meters tall and a weight of 10 tonnes the sculpture was created by Ben Van Zetton. It’s got a store inside the koala, which feels a bit weird entering a giant animal, where you can buy all sorts of koala based tat. If you’re ever heading between Melbourne and Adelaide, why not stop off and say hey to this big Aussie icon.
Image thanks to TripAdvisor
While not Australia’s biggest guitar - that honour goes to Tamworth’s Big Golden Guitar - this is Australia’s biggest playable guitar (and the world’s second-biggest). Located in Narrandera, NSW this acoustic guitar was built by Robert Palmer in 1988 and took more than 300 hours to complete. The guitar is almost 6 meters long and takes two people to play and is almost exclusively used as a giant Wonderwall playing device. Or at least we hope so.
Image thanks to Coffs Coast
The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour is said to be one of Australia’s first big things, kicking off the big thing craze. Built by Alan Harvey in the span of just 3 months this 13m long bright yellow berry is about 70x as big as your average peelable plantain. The banana marks the entrance to the Big Banana Fun Park, but nobody really intends to stop off for the park alone. The Banana itself is the real attraction making it an Aussie tradition to stop off and say hi while travelling through Coffs down the East Coast. As always with many tourist traps, there’s a gift shop to mark the occasion you first visited this giant fruity foodstuff. If you’re passionate about your potassium, you’re in luck. The gift shop allows you to buy a bewildering bevy of banana related things. Including fresh bananas, dried bananas, banana lollies, chocolate-coated bananas and more. In the words of the great Gwen Stefani from her masterpiece ‘Hollaback Girl’, “This sh*t is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s”.
Image thanks to Atlas Obscura
Yet another fruity big thing. Fruit and veg seem to be a favourite when it comes to Australia's supersized statues. The Big Pineapple joins the ranks of the Big Apple (not the New York kind), the Big Avocado, The Big Banana, The Big Mango, The Mandarin, as well as many more among the community of big things. The Big Pineapple is indeed one big pineapple. The structure is about 16 meters high or about 64 pineapples high and was built as a kind of roadside advertisement for the tourist destination of the then Sunshine Plantation. The place is now actually pretty cool as it hosts the yearly Big Pineapple Music Festival and features some acts as big (or even bigger) than the pineapple itself.
Image thanks to Pedestrian.Tv
Alright. We said the Big Boxing Crocodile was the best, but the Big Wine Cask gives it a run for its money. This true blue Aussie icon, a monument to wild nights and bad decisions on a shoestring budget was built sometime around 2010 by the Stanley Winery in Buronga, New South Wales. Standing at 8 metres high, 11 metres long and 7 metres wide this garage-sized goon back could potentially hold 400,000 litres of sweet sweet boxed wine. Gives a whole new meaning to Fruity Lexia makes you sexier.
But now we come to the unfortunate part of this story. A national tragedy and the reason why this amazing monument lags behind the Big Boxing Crocodile in our list of best big things. The Big Wine Cask is no more. After Stanley’s parent company rebranded in 2012 and painted over the water purification plant turned giant wine dispenser, now turning it into a nondescript shed in the middle of woop-woop. We hope that after such a disaster, the Big Wine Cask is enjoying it’s time up with the Great Goon Bag in the sky.
Image thanks to Claire Garner
Honestly, what are we even doing here. The Big Potato in Robertson gets a lot of flack. And for good reason. This brown lump of condensed concrete disguised as an enlarged starch ball is barely an attraction. The unspectacular oversized spud was built in 1977 by the very proud local potato grower, Jim Mauger, and while the attraction was originally supposed to house a potato information centre it became too expensive and was instead left there, alone to silently contemplate its incompetency. Meaning that this overemphasised beige protuberance is as about as useful as the ‘ay’ in ‘okay’. I will however, give it props for being the target of a pretty great guerilla art installation back in 2010 when it was turned into The Big Mr. Potato Face.
Image thanks to Idiot4Hire