While Australia’s big things have the unsavoury history of being conceived as tourist traps, they have nonetheless found their way into the hearts of Australians, earning an iconic status in this great big land. A staggering 150 (estimated) big things are scattered across Australia, ranging from the infamous, anatomically correct Big Merino to the seemingly superfluous Big Ayers Rock. Many of these mammoth icons are geographically contextual, representing what is in abundance in the area – for example The Big Golden Guitar in Tamworth represents the home of country music, The Big Banana is in the heart of NSW banana country, and The Big Penguin is in a town aptly named, well, Penguin. Take a bite out of a few big (potentially edible) things showing off some of Australia’s quintessential food obsessions – let’s start under the sea, but unfortunately not in an octopus’ garden.
SBS Staff

18 Jan 2016 - 12:38 PM  UPDATED 18 Jan 2016 - 12:38 PM

1. The Big Prawn, Ballina NSW.


Fun fact – The Big Prawn didn’t always have a tail! It wasn’t until the site was taken over by an unnamed home improvement warehouse that The Big Prawn received a well-deserved face lift, making it look deliciously fresh-caught, the way we like it. In contrast to the town monument, the name Ballina may come from an aboriginal word meaning ‘place of many oysters’, but one thing is sure about prawns, the locals sure do love this iconic fruit of the sea.

Try this classic Australian recipe while the scorching summer sun is still shining…


2. The Big Pineapple, QLD.


Fun fact – pineapples contain an enzyme called bromelain that readily breaks down protein, so if you’ve ever wondered why it can produce a prickly sensation in your mouth it’s because the pineapple is trying to digest you!

Pineapple plants take approximately 20-24 months to flower and an additional 6 months to fruit, which means the above specimen in Woombye, QLD must have been growing for hundreds of years *ba-dum-tiss! Let’s try not to think about that, rather let’s eat them in delicious pies.


3.  The Big Oyster, Taree NSW.

Paying homage to one of the most divisive foods is The Big Oyster on the north coast of NSW – truth be told, you either love ‘em or hate ‘em, there’s no middle ground with this slimy specimen. An affordable delicacy in Australia, there seems to be a rift within the oyster-loving community, propelled by the question of whether they are best raw or cooked (think Kilpatrick)…

Without taking sides, here’s a tasty little recipe to sate your slurping desire.


4.  The Big Merino, NSW.

“Rambo” is a 15 metre tall adorable ball of fluff located near Goulburn in NSW – all evidence so far points towards him being the only un-herd-able Merino in Australia, probably due to his huge…ahem, courage. A true master of adaptability, Rambo moved out from home when the Hume Highway was opened (and bypassed him), to a location where he is better seen and appreciated, ‘at-a-boy Rambo.

For a slightly fancier Australia Day this year try this juicy chargrilled lamb (best not to mention this to Rambo, he may not take it very well…).


5. The Big Lobster, SA.

A fine-dining favourite the world over, this beauty in South Australia must have required an absurdly large lobster pot to capture. “Larry’s” home town of Kingston hosts some of the best fish and chips shops in the country and the Great Australian Bight locality features generously rich waters. Thankfully you don’t have to eat lobster with silver service – a brilliant trend appearing in Australia has seen the delicious meat served on brioche rolls, not out of place at a comfy pub with some live music in the beer garden, you bloody ripper.


6. The Big Banana, NSW.

Possibly the most well-known of our big things, The Big Banana makes a big yellow statement in Coffs Harbour, on the north coast of NSW. Unavoidable on the Pacific Highway, the presence of an ice-rink and fun zone around the giant fruit has become the bane of parents attempting to make good time on their road trip north, as it beckons to children and encourages a relentless barrage of “can we go, puh-leeeeease?”

Bananas should stop luring children to fun zones and should stay where they belong, in our pancakes.


7. The Big Mango, QLD.

This famous (infamous?) giant mango went walkabout in 2014, much to the dismay of the tropical fruit loving community and city block carving aficionados alike. As it turns out, The Big Mango wasn’t stolen but rather was the focus of a publicity stunt that shamelessly toyed with our emotions, evoking memories of the over-ripened mango that we didn’t consume in time that fateful summer #neverforget.

Don’t let any more mangoes suffer the fate of our neglect, make them into refreshing summer treats instead like these ice blocks!