Darwin Mayor wants to build a 'Big D' tourist attraction to rival Big Banana, Prawn


The city is looking to install a new monument "that creates that social media Instagram moment."

Darwin council has passed a motion to “get creative” with plans for a ‘big’ attraction to pull in tourists looking for that “social media Instagram moment”.

Alderman Sherry Cullen raised the idea at last night’s council meeting. Cullen’s suggestions ranged from a “giant pearl shell” to a “big croc that people can interact with by standing in its mouth pretending to push apart its jaws.”

“Darwin does not have anything like the Big Prawn or the Big Ram,” Darwin Lord Mayor Kon Vatskalis told The Feed.

The intention is to create something so that when someone sees it in a photograph they think, “Oh, this is Darwin.

Vatskalis put forward his own idea at the council meeting last night; a “Big D” on the Darwin foreshore.

According to reports from the ABC, it did not attract much of a response.

"That was something that came from my mind. It might not be the best idea," Vatskalis said.

“Other people were saying put the big barramundi or put a big crocodile. Let's put it all on the table and see what is the best.” 

Alderman Cullen’s proposal made it clear that the structure will be constructed with maximum social media reach in mind.

“My proposal is for land mark feature that creates that social media Instagram moment. The large, yet tasteful novelty architecture structure will become an iconic tourist trap,” the proposal said.

It also pointed towards a number of landmarks such as the leaning tower of Pisa, the Bali Swing and Coffs Harbour’s Big Banana.

A selection of 'big thing' examples from the proposal.
The Feed

Alderman Rebecca Want De Rowe, while supportive of the idea, remained concerned over the cost and the possible reaction from ratepayers.

“Let’s find out first what we want, then let’s find out what it will cost and then we can engage both the government and the private sector,” Vatskalis said.

"Putting up something like that in our land it could become something that will attract tourists, so it would be fair to ask them [the government] to put in something.”

Big structures causing big headaches

‘Big’ tourist attractions can be found scattered across the country.

Sites like the Big Merino and the Big Banana draw in thousands of tourists each year.

The Big Banana
Coffs Harbour's Big Banana
The Feed

In some cases, they don’t quite hit the mark.

Last year, the Gold Coast City Council commissioned a $2.1 million light installation from two New York-based artists to celebrate the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

Gold Coast
Artist's proposal of what the installation would look like.
The Feed

The art piece is made of 97 light poles constructed along a section of the Pacific Highway that spelt out “Gold Coast”.

Gold Coast
A driver's perspective of the art piece.

However, the council was inundated with complaints that the words were not visible while driving on the highway.

In January, the council's Transport and Infrastructure committee recommended the lights be removed and stored at a cost estimated to be $255,000.

Councillors voted to retain the lights but investigate possibly relocating them.

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