Big Things

Australia is a big country. Compared to other landmasses we have a lot of space and few people filling it. We come from a long line of invaders and colonisers.

Maybe these factors explain why we feel the need to build big monuments to mark our territory and take up land. The objects, everyday things magnified to gargantuan proportions, are symbols.  They say we are here, we are important, and look what we have done. Or maybe they say, ‘man oh man we need a paint job. And quit climbing on me, kid. Is this any way to treat a national icon?’

For most people Australia’s ‘Big Things’ are nostalgic reminders of road trips as a kid. Conveniently placed next to petrol stations so you can pee and beg exasperated parents for a Paddle Pop that will run all over your hands and stain the car seat. Some are good in a bad way and others are so awful they are immortal. Still we cling to them; we feel protective of them. As tacky as they are we adore them. They are the irreverent iconography of a country new to the idea of Western culture.

Strangest ‘Bloody Big Things’ in Astraya.

428px-Big_Boxing_Croc 1. The Big Boxing Crocodile – Humpty Doo

‘The Big Boxing Crocodile’ exists outside a petrol station on the Arnhem Highway in the Northern Territory, in a town called Humpty Doo. Even though the town is legitimately called ‘Humpty Doo’ this evidently wasn’t ocker enough. They reckoned they needed a big, belligerent looking crocodile.

The town has been eternalised in a Slim Dusty song titled the ‘Humpty Doo Waltz’, the chorus of which goes ‘Oh the lanterns were swinging and the beer it flowed free, and the patrons all sung themselves hoarse, and with sand flies an’ mozzies as swinging companions, we dance to the Humpty Doo Waltz.’

It is 8m x 8m. …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

big cigarette2. The Big Cigarette – Myrtleford

Located in the picturesque village of Myrtleford in rural Victoria, known for it’s boutique tourist trade and agricultural abundance, ‘The Big Cigarette’ stands out front of the Myrtleford Tobacco Co-Op on Yackandandah Road. Not to be confused with the town of Churchill’s  ‘Big Cigar.’

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potatopoo3. The Pig Potato – Robertson

There is nothing particularly strange about a big potato but this one looks like straight up poo. And Australia already has one of those (see below entry).

The pootato is 10 metres by 4 metres.

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PICEDITOR-ILM4. The Big Poo – Kiama

‘The Big Poo’ sits at the entrance to the town of Kiama, greeting tourists and locals with it’s big brown self as best as it knows how. It was originally built in protest of Sydney Water’s decision to dump effluent waste in the area.

Da poop is five metres long.

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5. Big Cat Thing – Milton, NSW

I could not find the name of this Big Thing. I am going to call it the ‘Big Cat Thing’, because in some parts of NSW there have been reports of pumas roaming the free lands. The NSW government even released an inquiry in 2003 stating yes, “more likely than not” there are big cat puma things that exist, prowling around areas in rural NSW/Victoria.

The town of Milton is a coastal tourist town at the foot of the Great Dividing Range. A big cat in Australia is pretty weird in itself, but the fact this one boasts the slogan ‘Families Welcome’ sandwiched between a giant pair of fangs and the Eureka Stockade flag takes it to a whole new level.

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Big_Koala_Dadswell_Bridge6. The Big Koala – Dadswell Bridge

I can never look at a koala the same way after learning more than half of them have chlamydia and they are all drunk and don’t have sex consensually. But still, they are national emblems and there are plenty of big koalas in Australia. This one is probably the best because it looks like a stoned old man with grey hair coming out of its ear lobes, and is wearing one of those classic straight-mouthed expressions. Like maybe someone has just found his porn collection or something.

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captain-cook-blog7. The Big Captain Cook – Cairns

Despite the fact Captain Cook never went to Cairns, the city unveiled a 14 metre statue in his image in 1972. In recent years it has been a source of controversy. The owner of the statue has decided he wants to re-paint it as George Washington, in pinstripes and stars. I can’t deny the Cap’n is in serious need of a wash and a lick of paint, but maybe they should move the discussion towards why he is heiling Hitler.

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bigpeanut8. The Big Peanut

‘The Big Peanut’ stands guard out front of a joint called The Peanut Place north of Tolga in the Atherton Tablelands. Its got the kind of eyes that follow you around the room, clocking you at every angle without even moving. Its mouth looks like a piece of processed meat and it is wearing a top hat.

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Big_Joint_Nimbin_NSW9. The Big Joint – Nimbin

This is a big joint. It is housed in The Nimbin Museum in Nimbin, northern NSW.

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dugong10. The Big Dugong – Rockhampton

At 22 by 12 metres this really is a ‘Big Dugong’. Built in 1992 he lives in the Dreamtime Cultural Centre off the Bruce Highway in Rockhampton. He looks sad. Kind of like he has a secret and you could help him if only you would listen but you are on the road and never stay in one place long enough to sort out the emotional issues of a 22 metre fibreglass dugong.

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 – By Angie Plummer.

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