Big Things To See in Australia

If you had to name the big icons in Australia do you think you’d be able to come close to listing them all? We’ve got a curious history with our big icons in Australia and over the decades our list is growing.  Towns across Australia have picked up on the big icons theme; getting themselves on the map for the Big Icons of Australia.


If Wikipedia is right, Australia is tracking at over 150 big icons. Sticking with a theme of big fruits and animals, I’ve got some of my favourites listed but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.  The list goes on from mine, with the Big Barramundi, The Big Buffalo, The Big Bull, The Big Lobster, The Big Croc and a whole lot more.

Have you ever counted up your ‘Big Icon’ sightings, or even made an intentional plan to visit any?

Big Banana Coffs Harbour

BIG BANANA, COFFS HARBOUR, NSW

I remember my family road trips as a kid from Sydney up the North Coast of New South Wales, and my huge excitement seeing the Big Banana. As a pre-schooler, it seemed like the biggest thing I’d ever seen.  

The Big Banana is one of most famous of the big icons of Australia, and the first (as far as I can deduct from some online research). For me, it’s always the one I remember instantly; maybe the first big icon you see on your travels will always be the most memorable.  

Built in 1964 it was a stand alone icon in the banana growing region of the New South Wales mid north coast.  Now, the Big Banana adorns the front entry of the Big Banana Fun Park, Coffs Harbour.

The Big Strawberry VIC

BIG STRAWBERRY, KOONOOMOO VIC

BIG STRAWBERRY, KOONOOMOO VIC

There’s more than one reason for a visit to The Big Strawberry. Not just a fly by stop. Take a break at the Big Strawberry Café every day of the week, pick up some of their strawberry yummies; from jams and chutneys to strawberry wines and liqueurs. And if you’re after the freshest of strawberries, you can pick your own (in season).

A relatively newer addition to Australia’s line up of big fruits, the construction of the Big Strawberry icon started in 2004 and put in place by February 2005. It stands at over six metres tall and is 5 metres in diameter. 

And where’s Koonoomoo I here you ask? Not too far from Shepparton, Victoria or if you’re making your way down the Murray River, you can make a stop.

Big Potato Robertson NSW

BIG POTATO, SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS, NSW

I had no idea until very recently there was a Big Potato to add to the list of icons in Australia, and just ninety minutes from Sydney in the very pretty and historic Southern Highlands.  Never overlook a weekend away or a few nights in the highlands; it’s impressive how much you can see and do in the area.  There’s heaps of character with local pubs dating back to the mid to later 1880’s and an established wine industry. More recently there’s burgeoning ‘foodie’ industries like olive oil production, craft beer and local gin and whisky distilleries. Robertson, one of the local villages is home to the Big Potato.

Check out our new short break in The Southern Highlands (for 40 to 59 years) or this one coming up next year for over 45's.

The Big Pineapple, QLD

BIG PINEAPPLE, SUNSHINE COAST, QLD

Nambour on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland is home to The Big Pineapple, a 16-metre tall structure that opened in 1971 as a tourist attraction, and one of the early starters on the list of big things to see in Australia. The National Trust of Queensland declared it one of twelve Queensland icons and it is also heritage listed.  The Big Pineapple lost some of its glory over the years, lacking investment and maintenance. However, in more recent years, when the Wildlife HQ Zoo moved and built their new zoo at the icon, it provided a more positive outlook for the Big Pineapple and its days ahead.  When you visit The Big Pineapple you can visit the wildlife zoo, there’s a souvenir shop with pineapple themed mementos of course,  a pineapple train ride, and the new TreeTop Challenge high ropes and zipline course.

The Big Trout, NSW

BIG TROUT, ADAMINABY, NSW

Making your way to our Snowy mountains in New South Wales, you may want to stop by in Adaminaby to check out The Big Trout; and probably no surprise, it’s a top spot for some trout fishing. The Big Trout stands 10 metres tall and was completed in 1973 and putting the town on the map for the big icons of Australia.

Big Merino NSW

BIG MERINO, GOULBURN, NSW

Goulburn is a big wool-growing industry so it makes sense that if there is to be something big in town it would be a Big Merino. And it’s big…standing 15 metres high and also 21 metres long you can find it on the south side of town.

Just short of 200 kilometres from Sydney, heading south, Goulburn makes for a good stopping point for a break if you’re on the road, or otherwise a short getaway. The area is charming with a lot to do including wine tasting, and outdoor activities.
 

 

Big Prawn Ballina NSW

BIG PRAWN, BALLINA, NSW

Nothing like a giant crustacean to get your town listed in Australia’s growing list of big icons! It was first erected in 1989 and underwent a makeover and reopened in 2013. Ballina is pretty country and easily reached by road and by air. The Ballina airport is the gateway to popular Bryon Bay.

The Big Prawn stands 9 metres tall and it was thanks to Bunnings that it was able to have its significant makeover in 2013.

The Big Galah, Kimba, SA

The Big Galah, Kimba, SA

The Big Galah, Kimba, SA

This one has two big claims; it’s the Big Galah and that it’s town, Kimba claims to be the halfway point between the east and west coasts of Australia. Kimba is a rural town with a small population of less than 700 people. If you can make a stop in your travels at Kimba you’ll get the iconic photo of the Big Galah with the landmark sign in the background ‘Halfway Across Australia’ sign.

A more recent addition to the list of Big Icons of Austraila, erected in 1993, the Big Galah is around eight metres tall.   The galah is part of the cockatoo family, a very pretty pink breasted found in many parts of Australia. The bird itself is renowned for the famous Aussie but now more dated saying ‘You flamin’ galah’.  We all know what it means but for a non Aussie they might be wondering to what we’re referring.

I love coming across our Big Icons when I travel Australia, and I've had fun spotting icons in other countries too, like the big cabbage in Borneo, Malaysia I came across last year when I was exploring and planning our Borneo Highlights for solo travellers.

I am curious about just how many there are around the world. Perhaps another blog story.


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About the author

Justine Waddington

Justine Waddington is the founder and director of Encounter Travel, a company that creates holiday groups exclusively for solo travellers. As a solo traveller with 60 countries under her belt and 14 years of leading travel groups, Justine is in the unique position of being able to offer tips and advice from the perspective of an experienced solo traveller and also that of a travel agent.

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