Big Axe – Kew

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big-axe-kewAccording to wiki, the axe was replaced in 2002 as a result of ant induced damage, well when I got there in 2014 it looked like it had seen better days already. Another replacement perhaps?  It was hard to find the whereabouts of the axe, the address I had was of the pacific hwy, but you definitely need to exit off into the township of Kew, there are pretty much two intersecting main streets (with a pub and servo on either corner), you want to go down the street that runs parallel to the pacific hwy, it’s pretty easy maybe a minutes drive and you’ll find the axe outside the visitor’s centre

Year: 1979
Size: 8m
Address: Kew Information Centre
133 Nancy Bird Walton Drive, Kew

Photo Taken: Jan 2014

Size ****
Accessibility
Aesthetics **
Unusual **
Location**
10/25 stars

Big Bowls Ball – Lake Cathie

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big_bowls-ball-lake-cathieI had super low expectations about this one, maybe my lack of knowledge about the sport of bowls and my fear of turning up just to see a painted sphere put me off but when we arrived the attention to detail sold me. Plus it was the first Big Thing I’ve encountered with a plaque at the bottom with all it’s facts! Why don’t all Big Things have this!!

Let’s admit it’s still on the small side in terms of Big Things and essentially still a sphere but hey I’ve definitely see worse! Now time for the overload of facts – thanks plaque!

Year: Sunday 16th November 1975 – Manufactured by Stan Kanaar – Unveiled by Reg Ellery
Size: Diameter 1.907m / Circumference  5.983m / Weight 2 tonnes
Address: Lake Cathie Bowling and Recreation Club
45 Evans Street Lake Cathie NSW 2445 (easy to spot when you’re driving through Lake Cathie which I found out was pronounced “cat-eye” who would of thought it!)

Photo Taken: Jan 2014

Size *
Accessibility**
Aesthetics **
Unusual *
Location**
8/25 stars

Big Beehive – Urunga

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big_bee_hive-urungaThe beehive isn’t a standout Big thing, it’s built into the Honey Place Shop and most of the hive exists inside, so it’s pretty darn commercial but hey I did pick up some delicious honey whilst I was there and it was my first time to see a big beehive :P

Size: 4m
Address: The Honey Place
8147 Pacific Highway Urunga NSW 2455 Australia
(Urunga is literally south of Coffs Harbour, you’d almost think it was still Coffs!)

Photo Taken: Jan 2014

Size **
Accessibility***** (restaurant was closed when we passed by so no going in for us!)
Aesthetics ***
Unusual **
Location*
13/25 stars

Big Windmill – Coffs Harbour

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big windmill - coffs-harbourThe big Windmill is one of those Big Things where you have to question, it’s big thing merit, I means windmills are pretty big already!  But to give it credit, it is an exceptionally big windmill, it has a restaurant inside (I’m not sure how many other windmills can boast that) and plus has a horrific back story…

“In 1968 Mr Franz de Keever, a Dutch architect working in Melbourne and his wife Rie purchased the six acre site with a view to building a motel and authentic Dutch restaurant. After completing ten motel units, construction on the Windmill Restaurant started in 1972. Originally the most difficult problem was finding the eight timber poles of the same size and width to support the structure. Finally after a long search Mr De Keever found what he was looking for in forests near Kempsey. However tragedy struck in 1974 when half way through the construction Mr De Keever fell while working on the frame of the mill. A small brass commemoration plaque with his initials “F.D.” is located outside at the base of the mill.

The site remained half finished until 1977 when Hans Eecen and his family called in to stay at “De Windmolen” as it was then named. After long discussions with Rie De Keever they purchased the motel and Hans set about completing the windmill. The blades or “wieken” were made in Holland by Harry Dercke who came out to assist with the assembly. It was officially opened in 1982 by the Ambassador from the Netherlands – a tribute to two very determined Dutchmen. Hans continued building onto the motel to complete the present 43 rooms.”source

So go visit it and pay respects to someone who believed in the Big Thing vision :)

Year: 1982
Size: 15m x 7m (guess-timation!)
Address: Comfort Inn Big Windmill
168 Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia 2450

Photo Taken: Jan 2014

Size *****
Accessibility**** (restaurant was closed when we passed by so no going in for us!)
Aesthetics ***
Unusual
Location*
13/25 stars

Big Bunch of Bananas – Coffs Harbour

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big bunch of banana-coffs-harbourIf you’re traveling south through Coffs Harbour you’ll encounter this big bunch of bananas on the main road after the Big Banana!  Again quite hard to miss and easy to pull over and grab a pic!  I was impressed with the bunch of bananas, even though they obviously live in another thing’s shadow (*cough* big banana *cough*) they are quite novel and well made and put a smile on my face.  Their downside is that they’re stuck on top of a fruit shop left to be overtly commercial :(

Size: 6m x 2m
Address: Cunninghams Bananas and Tomatoes (fruit & veg shop)
Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450 (southern end)
Australia

Photo Taken: Jan 2014

Size ***
Accessibility
Aesthetics ***
Unusual **
Location**
10/25 stars

Big Banana – Coffs Harbour

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big banana - coffs harbourAcclaimed as Australia’s first Big Thing and definitely up their in the top 5 of well known Big Things – I have to say I was disappointed when I finally got to see the Big Banana.  Not only did I have to line up to wait for a picture – what!! But it was much smaller than I thought it would be (it sneakily gets a lot of points for it’s size due to it’s length) but – unlike the prawn, it doesn’t make your jaw drop in grandeur!  It also has it’s name clearly marked on it – was that necessary? It’s highly commercial and although you can go inside, the inside only offers 2 secs of looking at posters before being ushered through by the people behind you (maybe we went at the wrong time of the year!).  It was fun to see, to tick it off my list, but yeah I’ve seen better :P

Size: 11m x 3m
Year: 1964
Address: The Big Banana
351 Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
Australia
(it’s literally impossible to miss as you drive through Coffs)

Photo Taken: Jan 2014

Size ****
Accessibility *****
Aesthetics ***
Unusual **
Location*
15/25 stars

Big Prawn – Ballina

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big-prawn-ballinaMy boyfriend shouted “I see it” and before I had time to clarify where, my jaw had dropped and I got a little misty eyed.  Coming in as one of our most acclaimed Big Things, I honestly had low expectations about the prawn -  I’d seen a lot of seafood related big things and they’d always fallen short of the wow factor.  Well not Mr Prawn, he exceeded every expectation.

As someone who loves Big Things I’ve never encountered a big thing before on such a scale and with such amazing construction and detail and to think in just 2009 Ballina council had approved it’s demolition.  Perhaps I wouldn’t of been singing the prawn’s praises quite as much if Bunnings (of all places) hadn’t of took over the project when they bought the land, moved him 100m onto new stilts, gave him a tail (finally) and a fresh coat of paint, setting them back $400,000.  I really can only sing their praises – looking back at photos of the old prawn – have a peak here and check out the bad graff he had to wear too, it’s one dramatic improvement- though I do wonder about those mysterious windows!  Really the only way I can fault the prawn is that you can’t touch him or go inside and the background is either the bunnings building or an empty lot :(

I will say though being on stilts is at least a step up (ha ha) from being on top of a building – where he used to sit.  He feels a lot more accessible now and a lot more amazing now he finally has a tail!

Size: 9m x 9m (including stilts)
Year: 1989
Address: Bunnings
507 River St, Ballina NSW 2478
Australia
(you’ll need to exit the pacific mwy to reach ballina)

Photo Taken: Jan 2014

Size *****
Accessibility *
Aesthetics *****
Unusual **
Location***
16/25 stars

(this is the only time my scoring system has let me down, I think the prawn’s sheer size – check out the photo (I’m the little peg at the bottom) and aesthetics alone almost make the prawn deserving of a close to perfect score – also I usually give seafood related big things 0/5 on the unusual but he is just so darn cool I bent my own rules!  Also did I mention I love prawns!!)

Big Pineapple – Ballina

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big pineapple ballinaSo I knew there used to be a second Big Pineapple at Gympie (no longer there unfortunately) but I had no idea there was a mini Big Pineapple at Ballina – woohoo.  I will warn you it is kind of odd and creepy (perhaps the best kind) located in a garden bed at a BP less than half a km away from the Big Prawn.  The best bit though, is you can go inside it!!

Size: 4m
Address: BP
484-484 River Street
West Ballina
(if you’re heading south, you’ll need to exit the pacific hwy to head into Ballina, from there it’s a few kilometres onto river rd – the BP is hard to miss!)

Photo Taken: Jan 2014

Size **
Accessibility *****
Aesthetics **
Unusual *
Location*
11/25 stars

Big Knight – Knockrow

big knight - KnockrowI loved this guy! He’s easy to find, big and unique :) Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to stop in at Macadamia Castle but for $18.50 we could of played with baby animals, mini golf and I believe their is a steam train too, woot!

Size: 7m
Address: The Macadamia Castle
1699 Pacific Highway Knockrow 2479 NSW Australia
Located 5 minutes south of Bangalow on the Pacific Highway (10 minutes North of Ballina)

Photo Taken: Jan 2014

Size ****
Accessibility ***
Aesthetics ****
Unusual ****
Location**
17/25 stars

Big Avocado – Duranbah

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big-avocado-DuranbahI was super surprised to see a big avo before I’d even made it to the Big Avo and looking back it was probably more impressive as well!   You’ll be able to pull over (not too dangerously) on the side of the Pacific Hwy to get the halved avo pic and then once you turn off for Tropical Fruit World it’s about 5kms of driving up a scenic mountain before arriving at the other big avo.  When we arrived Tropical Fruit World hadn’t opened yet but we still found the big avo located down the front of the carpark – all very accessible :) I thought the avo was okay, it wasn’t really that big and had a dorky advertising sign on it, I personally would of made the advertising look like an avocado sticker – you know just those little touches that make a Big Things great :) Just Saying!

Size: 4m
Year: 1983
Address: Tropical Fruit World
Duranbah Road
Duranbah, NSW, 2487
Australia
(once you spot the first halved Avo coming from North to South along the Pacific Hwy – take the turn off and follow the signs to Tropical Fruit World – about 5kms off the hwy)

Photo Taken: Jan 2014

Size **
Accessibility ***
Aesthetics **
Unusual *
Location**
10/25 stars

Big Reel – Gympie

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the big reel gympieI think it would be cruel of me to say this Big Reel in Gympie isn’t a big thing because it is big it just lacks that special-ness!  It’s also very commercial and commercial big things tend to always be low scorers!

Size: 1m x 1m
Address: ‘Fishermans Warehouse’
175 Brisbane Rd, Gympie QLD 4570
Photo Taken: 2013

SCORE CARD
Size *
Accessibility *
Aesthetics *
Unusual *
Location *
5/25 stars

Big Blue Boot – Mt Tarampa

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big blue boot Mt Tarampa

The Big Blue boot can be found out in the middle of whoop whoop or at least in Mt Tarampa; you’ll need to travel past farms to get there.  I recommend you tackle it on a West Inland trip (couple hours from Brisbane) so you can knock off the Big Bundy Bottle / Big Orange and the Big Elephant at the same time!

Now there’s a Courier Mail article explaining about the history of the Blue Boot and claiming it’s not the pair to the Brown Boot in Chermside.  Dave Allen (Boys Brigade State President) is stating as saying their boot is “not visually the same as the Chermside one”.  I’m going to call lies! The only difference I can see is the blue boot is blue (though originally brown when first used by Alan Sherlock when running for the seat of Ashgrove in 1989).  The Chermside boot does have longer laces but visually it’s the same and I have the authority to say that because I have a degree in Creative Industries :P  ALl jokes aside I really do think these boots were made by the same artist/designer and it’s awesome to know the shoes are now a pair! What do you think?

blue boot vs brown bootSize: 6m in length, 2m in height
Year: 1989?
Address: ‘Glengarry Education Centre’
370 Watson Rd, Mt Tarampa QLD
Photo Taken: 2013

Size **
Accessibility ***
Aesthetics ***
Unusual ***
Location **
13/25 stars

Big T-Rex – Coolum

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big trex coolumClive Palmer, mining magnate (worth a net worth of 8 billion) recently acquired the golf course/resort at Coolum and aptly re-named it ‘Palmer Coolum Resort’ :)  His new venture for the resort is adding 165 animatronic dinosaurs with Jeff the T-rex being the first.  Jeff is impressive but their is sort of a grey area with Dinosaurs as they are were, already big but then I’m contradicting myself because the Big Things aren’t ratio based, aka an ant ten times it’s size wouldn’t be considered a big thing now would it! Ahh the confusing life I lead.  Anyway all you need to know is Jeff is rad and I think he is well worth the visit.  Unfortunately though I didn’t see him move (animatronics to come??) but I did spy one other dinosaur “bones” which as you may of guessed is a skeleton of an Omeisaurus (brontosaurus looking thing).  I’ll add more dino pictures as the park continues to grow!

Size: 15m in length, 6m in height
Year: 2013
Address: ‘Palmer Coolum Resort’ 1 Warran Rd, Coolum Beach QLD 4573
Drive in the front gate of the resort and follow the signs to the visitors carpark, as you’re driving in you’ll cross a pond and if you look closely you’ll see Jeff standing tall! (1 minute drive to the carpark and a five minute walk to jeff)
Photo Taken: 2013
Size ****
Accessibility
Aesthetics ****
Unusual *
Location ****
13/25 stars

Big Barrel – Maleny

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big barrel_malenyJust like the Bundaberg Barrel, the Maleny Barrel is essentially just a cleverly designed building.  To make matters worse, Maleny’s Barrel is even smaller than Bundaberg’s Barrel but hey it’s still big :)

Size: 12m x 8m
Address: ‘Maleny Mountain Wines’
787 Landsborough Maleny Road, Maleny QLD (can’t miss it as you head along the main road to Maleny)
Photo Taken: 2013
Size ****
Accessibility *****
Aesthetics
Unusual
Location **
11/25 stars

Not So Big Pumpkin – Beaudesert

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big_pumpkin_beaudesertI was actually extremely embarrassed to pull over, get out of the car and take a picture of this monstrosity.  My lovely boyfriend accompanied me so I wouldn’t feel like such a weirdo!  This fruit shop either needs to, renovate this poor pumpkin, change their fruit shop’s name or just abandon the idea that their Big Pumpkin Fruit Shop needs a Big Pumpkin on top!

Receiving a whopping 0/25 Stars, I hereby remove this non-big thing off the Big Things of OZ, Big list!
Address: 92 Brisbane St, Beaudesert, QLD.
Photo Taken: 2013

Big Apple – Thulimbah (Stanthorpe)

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big_apple_thulimbahOkay normally I have a dislike for so called big apples.  Take the Acacia Ridge Apple or the Spreyton Apple but Thulimbah kills it!  Not only is Thulimbah’s Apple big, it’s also realistically well made.  The Big Apple sits on a pole outside a shed/café called Vincenzo’s but don’t be suckered in like I was and grab a meal there.  Not only did my not-so-cheap pizza take forever to come out, it was burnt when it arrived and I could only eat half of it (despite it being small and my hunger being huge).  They also managed to create an extremely average milkshake…mega disappointment!

Further Big Apple Facts (source)
“The original Big Apple, a Granny Smith, lived at the petrol station at Applethorpe from 1978, crafted by local artisan Johnny Ross. It went into temporary retirement in 2003 when the Applethorpe site was redeveloped. After a brief facelift, the re-grafted apple emerged as a Royal Gala apple slightly north of town at Thulimbah. Its new home is Vincenzo’s at the Big Apple”

Size: 4m
Year: 1978
Address: New England hwy, Thulimbah, outside Vincenzo Café.
Photo Taken: 2013

Size **
Accessibility
Aesthetics *****
Unusual *
Location****
12/25 stars

Big Pyramid – Ballandean

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big_pyramid-ballandeanThis was a surprise find as you can’t actually see the pyramid from the hwy.  If you’re stopping for a pic of Fruitisforus make sure you don’t forget to head down the back street and grab a pic of this pyramid.  Unlike most Big Things, this pyramid is on private property though considerately positioned, for tourist’s to grab a photo of (just don’t lean up against the electric fence!).  It cost Stuart Moreland $100,000 and took eight months to build (by Ken Stubberfield) using granite rocks on Stuart’s property.  Ingenious!

Size: 17.5m
Address: Jacobson Road, Ballandean.  The first left across the train tracks (after the Fruitisforus) and then the first right will get you onto Jacobson’s road.  Jacobson road runs parallel to the train tracks and if you travel 500 metres or so you won’t miss it!
Photo Taken: 2013

Size *****
Accessibility
Aesthetics ***
Unusual **
Location****
13/25 stars

Big Dinosaur – Ballandean

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big_dinosaur-balladeanIt’s always difficult when a ‘big thing’ isn’t actually that big for what it’s representing.  I’m no expert on dinosaurs or triceratops but I’m pretty sure, ‘Frutisforus’ (as he is lovingly named) falls on the small side.  Still Ballandean seems quite proud of their ‘big’ attraction and who am I to take away such town pride, by denouncing his Big Thing title.

A quick Google search brings up some trivia…
Originally made as a float for the 1998 Apple & Grape Festival when the local shopkeeper’s daughter was a queen entrant. After the festival the community put it by the roadside in front of the Ballandean railway station to stop passing traffic in a bid to sell fruit as a fundraiser for the local football club. It soon became a major attraction”

Size: 2.1m x 6.7m
Year: 1998
Address: New England Highway outside the Ballandean Railway Station (Can’t miss him as you travel through the small town of Ballandean)
Photo Taken: 2013

Size **
Accessibility **
Aesthetics *
Unusual
Location****
9/25 stars

Big Shark – Scarborough

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bigshark_scarboroughOn a family drive to Scarborough, just as we heading home, I caught a glimpse of something big from the corner of my eye.  I think I managed to splutter out the words, “large fish” before convincing the family to turn back for me.  On closer inspection, the topiary was more shark than fish, which actually made him even cooler.  Not sure about his size, the front part of the topiary is awesome but the back being slightly hidden hasn’t received as much manicured love, still it brings him up to about 5 metres I’d say!
Address: ‘Oyster Point Café’ 13 Thurecht Parade, Scarborough
Size: 5m
Photo Taken: 2013

Size ***
Accessibility *
Aesthetics ***
Unusual ***
Location
10/25 stars

Big Orange – Gayndah

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big orange_gayndahYou’ll spot this guy as you drive into Gayndah: the self-proclaimed orange capital of Queensland.  The Big Orange overlooks a citrus farm and has an adjacent building where you can grab a bite to eat.  I was hell bent on getting an orange juice from the Big Orange, tee-hee but was devastatingly told they were too busy to make any that day.  So be warned if you find yourself there on a Saturday they may be too busy for OJ making but not too busy to make a milkshake and burger, both of which I rated a pleasant 6.5/10
Size: 4m x 4m
Year: 1977
Address: As you enter Gayndah via the Burnett Highway
Photo Taken: 2012

Size **
Accessibility *****
Aesthetics **
Unusual *
Location *****
13/25 stars

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