I’ve intentionally led your minds to something dirty. Sorry for the inevitable anti-climax. Or is it? Because I don’t know about you, but I find Australia’s Big Things pretty exciting (read: hilarious).
Let me explain for those who don’t know of this phenomenon. Dotted around Australia are statues of Big Things. What sort of things, you ask? Literally anything.
There is… The Big Prawn, The Big Pineapple, The Big Koala (duh), The Big Aboriginal Hunting Man, The Big Trout, and so on. They’re tacky and they’re novelty to the highest degree, but when something like this takes off, you’ve got to hand it to the Aussies. It started with the Big Scotsman in Adelaide in 1963 and now there are multiple in each state. They’ve essentially become a way to attract tourists and are a great excuse for a road trip.
I first read about these wacky things in Bill Bryson’s Down Under (one of my favourite books and funnier than most – no, all – people in real life) and my mind went wild. Just how big were they? What did they look like? Were they impressive works of art or a little frightening?
Since I read about Bryson’s encounters with Big Things, I’ve seen two myself. Two now seems like such a measley number, but let’s remember… Australia’s huge, and I only covered the path between Sydney and Melbourne in this particular Big trip.
1. The Big Merino – the Hume Highway, New South Wales
Built as a nod to Goulburn’s wool industry in 1985 (see, there are reasons behind the madness!), the Big Merino stands over 15 metres tall, 18 metres long and weighs 97 tonnes. He’s been nicknamed Rambo, after a local ‘stud ram’… I don’t know either.
I apologise sincerely for the nature of these photos. But the Big Merino actually had Big Merino Balls… and I find that pretty funny.
2. The Big Rolling Pin – Wodonga, Victoria
I won’t lie, after The Big Merino, The Big Rolling Pin was a bit of a disappointment (that’s not your everyday sentence…). It sits on top of a bakery, but it’s in a place called Wodonga and that just rolls pretty amusingly off the tongue.
Here are some others…. If this doesn’t make you want to go to Australia, I don’t know what will.
The Big Lobster… aka Larry the Lobster in South Australia
The Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland
I’d like to mention that this Big Thing actually has an accompanying ride called the Nut Mobile. I really, really kid you not. (They grow macadamia nuts there.)
The Big Koala – or rather, it’s named the Giant Koala (one-upmanship at its best) in Victoria.
Quite frankly I’m surprised there hasn’t been a horror movie made around this Big Thing. Terrifying.