We spent about 18 months travelling the sunshine state, moving from the coast to the Outback and everywhere in between. During our travels across Queensland, capturing Big Things along the way (and creating a huge list) really added to our adventure!
It’s always fun to stop at the different Big Things along the way. The kids love to check them out and climb them if they can, plus they provide a great excuse to stretch your legs in a random and quirky way.
Checking Big Things in Queensland off the list while travelling has become a fun addition to many Aussie road trips.
The oversized sculptures are often found attached to a business as a way of promotion, so stopping for an obligatory photo and having a look at the business is a great way to support local Aussies along the way.
We’ve personally spotted over 150 BIG Things in Queensland, from the famous iconic structures to the obscure and lesser-known sculptures. This post shares our entire Queensland BIG Things list and map to help you with your own Big Things road trips and discoveries!
More Australian BIG Things:
Queensland BIG Things Map
Check out the interactive map including all Big Things in Queensland and across Australia. Don’t forget to download your printable checklist below to start ticking off your finds along your way!
QLD BIG Things Checklist
( DIGITAL & PRINTABLE )
150+ Big Things to find across Queensland!
|Or get the COMPLETE Australian BIG Things Checklist with 600+ items!|
150+ Queensland BIG Things
Here you’ll find every BIG Thing that I’m aware of in Queensland. Each one has been categorised alphabetically with a photo where possible (I’m still yet to visit a few myself).
If you know of any others (or of any detail changes), please let me know! I aim to keep this list as up to date as I can.
For road trip preparation, head to this handy travel packing essentials list.
BIG Aboriginal Woman ‘Kowaha’ & Her Baby
The Leap is a site in the Mackay area with a dark history. Back in 1867 a large group of 200 Aboriginal men, women and children were pursued by the Native Police Force after being accused of spearing cattle. They sought refuge in the caves at the top of Mt Mandarana. They were forced to jump off the cliffs of several hundred feet, rather than be captured.
The story of one woman (who died) still lives on as she was holding a baby in a blanket. Remarkably, the baby survived and still has living descendants in the area today.
The statue is called the BIG Aboriginal Woman ‘Kowaha’ & Her Baby, which lays tribute to all who lost their lives in the massacre.
There are some pretty awful stories of how the Native Police Officers were recruited, used to do the dirty work of some of the local officials, then framed or punished for the crimes committed. You can read more on the history of Australian Native Police here.
Visit ‘Kowaha’ & Her Baby at the Leap Hotel, which is along the Bruce Highway 21km west of Mackay. The hotel offers Free Camping for 24 hours for those who support the pub.
The BIG Ammonite is one of those unexpected random finds, which is located in Hughenden, Outback QLD.
Hughenden is part of the Dinosaur Trail where ancient dinosaur bones are being discovered all the time. Just up the road from this oversized fossil is the Flinders Discovery Centre filled with real-life relics.
At the Carrara Markets on the Gold Coast are three Big Things:
- BIG Kangaroo ‘Kat’
- BIG Shark ‘Steve’
- BIG Snake ‘Rob’
Out the front of the Big Apple Shopping Centre sits the actual BIG Apple. It’s not super dooper big and the shopping centre isn’t either. It looks like the apple needs some TLC, a bit of a letdown really.
Also known as the BIG Apple of Stanthorpe, this fella is actually just up the road at Thulimbah.
Vincenzo’s is the business that used to be at the site of the Big Apple, but apparently it suddenly closed down in May 2018. It used to be a Cafe and Deli with local produce, wine and gifts available. Who knows what the future holds for the building.
Out the front of Nashy’s Compleat Angler store in Mackay is the BIG Banana. It seems to be a strange icon for a fishing shop, but there is a bit of history behind this guy. Michael McEvoy who made this Big Banana ended up trying his luck with another Big Banana in Carnarvon, Western Australia. However it never met the same success as this guy in Mackay did.
Initially, half of the building was a fruit shop and the owner always had plans to open up a few mores stores around the country. The giant banana has been a local icon in the area for over 30 years. In May 2017, the owners of Nashy’s revamped the banana by giving him a new paint job and some sunnies.
The Big Barramundi Garden is home to the 6-metre BIG Barramundi in the Daintree Village. You’ll find a range of different foods available on the menu, such as Crocodile, Kangaroo, sea food and tropical salad.
This BIG Barra can be spotted on the side of the road amongst the green backdrop of Minbun, in Far North QLD. The big fish stands just outside of the Tarzali Lakes, a great recreational fishing spot.
If you’re looking for the Barramundi Capital of the North, you’ll find it in Normanton. They even host an annual Barra Comp.
So I guess it makes sense to have a 6-metre tall BIG Barramundi in front of the local Motel. Just remember, there’s a reason why the town is also host to the Big Crocodile. Let’s just say that it’s best to stay away from the waterways!
For many years, the BIG Barrel at Maleny has showcased local craft wines and brews, including Maleny Mountain Wines. Out of the blue in February 2019, the Big Barrel has shut down, with the closure being shrouded in mystery. Customers are now greeted by a sandwich board sign at the entrance stating, “The Big Barrel is permanently closed, sorry.”
BIG Bee Hive
Superbee Honeyworld at Currumbin has the coolest BIG Beehive entranceway!
- Learn about the process behind honey-making
- Chat to professional Beekeepers
- Taste test different types of honey
- Range of honey products on sale (jarred honey, royal jelly, beeswax products, cosmetics, honeycomb)
BIG Billiard Balls
On top of the Billiard Shop in Toowoomba are 14 BIG Billiard Balls. In store you’ll find everything to cater to your billiard needs – tables, repairs, accessories, removals and more.
BIG Bolt & Nut
Located in front of Banks Bolts & Fasteners is the BIG Bolt & Nut. These days it’s bright red and propped in the air. In days gone by it was gold and sitting in a garden.
We can only gather that it’s all about marketing the business – not a bad way to put yourself on the map.
Sitting somewhere in Boulia is the BIG Boomerang. Boulia is a tiny outback town famous for its annual Camel Races and Min Min Light. The town is about 305 km south of Mount Isa.
At the entrance to the Girringun Aboriginal Art Centre in Cardwell is where you’ll find two very BIG Boomerangs. In fact they frame the entrance to the building just beautifully.
An Aussie film ‘The Paperback Hero’ was filmed in 1999 at the Nindigully Pub. The BIG Boomerangs, which were in the movie, are still perched out the front for visitors to see.
If you look closely to your right, as you turn into the road leading to the Nindigully Pub, you’ll spot another BIG Boomerang hiding in the bushes.
On top of the Car Mine used car business sits the BIG Boot. The fibreglass boot was originally built in honour of the Morris Boot Factory, which was built in 1930 in Paddington.
In 1990 the boot moved to Chermside when the Morris Boot Factory was demolished. The boot was bought by the Boots Camping Shop, which is now long gone. The boot itself was constructed in 1976.
Legend has it that the BIG Blue Boot in Mount Tarampa is the other half of the pair to the one at Chermside. This doesn’t seem to be the case though as the Queensland Boys Brigade received it in the early 1990’s from Alan Sherlock who apparently used it in the 1989 State Election as advertising.
The boot was originally brown, but the Boy Brigade changed it to their own colour of blue. It’s mounted on a trailer, which was ferried around from the Redlands Strawberry Festival to Toowoomba’s Flower Carnival.
As it wasn’t cost effective to keep the trailer registered, it was decided to leave it parked at the front of the Glengarry Educational Centre site at Mount Tarampa, which is where it still sits today.
BIG Bowl & Pen
A local Proserpine Woodturning group fashioned a BIG Bowl back in 2002 to promote the groups annual Turnout. The huge wooden bowl is over 2.5 metres in diameter and was made using standard woodturning tools.
Then came the BIG Pen, which was built in competition to someone in America claiming to have the ‘biggest pen in the world’ at 6 feet (1.8 metres) long. So, the determined woodturners created an even bigger pen, which is 12 feet 8 inches (3.9 metres). It was turned out of a single Red Cedar tree trunk.
Both the BIG Bowl & Pen can now be found on display at the Proserpine Museum. Unfortunately it was closed when we were travelling through, so check the opening hours before you visit.
|Opening Hours||Monday – Friday (9am – 4pm)|
|Entry Prices||Adults – $6.00|
Children – $3.00
The BIG Brolga had been greeting travellers at the Townsville Information Centre since 1988. These days you won’t find it there anymore. It now sits out the front of the Murray’s Sporting Complex, also in Townsville.
A Brolga is a large Australian Crane, with many Aboriginal legends and dances based around the bird. They are well-known for their beautiful courting dance, where they jump up to a metre in the air and follow with head-bobbing, wing-beating, strutting, bowing and trumpeting.
BIG Bulls of Rockhampton x 6
The iconic BIG Bulls of Rockhampton have hung around the local streets for almost half a century! For as long as locals can remember, theft of the bulls’ testicles has been an ongoing issue. The council even employ someone to make replacements for the fellas.
In the lead up to the 2018 Beef Australia Expo, the council spent $15,000 revamping the bulls. Rockhampton is known as the Beef Capital of Australia so having a herd of bulls standing around the city makes complete sense.
The 6 Big Bulls include:
- 3 x Brahman Bulls
- 1 x Santa Gertrudis Bull
- 1 x Romagnola Bull
- 1 x Droughtmaster Bull
In fact as we zigzagged our way across the city in search of the 6 Big Bulls, we found quite a few more than that, so keep your eyes peeled.
The BIG Bulldog can be found at Theo Hansen Park, the home of the Brothers Bulldogs Junior Rugby League Club. I guess we can assume that the Bulldog is their mascot.
BIG Bundaberg Barrel
You can’t visit Bundaberg without snapping the BIG Bundaberg Barrel and the BIG Rum Bottle.
We were curious to see what was actually inside the Bundaberg Barrel, so I poked my head in to talk to the staff. Turns out you can do a really cool and interactive tour based around the production of the famous Bundaberg Soft Drinks and even get a complementary 6-pack to take home.
The pricing is pretty reasonable too – $18 per adult (including the 6-pack) and $6 for the kids.
BIG Bundaberg Rum Bottle
One of the most iconic things about Bundaberg is its BIG Bundaberg Rum Bottle. Even if you don’t do the factory tour, visitors are more than welcome to come and get their photo with the huge bottle out the front.
BIG Bundaberg Rum Bottle
Yep, another BIG Bundaberg Rum Bottle. This one is is Haigslea on the outskirts of Ipswich. The Sundowner Hotel, which is where the Big Bottle sits, was originally built in 1870.
BIG Bundaberg Rum Bottle
Yep, there are more than one BIG Bundaberg Rum Bottles in Queensland, in fact there are three that I know of. This one sits out the front of a drive-through bottle shop and isn’t as big as the original one in Bundaberg.
Over the past five years (from around 2014) the Townsville Cultural Festival has created a range of large sculptures as part of the lead up to their 25th anniversary. Each year the sculptures are ceremoniously paraded through the streets of Townsville on trailers and lead to the festival.
The sculptures include:
- BIG Mother Earth
- BIG Slim Dusty
- BIG Johnathan Thurston
- BIG Ned Kelly
- BIG Aussie Swagman
- BIG Aboriginal Elder King Bundawal
- BIG Koala
Don’t you just love those random Big Thing finds! Well, the BIG Camel was one of those for us.
We were actually on our way back to Rockhampton from Yeppoon and we decided to take a different route back. Low and behold, there’s a huge camel on someone’s property with a sign saying Big Camel.
We did drive in and get a photo, but didn’t see anyone around to talk to.
Check out the BIG Can on the roof of Liquor Legends in Home Hill! Home Hill is predominantly a sugar cane growing area in the Burdekin region of North Queensland.
BIG Cane Toad “Buffy”
‘Buffy’ is the fondly nicknamed BIG Cane Toad found in the main street of Sarina.
The original toad was fashioned out of paper mache back in 1983 as a float for the sugar cane festival. Further down the track it was cast in fibreglass to become a permanent statue for the town, based around the local farming history.
Although it’s only a small town, there are still a handful of things to do in Sarina for some family entertainment as you’re travelling up or down the coast.
BIG Captain Cook
The BIG Captain Cook stands tall and proud in Cairns. I’m still yet to capture this guy myself. He apparently used to stand outside the Captain Cook Backpackers Hostel since the 1960’s and is a huge 10 metres tall.
BIG Cartoon Characters
Spotted around a park in Mackay are four big characters for kids to play around:
- BIG Fred Flintstone
- BIG Snoopy
- BIG Mother Hubbard’s Shoe
- BIG Crocodile
If you’re visiting the Cassowary Coast, you may be lucky enough to spot the elusive Cassowary. They’re a large, flightless bird, native to the northern tropics of Australia with a striking blue neck and large crest of their head.
Be aware that they can be very dangerous and can disembowel a human with their large talons, so don’t get too close! The BIG Cassowary is about 5 metres tall and sits behind a local shopping village.
Here’s a random find we spotted while visiting Townsville. This BIG Chair sits out the front of SunCity Harley-Davidson motorcycle shop as bright orange advertising for the business.
BIG Cheese & Milk Can
Outside the Maleny Cheese Factory you’ll find two Big Things. The first one that you’ll probably spot is the BIG Cheese, which sits on the roadside with an ‘Open/ Closed’ sign advertising the business. If you head into the driveway you’ll also find a BIG Milk Can outside the factory.
The Maleny Cheese Factory is well known for it’s boutique cheeses and yoghurts, which are produced with fresh milk from suppliers in the local area.
Cicadas are a rather noisy bug typically found in trees. You can hear them singing their song during the day in the warmer months of year, particularly in the more temperate and tropical climates.
‘Hiding’ in the middle of a busy road in South Brisbane is the BIG Cicada with its rainbow translucent colourings.
BIG Coat Hanger
The BIG Coat Hanger is the perfect advertisement for Oz Wardrobes in Wacol, which is pretty self explanatory.
In front of the Mossman Hotel Holiday Villas sits the BIG Cockatoo on its perch.
BIG Corn Cob & BIG Mango
Out the front of the Sweet Corn & Mango Place in Aye are the BIG Corn Cob & BIG Mango. They’ve been nicknamed ‘Ollie the Sweet Cobb’ and ‘Henry the Mango Man.’
The BIG Cow sat at Kulangoor in the Sunshine Coast for years. It was originally built to advertise a working dairy farm in the 1970’s and attract tourists into the business.
Hugh Anderson, the very same sculptor who created the Big Bulls of Rockhampton, is the artist responsible for the Big Cow. It’s seven times bigger than an Ayrshire Cow, which is what it’s based on. These days the Big Cow can be found at Highfields Pioneer Village.
Cardwell is a coastal town that is proud of its seafood, as you’ll see driving along the main street. Seaview Deli Cafe is not only famous for it’s Mud Crab Burgers, but it’s also the home of a very BIG Crab. You can even sit on the oversized chair below the crab to get a selfie.
Sitting on top of the Shell Service Station in Miriam Vale is the BIG Crab, which is 2 metres high. It was created in 1979 by the owner of the day who wanted to promote his Crab Sandwiches.
Guests visiting the popular Australia Zoo will be able to check out the BIG Crocodile, which is inside the park. ‘Cameron’ the croc was created at the park in 2004, weighing in at 930 kg and sits 8.23 metres in length.
The replica is based on the potential size of a real saltwater crocodile that could still exist today if the conditions were perfect for them. As they weren’t almost hunted to extinction in the 1970’s, it’s very rare to find such big crocs in the wild.
|Opening Hours||9.00am – 5.00pm Daily|
|Entry Prices||Adult – $64.95 |
Child – $39.95
Pension – $54.95
Family – From $191.95
Nome is known to be a hotspot for saltwater crocodiles in Townsville, hence why it’s also home to a BIG Crocodile outside the Visitor Information Centre. The area of Nome is surrounded by a large marshland full of fish, which of course brings in the crocodiles.
BIG Crocodile – ‘Krys’ the Savannah King
There once was a 8.6 metre saltwater crocodile that lived in the waters near Normanton in the far north. It was the 1950’s, croc hunting was rife and crocodiles skins were worth a mint.
A Polish crocodile hunter by the name of Krystina Pawlowski shot this guy dead, but lived to regret it. It turns out that we was too big to move and his skin was too old to use. She then turned conservationist and both her and her husband were instrumental in the protection of crocodiles and helped put an end to their hunting.
To commemorate the whole series of events, the BIG Crocodile stalks the main street of Normanton as a reminder of his past and to show just how big he is said to have been. Speculation still surrounds the truth of his size to this day.
BIG Crocodile on a Boat
Here’s an unlikely find that we came across as we wandered into St Lawrence looking for a dump point and some water. As we stopped at the pub to ask for some local advice, we realised we’d parked right next to this BIG Crocodile on a Boat!
It’s super cool and a little bit random. Apparently the publican is always adding things to it in the spirit of enticing tourists in from the highway.
BIG Crocodile Head
As the Daintree is home to a large population of salt water crocodiles, it’s only fitting that the BIG Crocodile Head lives there. It’s quite large at about 2 metres high and I believe it’s one of the cool ‘Bigs’ that you can walk through to enter a doorway.
BIG Cunnamulla Fella
The BIG Cunnamulla Fella is a tribute to the famous Aussie bush character and song, which was written by Stan Coster and performed by Slim Dusty. The statue is made of bronze and is double that of life size.
Out the front of Newlife Upholstery, a furniture recovery and redesign shop in Arundel, sits the BIG Deckchair. I mean, it’s not huge, but it’s certainly bigger than a regular deckchair.
BIG Deckchair (World’s Biggest)
The BIG Deckchair, which now sits in the old Open Air Theatre in Winton, was originally built by Freemasons Task Force Victoria for an event. It was donated by a member that was passing through Winton and saw the deckchair theatre.
Although it hasn’t been officially recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records, it is still 7 times the size of a normal deckchair – so that counts for something, right?
The BIG Dinosaur was originally built for an apple and grape festival float in 1998. It was nicknamed ‘Fruitisforus’ due to its popularity and now sit refurbished outside the Ballandean Railway Station.
Inside the Dreamtime Cultural Centre in Rockhampton lies the BIG Dugong. When I say big, I mean big – this guy is 22 metres long!
For those who don’t know, a Dugong is a marine mammal which can weight up to about 300kg. Dugongs are generally found in warm, coastal waters and feed on seagrass.
To view the Big Dugong, you’ll have to pay admission into the Dreamtime Cultural Centre.
|DREAMTIME CULTURAL CENTRE|
|Opening Hours||9.00am – 3.30pm (Monday – Friday)|
|Entry Prices||Adults – $16|
Children – $8
Seniors – $12
One of the most iconic sculptures of the Gold Coast would have to be the BIG Eagle made of iron. It sits atop the Kirra Hill lookout, which affords the most spectacular views over the surrounding beaches and headland. It’s also a popular spot for sunrise and sunset viewing.
This BIG Easel is particularly special. It’s said to be the world’s biggest painting in the world on an easel.
Emerald is one of seven sites around the world where artist Cameron Cross chose to put a reproduction of Van Gogh’s painting ‘Sunflowers.’ Each of the sites are chosen due to their significance to sunflowers or Van Gogh himself. Emerald was chosen for its growing of sunflowers, plus its annual Sunflower Festival.
BIG Fishing Reel
On top of the Fisherman’s Warehouse in Gympie is the BIG Fishing Reel. There is no associated information behind the large fishing reel, so it’s obviously marketing material for the fishing store.
BIG Fishing Reel
Another BIG Fishing Reel is located at Davo’s Northshore Bait & Tackle in Marcoola.
BIG Fishing Rod
A BIG Fishing Rod was added to the Wyaralong Dam Sculpture Park in 2015. The local artist is named Silvio Apponi.
The whole sculpture park is estimated to be worth around $180,000 with much of the money being raised at a local festival ‘Arts in the Olives’, held annually in the nearby Lost World Valley.
BIG Frilled-neck Lizard
Eulo is the tiny Outback town where you can experience the annual Lizard Racing event. As the town has adopted the Frilled-neck Lizard as their symbol, they’ve erected a 6 metre BIG Frilled-neck Lizard for all to gaze upon.
Inside the Laidley Landscaping Supplies yard is a BIG Frog with a top hat to boot! The business was closed when we visited, but we could still capture a snap of the green creature from the roadside.
There doesn’t seem to be much information around the meaning behind the BIG Frog at Yungaburra. We can tell you that it’s out the front of a petrol station/ mechanics workshop in the Atherton Tablelands called Pit Stop.
The BIG ‘G’ at the entrance to the Gracemere Industrial Estate in Rockhampton now has a spot on the Queensland Big Things list.
It was designed by Gibb Group, the developers of the Gracemere Industry Park, with the ‘G’ actually being an oversized version of their logo. The oversized G was created in 2015 out of 5 tonnes worth of steel and is 5.5 metre wide x 6 metre high. At night it looks pretty cool as it’s lit up with LED lights.
BIG Gem (Sapphire)
Roger Chapman is the guy behind the BIG Sapphire Gem in Anakie, Central Queensland.
The story goes that he ventured out to Australia from England in 1969 and fell in love with the place. He lived in Sapphire from 1971 to 1975 mining sapphires, which funded his future travels. He reckons he was earning about $1,500 a week back then.
From The Gemfields he moved to Gladstone where he owned a fibreglass manufacturing business. The owner of the Anakie Post Office had a grand idea of creating a Big Sapphire to help attract business. Mr Chapman was approached with the idea and took it on.
BIG Gilbert’s Dragon
As you enter Croydon from the east you’ll probably notice a big yellow entry sign with symbolic bits and bobs. One of those things is a BIG Gilbert’s Dragon.
The Gilbert’s Dragon is also known as a Shaky Paws Lizard, which is a reptile found in the local region. The oversized sculpture has been around since mid 2016.
BIG Gingerbread Man
Yandina hosts The Ginger Factory, which is where the BIG Gingerbread Man lives. In fact he’ll greet you as you walk up to the entrance out the front.
The Ginger Factory offers lots of things for tourists to get stuck into:
- Factory Tour & Tasting
- Ginger Town
- Ginger Train
- Overboard Boat Ride
- Kids Play Area
- Ginger Shop
- Ice Creamery
- Live Bee Show & Tastings
See the Ginger Factory website for current pricing and information.
I was a bit sceptical about the BIG Giraffe in Bororen. I mean, it doesn’t look that big in the photos. But to stand underneath (or beside it), it was actually really big! Is the Big Giraffe larger than a regular-sized giraffe? I’m not sure, but it’s pretty cool nonetheless.
BIG Girl & Her Bear
Perched on the hill sit the BIG Girl ‘Maddie’ & Her Bear. There she sits with a prime view of the world as it passes her by.
BIG Gold Nugget
Croydon was once a booming Gold Rush town back in the 1800’s. As you walk through town it’s hard to imagine that it once had so many thousands of people living there that no less than 36 pubs were called for!
It’s well worth taking a wander through the old Town Hall and other buildings still preserved for tourists and locals. Outside of the Croydon Visitor Information Centre is a BIG Gold Nugget.
BIG Golden Gumboot
Tully, along with the neighbouring town of Babinda, are infamously known as the wettest towns in Australia, with over 150 days of rainfall each and every year. There’s been a tradition since 1970, that whichever towns receives the most rainfall gets presented with a golden gumboot.
The BIG Golden Gumboot pays tribute to the Tully’s highest recorded annual rainfall of 7.93 metres in the year 1950! It’s almost 8 metres tall and was erected by the Tully Lions and Rotary Clubs at a cost of around $90,000.
This would have to be one of our favourite Big Things so far because you can actually climb the spiral staircase inside and check out the views from the top. It’s totally free to enter.
BIG Golf Ball
BIG Golf Balls are one of those super common Big Things. We decided pretty early on in our Big Things Tour to only count them if they’re absolutely huge or special is some other way.
This one at the House of Golf in Hervey Bay was pretty big and tickled our fancy. It advertises the business, which is a Driving Range as it sits perched on top of a tee.
Another one of Gold Coast’s iconic figures is the BIG Guitar at the Hardrock Cafe. The giant guitar has sat on the corner of Cavill Avenue and Surfers Paradise Boulevard since 1996.
You can’t miss the 25 metre neon Gibson Les Paul Standard replica as you cruise down the main drag. It’s estimated to be worth $500,000!
This is a good example of a Big Thing that we don’t reckon should make the list. Just because the shopping complex is named The BIG Gun and they have a regular sized military gun on the roof, doesn’t really make it a Big.
But… it does seem to be on many Big Thing lists, so we’ll include it here anyhow.
BIG Hand Cane Cutters
This pair of BIG Hand Cane Cutters in Home Hill are ginormous, weighing in at 20 tonnes and are 3.5 metres high. They are both made from steel and cement.
Back in May 2016, the sculptures were put into place to represent the multicultural history of the sugar cane in Australia. The industry as we know it today has all been made possible by Indigenous, South Sea Islander and European Australians. The Burdekin area is the largest sugar producing region in Australia today.
In Benaraby you’ll find the BIG Hands with a barramundi in between. The sculpture is aptly named, “It was that big.” The big workers hands are made from rusted metal (showcasing the earthy colours of the area), while the barramundi is made from aluminium.
It Was That Big!
The Big Hands were constructed in Melbourne by Chris Vassallo (sculptor) with the cost coming in at over $100,000. Apparently it (almost) looks better at night when it’s lit up, than it does during the day.
Out the front of the Lift Art Gallery in Maleny is a gorgeous silver BIG Harp. While it’s not huge, it’s a pretty cool novelty and worth checking out if you’re in the Maleny area.
BIG Hot Water System
Here’s a Queensland Big Thing that I cannot find any information about. The BIG Hot Water System in Owanyilla.
My ex had seen it on the side of the highway loads of times, so when drove past together I had my phone ready to snap it as we zoomed past. If you look very closely there is a sticker around the front reading “Quantum,” so I can gather that it was originally put there as advertising for a business.
BIG Jam Jars
Out the front of Jamworks in Glen Aplin are two BIG Jam Jars. These were kind of a random find, but pretty cool!
BIG Jim Beam Can
Beside the drive through bottle shop at the Park Ridge Tavern is the BIG Jim Beam Can. The Tavern is quite big and has all of the usual offerings – meals, grog, pokies and regular entertainment.
The BIG Kangaroo in Charleville is called Matilda, a bit like the one at Kybong. I can’t find anymore information connected to the ‘why’ or ‘how’ of this sculpture.
BIG Kangaroo ‘Matilda’
‘Matilda’ the BIG Kangaroo was Australia’s official mascot for the Commonwealth Games in 1982. She was famous for winking at the crowd when she did her lap of honour in Brisbane at the Opening Ceremony.
These days the 13-metre high marsupial stands behind the Puma Service Station in Kybong. Before making home at the Petrol Station and Rest Area in 2011, she spent 20 years at Wet ‘n’ Wild on the Gold Coast.
Shane Christensen (sculptor) carved a gorgeous BIG Kookaburra into a tree trunk, which now lives at the Mons Playgroup in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
Kronosaurus Corner is a part of the Australian Dinosaur Trail, with this museum being dedicated to ancient marine life. Richmond might sit on dust and dirt these days, but once upon a time it used to be a thriving inland sea.
The BIG Kronosaurus adds a lovely splash of colour to the town and guards the entrance to the museum.
BIG Lawn Bowl
The Manly Bowls Club has a pretty cool BIG Lawn Bowl as part of its advertising out the front. It offers barefoot bowls, club membership, food and drinks.
John Olsen is the sculptor behind the BIG Lungfish made from recycled metals in Bundaberg. The idea is for your mind to fill in the gaps. He hangs out on the Burnett River boardwalk.
BIG Macadamia Nut
The BIG Macadamia Nut was built at the Big Pineapple park by the owners six years after the Big Pineapple itself came about.
It was originally part of the Nut Country Tour, before being converted to the Rainforest Creatures of the Night exhibit in 2000. As of 2013 the building sits vacant.
BIG Magpie & Nest
Sitting atop the Miriam Vale Sporting Complex roof is the two-metre high BIG Magpie & Nest. He’s fondly named ‘Owe’e’ and serves as the official mascot for the Miriam Vale Magpies (rugby league team) and the town as a whole.
Dave Halloran from the Bororen Furniture Shop constructed the big bird and nest with a fibreglass mould. Owe’e is said to be the icing on the cake for the town who’ve created a fantastic Sporting Complex through fundraising, grants and community support.
The BIG Mandarin can be found at the Big Mandarin Caravan Park in Mundubbera. It’s about 9 metres high which doubles as a kiosk for the caravan park.
It was fashioned based on the Ellendale Mandarin and was made from fibreglass.
The BIG Mango of Bowen is one of Queensland’s most iconic Big Things, although it’s only been around since 2002. It’s made from fibreglass and cost around $90,000 to construct the 7 tonne sculpture.
Back in February 2014, the giant mango was stolen! Apparently thieves turned up in the middle of a night and loaded it into the back of a truck. It appeared not too far down the road, hidden under some branches and a tarp. It turns out it was merely a publicity stunt by Nando’s.
As they say, any publicity is good publicity!
It was a fair bit bigger than I was expecting and had a cute little ant painted on it.
BIG Mango (small)
Following the great Nando’s Mango Heist of 2014, they actually gifted the town a mini BIG Mango. This smaller protege lives at the entrance to the jetty.
BIG Mango Man
Heidi and Alf are the owners of the Frosty Mango in North Queensland, which is where you’ll find the BIG Mango Man.
Ten years before the oversized mango was added to the front of the ice cream store, Heidi designed him as their logo and he’s been used for all advertising and merchandise since then.
They made the decision to make a real life version back in 2014. He cost the couple nearly $30,000, including the delivery from Townsville. He’s also cyclone-proof and sits on a 3 metre deep concrete foundation.
The BIG Marlin, standing 8 metres high, lives outside the Stockland Shopping Centre in Cairns. The coastline from Cooktown to just south of Cairns is known as the ‘Marlin Coast,’ so this guys serves as a reminder that you’re in Marlin territory.
BIG Meat Ant
We first thought the the BIG Meat Ant in Augathella was all about the millions of Meat Ants in the area. Turns out that’s not the case at all. The oversized sculpture on a pole is the local footy teams mascot.
The BIG Miner sits outside Bobby Dazzler Mine in Rubyvale, The Gemfields.
At Bobby Dazzlers you can fossick for sapphires at the Fossicking Park, browse the Gift Shop full of beautiful pieces, take an Underground Sapphire Mine Tour, take guided Boot Camp Fossicking Workshop or have a coffee at the Cafe. There are loads of things to do in The Gemfields of Central Queensland.
A BIG Mower is the perfect marketing tool for the the Big Mower store in Beerwah. It originates back to 1974 and 11m x 3.6m.
BIG Murray Cod
Goondiwindi Lions Club celebrated their 50th anniversary with the unveiling of a BIG Murray Cod in September 2015. It’s said to be the town’s famous local fish.
The giant statue is made from fibreglass and is 6.5 metres tall. A company called ‘Natureworks’ are the creators, who’ve also created models for Sea World.
BIG Muttaburra Dinosaur
Muttaburra is the site of the discovery of the Muttaburrasaurus in 1963, which is one of Australia’s largest dinosaurs. The towns hosts a full-sized replica which we call the BIG Muttaburra Dinosaur.
They believe that the dinosaur was 12 metres long and 2 metres high, weighing in at 15 tonnes! The species lived 100 million years ago in herd and was a herbivore.
In the main street of Hughenden stands the BIG Muttaburrasaurus out the front of the old Grand Hotel. Inside the Flinders Discovery Centre is a life-size skeleton of the Muttaburrasaurus.
BIG Ned Kelly
A BIG Ned Kelly stands tall out the front of Kelly’s Motel in Maryborough.
As far as we’re aware, Ned Kelly and his gang never came to Queensland, but there are a few rumours going around as to how and why there’s a giant Ned Kelly there.
Some of the rumours include:
- Kelly’s Motel used to have a restaurant, both of which were very well-known in the town. Sometime in the 1960’s or 1970’s, the Big Ned Kelly appeared as a promotion for the business.
- The Kelly’s Motel owner was a Ned Kelly enthusiast and thought the giant Ned would attract tourists.
The Motel’s slogan – “Where you’re treated as one of the gang!”
The BIG Orange in Crowley Vale is about the same size as the Big Apple at Acacia Ridge. It’s no surprise that the sculpture advertises a fruit & veg shop.
Since Gayndah is known as the citrus capital of Queensland, it’s only fitting that it’s the home of the BIG Orange. Visitors stopping by from April to October can taste the fresh citrus juice grown on the property.
The cool thing about the Big Orange is that you can walk inside and read more about the history of the region, with old newspaper clippings and more.
Every two years Gayndah hosts a week-long orange festival filled with street parades and markets, plus citrus eating, throwing and packing competitions. The festival is usually held in April/ May and has been going for over 60 years.
In the Atherton Tablelands is the BIG Peanut in Tolga. He stands out the front of the Peanut Place, producers of Hi Oleic peanuts and peanut products. Pop in and grab some locally produced goods while you’re there.
‘Pelican Pete’ (as he was known to the locals) is a BIG Pelican sculpture which was built in 1977 to be a part of a council float for the Festival of the Waters street parade.
It was constructed out of paper mache over a metal frame. He was able to rotate his head, blink his eyelashes, open and shut his bill, flap his wings and wiggle his tail.
Two people would sit inside to operate the pelican with levers, pulleys and a cable. There is also a seat in the back for a passenger to ride and wave to the crowd. ‘Pelican Pete’ evolved into ‘Percy the Pelican’ (possibly after ‘Mr Percival’ from Storm Boy).
In the 1980’s he sat in front of the Noosa Lakes Motel. These days he rests near the Pelican Boat Hire business on Gympie Terrace.
BIG Pick, Shovel & Sieve
Outside the Blue Gem Caravan Park and Service Station in Sapphire is the BIG Pick, Shovel & Sieve. Being a sapphire mining community, these items represent the tools of the trade.
The artistic creators are Barry Richardson and David Gould.
Yatala is famous for its pies and rightfully so. They are not your average bakery pie and were my favourite when I lived in the area in my 20’s!
The pie shop was always an iconic roadside attraction when traveller between Brisbane and the Gold Coast, purely because of the BIG Pie on the roof.
Then the highway expanded and the pie was obscured by barriers. The pie was moved to sit on top of a pole, which made it easier to spot, but these days the vegetation growth around the statue still hides it from view.
The pie shop originates back to 1914.
The BIG Pineapple at Woombye originates back to 1971. In its heyday it used to be known as Australia’s most popular tourist attraction.
It did close down for some time, but it’s current owners are working hard to bring it back.
At the moment there’s a Visitor Centre, Historic Train, Zoo, Treetop Challenge, Cafe and annual Pineapple Music Festival. Entry is free, but the train, treetop challenge and zoo are for a fee.
See the Big Pineapple website for more details.
A BIG Orange Pterodactyl is situated at the entrance to Thunderbird Park at Tamborine Mountain.
Thunderbird Park offers guests the chance to fossick for treasures at the world’s largest thunderegg mine. Thundereggs are similar to a geode formed within volcanic ash layers. They’re usually around the size of a baseball.
There is a range of accommodation available at the park, as well as a Treetop Challenge, Mini Golf, Horse Riding, Laser Skirmish, Bird Feeding, Swimming and Bush Walking.
More info available here for Thunderbird Park.
The BIG Pumpkin produce shop opened its doors in Beaudesert in 1984, with the original owner retiring on Christmas Eve 2017.
The massive pumpkin, which sits on top of the store, is looking very sad and desperately needs some TLC!
At a roadside farm produce stop, you’ll find the BIG Pumpkin. Don’t forget to checkout the BIG Watermelon slice while you’re there!
BIG Question Mark
Randomly, you’ll find the BIG Question Mark in the park in Home Hill. I can’t find any information surrounding the reason behind the sculpture. Maybe it’s just a quirky reason to get tourists to stop and stretch their legs in this tiny town… it worked for us.
BIG Red Chair
A BIG Red Chair sits outside the Queensland Bedding and Furniture store in Withcott. Obviously, it’s a marketing ploy to attract the attention of potential customers. After all, that’s usually how Big Things come about.
BIG Red Elephant
On the side of the Warrego Highway in Plainland you can’t miss the BIG Red Elephant from your car. While technically, it’s probably just the size of a normal elephant, it’s still a cool roadside icon.
BIG Redback Spider
Randomly, there’s a BIG Redback Spider on the top of a house (?) in Toogoolawah. Very strange. I can’t find any further information about it other than the address, which is in the checklist at the bottom.
BIG Remote & Hand
Sitting in front of a business in Kunda Park is a BIG Hand holding a BIG Remote. It’s the perfect advertisement for the business East Coast Garage Doors & Gates.
The BIG Rig in Roma pays tribute to the first town in Australia where natural gas was discovered. You’ll find a museum, self-guided walk, night show and cafe, which are all located at the Visitor Information Centre.
Out the front of a produce and rural supplies store in Barcaldine is a rather ugly BIG Rooster. This was a chance find as it wasn’t on our list, we just saw it as we drove past.
Don’t forget to check out the Tree of Knowledge in the main street of Barcaldine.
The Biggenden BIG Rose was unveiled in 2016 at the Apex Rose Festival and weighs almost 2-tonne! A local artist by the name of Craig Nelson created the sculpture, which was paid for through RADF funding.
Biggenden is known as The Rose of the Burnett (region) in reference to the town’s impressive range of roses in the main street.
It’s at the Petersen’s Farm in Woolooga that you’ll find a BIG Rosella. I’m not talking about the Rosella bird, but the edible Rosella hibiscus plant.
But Petersen’s is more than just a farm, it’s also the home of CC’s Kitchen. A range of homegrown products that come out of the farm’s harvest. Some of the specialties include jams, chutneys, pickles, sauces and vinegars. Products are available at the farm gate, markets and local retailers.
If you happen to be passing through around May, you can head to the farm for their annual Rosella Festival. On offer will be displays, cooking shows, games, farm tours, homemade food and face painting.
BIG Sapphire Ring
Adorning the entrance to Pat’s Gems in Sapphire, Central Queensland, is the BIG Sapphire Ring. Pat’s Gems is not only a Jewellery Store, but also a Fossicking Park and Cafe.
The Sapphire Gemfields, encompassing Sapphire, Rubyvale, Anakie and Willows, are one of the largest sapphire fields in the world.
BIG Sardine Can
The other random find in Home Hill is the BIG Sardine Can. It’s in the same park as the Big Question Mark. No idea what the significance of this Queensland Big Thing is, but it’s very cool.
BIG Scout Hat
The BIG Scout Hat was added to a military building in Cairns in 1982. The building was always known as the Cairns Control Room and was built in 1942 for the second world war. Later, it was passed over to the Scouting Organisation of Queensland and became their local headquarters.
The hat and the military building are both now on the Queensland Heritage Register.
BIG Scrabble Tiles
Sitting at one of the main intersections in Mackay are 6 very BIG Scrabble Tiles. They spell out the word ‘Imagine’ with the ‘i’ missing.
Jackie Howe was locally born (in nearby Killarney) in the 1860’s. It was in this southern part of Queensland that he learnt his trade of blade shearing, before making the move to Central QLD.
After an insult, he was determined to set his critic in his place by beating his personal best, which stood at 100 sheep per day. He well and truly blew that out of the water by shearing 211 sheep! It became a record that fellow shearers around the country and the world attempted to beat.
In 1892 he won a gold medal for breaking his own record with 321 sheep sheared in 7 hours 40 minutes. The following year he set yet another record using machine shears this time – his number was 237 sheep.
That record didn’t get broken until 1950 with a mechanical shearer. To this day, he still holds the record for the most sheep sheared in 7 days (1,437 head).
Now it makes sense as to why there are a set of BIG Shears in the Warwick rest area, which are testimony to this great man’s achievements.
** The Big Shell has recently been removed. **
Born in the 1960’s, the BIG Shell still stands in the same place it always has – at the entrance to the Big Shell store, Tewantin. Inside you’ll find all things shells, coral, vintage items and collectables.
It was created by the Anderson family and has only seen two more owners since then.
BIG Slouch Hat
The BIG Slouch Hat sits atop a government building in Mackay in memory of all of Australia’s fallen soldiers.
Platation Park in Ayr is the resting place for the Gubulla Munda 60-metre BIG Snake, which is a giant Carpet Snake. It serves as the totem for the local Jura people. Ayr is a small sugar cane town north of the Burdekin River.
We absolutely loved the sheer size of this larger than life snake. Even the big kids had fun walking up the back of the snake starting right down the end at the tail.
BIG Snake & Brolgas
Man, we had so much trouble finding the BIG Snake & Brolgas in Bowen! I can tell you that they’re at Mullers Lagoon (which is huge), so put your walking shoes on and get ready for a snake hunt!
BIG Soccer Ball
We can’t find any background information behind the BIG Soccer Ball in Gladstone, but can tell you that it sits perched out the front of the Brian Niven Park (sporting fields).
Out the front of a mechanical workshop is the BIG Spanner in Sapphire. It’s 2 metres long and was apparently the first Big Thing in the area.
This would have to be the creepiest Big Things we’ve found in Queensland I reckon. It’s a BIG Spider that hangs in a web over one of the main streets in Townsville.
She’s a giant Silver Orb Spider named ‘Spinderella’ who serves as the Townsville icon and mascot for the Museum of Tropical Queensland.
2005 is the year she was unveiled and it’s believed to be one of the world’s largest anatomically correct spider replicas. It’s 6m x 4m, which is 600 times the normal size of its true arachnid counterpart.
It was actually constructed by Phillip Smith, a Museum of Tropical Queensland display officer, taking two months in total. Spindererella cost $29,750 to create. The materials include resin and foam, coated in fibreglass with aluminium tubing as a frame inside the spider’s legs.
Townsville is home to a second BIG Spider. This one is named ‘Oralia’ and she’s a Golden Orb Spider. Orb spiders in general are very common in the northern parts of Queensland.
It sits atop a pole at the Riverway development in Townsville, where the Thuringowa River Festival was held for a few years. During one of the festivals a Fibre and Fabric Artist made a web for ‘Oralia,’ which lasted about 18 months.
Before the park was redeveloped to the Lagoons that it is today, it used to be Pioneer Park, which was also fondly known as Spider Park.
Atop the sign for the Brightview Tavern in Regency Downs is the BIG Steak. Not surprisingly there are steaks on the menu, along with plenty of other dishes.
On the corner of the new Wellness Way and Healthcare Drive in Springfield and a random find that we came across. It’s the BIG Stethoscope! This is set to be the medical precinct of Springfield as it grows.
The Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame pays tribute to pioneers of the Outback and the Stockmen and Aborigines who’ve shown bravery and courage. The BIG Stockman’s name is ‘The Ringer’ and was sculpted in 1988 by Eddie Hackman.
Rolin Farms at Elimbah is home to the BIG Strawberry. You no doubt guessed that it’s a Strawberry Farm with local produce and pick-your-own experiences available.
A smaller BIG Strawberry represents the Strawberry Fields at Palmview. This on sits on a trailer and can be moved around, so keep your eyes peeled.
BIG Sugar Cane Stick
The BIG Sugar Cane Stick was a completely random find that we happened to stumble across. It’s a funny story actually.
We’d just been for a wander around Home Hill, spotting the other Big Things there (Big Question Mark, Big Sardine Can and the Big Can). As we were walking back to the car, Indii said, “I wonder if there’s a Big Sugar Cane.” Low and behold, the pole we were looking at, right across the road from us, was in fact a pretty sad looking Big Sugar Cane Stick!
I couldn’t believe the synchronicity! This Big Things needs a new paint job to bring it back to it’s glory though.
The BIG Sunflowers in Toowoomba were unveiled in March 2012. The 5.4 metre structure was created out of steel, with a local school student drawing the first sketch.
Toowoomba is one of the many southern country Queensland towns to bloom when the summer sunflower season is in full swing. We wish we were there during that season!
Surf World on the Gold Coast is Queensland’s only surf museum. You can’t miss it with the BIG Surfboard out the front.
Inside you’ll find a large collection of surfboards showcasing their evolution from the 1930’s to today. There’s also photography, art works, movie posters, album covers and cinematography.
The BIG Tap at Greenslopes advertises it’s Bathroom Kitchen Home store. This one is pretty cool as it genuinely looks like a water tap for a giant.
Apparently there sits another BIG Tap at North Coast Plumbing in Maroochydore. I haven’t seen this one myself, so let us know if it’s not there any more.
Millmerran is known as the rendezvous capital of Australia! At one stage there was a teepee erected as a rendezvous spot for a local club, which is how the 4 metre BIG Teepee sculpture came about. You can find Millmerran in the Toowoomba region, west of Brisbane.
BIG Tennis Racquet
Frew Park in Milton used to be the iconic Milton Tennis Centre. It started out as the Queensland Lawn Tennis Association in 1915 and ran until 1999.
These days it plays host to the BIG Tennis Racquet, playgrounds, sculptures, a cafe, picnic areas and exercise equipment.
This BIG Termite is great! He’s part of a residential letter box in a suburban street in Townsville. Maybe he used to be part of a pest control business?
Did you know that Stanthorpe is the coldest town in Queensland? Yep and they put in a huge BIG Thermometer to prove it!
Residents are really hoping that BOM (Bureau of Meteorology) will use the fancy equipment, that has been built to support the thermometer, to record Stanthorpe’s temperatures. The government body had been using the temps from a nearby town of Applethorpe.
This big tourist attraction cost about $100,000 to build.
At the Calen Hotel, north of Mackay, you’ll find the BIG Thongs resting against a bunch of palm trees. There’s plenty of room to get in there and get your photo with the oversized footwear.
Hidden along the leafy forest walk at Plantation Park in Ayr sits the BIG Turtle. Don’t forget to check out the Big Snake out the front of the park as well.
While technically the BIG Turtle in Bargara is actually a kids oceanside playground, many people include this in their Big Things list, so we thought we would too.
BIG Turtle Shell & Aboriginal Man
I can’t find any information online surrounding the significance of the BIG Turtle Shell & Aboriginal Man at Home Hill, but you can find them at the Showgrounds, along with the Big Hand Cane Cutters.
Through a 2018 competition on Wotif.com, Chinchilla won the massive prize of having a BIG Watermelon added to their town.
It was a tough contest between the four competing towns:
- GLEN INNES for the BIG Kilt
- KINGAROY for the BIG Peanut
- MITTAGONG for the BIG Tulip
Over 15,000 people travel to the Melonfest in Chinchilla every second year, which is known as the Melon Capital of Australia.
The giant melon weighs in at four tonnes and sits 9 metres wide and 3 metres tall. The fibreglass sculpture took five weeks to build in Sydney before being delivered up north to Chinchilla.
The BIG Watermelon slice sits out the front of a roadside produce stop, just down from the BIG Pumpkin in Gumlu. They’re right on the highway, you can’t miss them!
Kinka Beach is home to the BIG Whale, which is located at the old abandoned Coral Life Marineland. It’s 6m x 12m and was is owned by Kevin Logan, who lives just next door.
The biggest BIG Whale in Hervey Bay is one of our absolute favourites! He’s just gorgeous – constructed with shiny stainless steel on the underbelly and timber planks across his topside.
‘Nala’ the breaching whale weighs in at 22 tonne and is mother to a smaller Humpback Whale in the roundabout at the intersection of Main Street and Esplanade.
The real Nala is a female humpback that has been coming to Hervey Bay every year since 1992. She’s not the only whale sculpture you’ll see as you’re driving around the area. We spotted quite a few, but none as big as this one.
This fella looks like the original BIG Whale in Hervey Bay. He’s jumping out of the ground at the Marina where all of the Whale Watching Tours take off from.
Out the front of the Hervey Bay Historical Village is the BIG Whiting. Underneath sits the words “bigger than it looks.”
BIG Wine Bottle
Another ‘Big’ for Mount Tamborine is the BIG Wine Bottle. It hangs out in the garden out the front of Mount Tamborine Vineyard & Winery.
‘William’ the BIG Wombat is a critically endangered Hairy Nosed Wombat. This big guy is 2 metres high by 3.5 metres long.
It’s one of the world’s most endangered mammals with just 250 remaining. There are 240 at Epping Forest National Park (near Clermont, QLD) and just 10 at Richard Underwood Nature Reserve (just north of nearby St George).
Make sure you check out the gorgeous Painted Silos while you’re passing through Thallon in Outback QLD.
BIG XXXX Beer Can
Koumala Hotel, in the Mackay region, has a cool BIG XXXX Beer Can alongside it. Actually it looks like it’s an old water tank that’s been painted up as a beer can.
On the front of the hotel is a sculpture of a saltwater crocodile, which is uncannily lifelike!
BIG Yellow Belly Fish
The BIG Yellow Belly in Charleville was very underwhelming. My thoughts, as I stood there looking at it, were, “Is this even a Big Thing?”
No doubt it’s bigger than a regular Yellow Belly, I’m sure…
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