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Here we bring you stories about the Australian fascination with Big Things.

MORE 'BIG THINGS' NEWS COMING SOON

Big Pineapple faces the chop

Courtesy SMH Online   17 June 2005

The Big Pineapple on Queensland's Sunshine Coast

One of Australia's best-loved "big things" - the Big Pineapple - is on the market and could soon fall victim to progress.

Residential developers are expected to snap up the 34-year-old tourist attraction which, in addition to the giant fruit, features 80 hectares of prime real estate on Queensland's Sunshine Coast hinterland.

The Big Pineapple agricultural tourist attraction is one of Australia's oldest "big things", second only to the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales.

The property, which includes the 16m-high fibreglass pineapple, was a smash hit with families when it was first opened in 1971 and has evolved into a much-loved feature.

But in recent years it has struggled to break even in the face of tough competition from Gold Coast theme parks and Steve Irwin's nearby Australia Zoo.

Last year the venue was put into liquidation, but dug itself out of debt.

Savills Sunshine Coast director Jerry O'Reilly, acting on behalf of the owners - the Sydney-based Hayes family - said they were no longer interested in maintaining the labour-intensive property.

"It's not one of their prime assets, they have other assets in Sydney and Melbourne, ... so they've decided that it's time for them to get out," he said.

Calling for expressions of interest on the property, which includes five separate land titles, Mr O'Reilly said buyers now had until July 27 to make an offer.

Mr O'Reilly said the Big Pineapple still had a lot to offer - either as a tourism destination or a development.

AAP

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THE BIG BANANA

Coffs Harbour’s and indeed Australia’s most famous icon would have to be THE BIG BANANA.

This 33 year old giant structure modeled on a prize winning banana is probably the most photographed object in Australia.  At any time of the day cameras are clicking away -  individuals,  couples,  honeymooners,  small groups,  families, whole coach loads of people - all recording their visit to The Big Banana.  Many are returning with children and grandchildren to continue a family tradition.  Frequently the comment has been;  “The Big Banana is not as big as I remember”.  Well,  it is still 11 metres long,  5 metres high,  and 2.4 metres wide but the surrounding developments have lessened its impact.

In 1995 The Big Banana moved - forward on the site,  up on a higher platform,  and sideways slightly to centre it between the buildings.  It now presents a more imposing facade once again.

Located just north of Coffs Harbour on the Pacific Highway, 565 kilometres north of Sydney and 450 kilometres south of Brisbane The Big Banana is always a favourite stopping place with people of all ages and has been for over 30 years.

With fun rides, educational tours and exhibitions, recreational activities, a variety of food experiences as well as several retail outlets, The Big Banana is “A FAMILY PLACE - SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE”.

The photo and information above is courtesy of the Big Banana web site.
For more information on the Big Banana please visit:  http://www.bigbanana.com/

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THE BIG GOLDEN GUITAR

The 12m high Big Golden Guitar weighs half a ton!

Standing prominently on the New England Highway on the southern approach to Tamworth, Australia's home of country music is the Big Golden Guitar.

A striking tribute to Tamworth's country music reputation, The Big Golden Guitar is a replica of the famous golden guitar used for Australia's Annual Country Music Awards. 

The Big Golden Guitar was unveiled by Australia's "King of Country Music" Slim Dusty in 1988 (Australia's Bicentennial Year). Slim has won more Golden Guitars than any other Australian Country Music recording artist.

The Guitar was commissioned by the original owners of the Golden Guitar Centre, Warwick Bennet and Max Ellis and made by Tamworth fibreglass manufacturer, Len Surtees, over a steel frame made by Steve 
Epps. 

Information courtesy of the Big Golden Guitar Tourist Centre web site.

For more information on the Big Golden Guitar please visit:  http://www.biggoldenguitar.com.au/

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THE BIG GUMBOOT

             March 3 2003  (Courtesy of the Sydney Morning Herald)

Australia's wettest town is hoping tourists will get a kick out of its controversial new eight-metre golden gumboot.

The giant boot was erected today in Tully, north Queensland, which in 1950 clinched the record for the country's highest annual rainfall with 7.93 metres.

It is the latest in a "big things" boom in the tropics, which includes Bowen's recently finished big mango and Sarina's big cane toad.

The struggling sugar town came up with the idea to attract tourists and cement its status as the rain capital, a title hotly debated by neighbours.

The golden gumboot was originally a rubber boot awarded to one of Australia's three wettest towns - Tully, Babinda or Innisfail - depending on which had the most yearly rainfall.

According to legend it became a two-horse race when Innisfail's rainfall dropped out of contention around the time the rain gauge was moved from the vicinity of the public toilets.

When Tully's Rotary Club decided to claim the gumboot permanently, Babinda, which has had more rainfall in recent years, responded with plans to build a giant umbrella.

The $30,000 boot was built on the Atherton Tablelands but the finish date was delayed by more than a month by heavy rain, said local councillor Ron Hunt.

"Because it's so big there was no shed big enough, so it had to be built outdoors," he said.

"And you wouldn't believe it, Millaa Millaa has more wet days than Tully - they don't have more rain, but it has more wet days."

Tully Rotarian Roger Chandler, who carved the green tree frog climbing up the boot, said opponents of the new attraction were not confined to Babinda.

"A lot of people (in Tully) think it's stupid; I've run into people who say 'that stupid-looking thing is down here already," he said.

"The town's divided into those who like it and those who hate it."

Millaa Millaa Sculptor Bryan Newell, who modelled the creation on his own gumboot, said the boot was already succeeding in drawing people to Tully.

The golden gumboot has been built to cyclone specification and was paid for by fundraising and local government grants.

A spiral staircase will be built into the heel over coming weeks, allowing visitors to climb up to a viewing platform.

Its progress from concept to reality was filmed by a documentary crew studying Australia's Big Thing phenomenon.

AAP

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BIG THIS AND BIG THAT

 Travellers in Australia usually do not get very far before they come across a “big” something or other.   About 3 km north of Coff’s Harbour, for instance,  is the Big Banana, an enormous yellow concrete banana.   The surrounding complex includes  various other tourist attractions.

 Other “big” items include the following:-  

 The Big Gold Panner, Bathurst, N.S.W.

 The Big Prawn, Ballina, N.S.W.

The Big Mandarin, Mundubbera Mundubbera, Queensland

The Big Orange, Berri, South Australia

The Big Oyster, Taree, N.S.W.

The Big Lobster, Kingston, South Australia

The Big Merino, Goulburn, N.S.W.

The Big Bull. Wauchope, N.S.W.

The Big Lizzie, Red Cliffs, Victoria

The Big Tree Goanna, Crystal Brook, South Australia

The Big Cheese, Bodalla, N.S.W.

The Big Rocking Horse, Gumeracha, South Australia

The Big Wool Bales, Hamilton, Victoria

The Big Ram, Wagin, Western Australia

The Big Winch, Coober Pedy, South Australia

The Big Barramundi, Daintree, Queensland

The Big Pineapple, Nambour, Queensland

The Big Cigar, Churchill, Victoria

The Big Penguin, Penguin, Tasmania

The Big Crocodile, Wyndham, Western Australia

The Big Orange, Gayndah, Queensland

The Big Bull, Rockhampton, Queensland

The Big Potato, Robertson, N.S.W.

The Big Golden Guitar, Tamworth, N.S.W.

The Big Roo, Border Village

The Big Tree, Pemberton, Western Australia

The Big Bowl of Fruit, Bilpin, N.S.W.

The Big Ned Kelly, Glen Rowan, Victoria

The Big Milkshake Container, Kyabram, Victoria

The Big Apple, Stanthorpe, Queensland

The Big Avocado, Byron Bay, N.S.W.

The Big Bottle, Mangrove Mountain, N.S.W.

The Big Macadamia, Nambour, Queensland

The Big Cow, Nambour, Queensland

The Big Orange, Tenterfield, N.S.W.

The Big Peanut, Tolga, Queensland

The Big Rock, Barrington Tops, N.S.W.

The Big Trout, Adaminaby, N.S.W.

The Big Windmill, Coff’s Harbour, N.S.W.