The best way to see the real Australia is to take your time, hire a car and go on a road trip. And while you’re at it, you might want to look out for some Big Things.
We’re talking oversized bananas, beer bottles, lobsters and more. You name an object and you’ll probably find a big version of it in Australia.
We’ve devised the following routes to help you plan the ultimate road trip. Stop at one or two or opt for an epic journey that combines all of them.
Perth to Melbourne
In Kimba, visit the Big Galah. A galah is a type of cockatoo usually about 35 cm tall, but the one in Kimba has a height of about 8 m.
At Kingston, you are in the home of Larry the Big Lobster. This crustacean is very impressive, with a height of 17 m, a length of 15.2 m and a width of 13.7 m.
Melbourne to Sydney
New South Wales is home to lots of Australia’s Big Things and most of these are located near the coast. This means that to see them on a drive to Sydney, you’ll have to take the long way round.
The Gippsland region, south-east of Melbourne, is known for real-life moving big things, such as the famous giant Gippsland earthworms. At Bass, there is the Giant Earthworm, which houses a museum dedicated to these crawly creatures.
Make sure to pass through Glenrowan. This small town was the site where the famous outlaw, Ned Kelly, was captured and today one of its most popular attractions is of course Big Ned Kelly. Standing tall at 6m, this Ned Kelly is considerably larger than the real one, who stood 1.73m tall in his socks.
The New South Wales interior from Sydney
From Sydney, you may want to travel westwards into the interior of New South Wales to see the region’s many attractions and, naturally, some more Big Things.
Head inland to Broken Hill, made famous as one of the locations – the town where the hotel with the garish murals are located – in The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. Broken Hill is also home to the Big Ant.
Try to pass through Barellan, the town where tennis legend Evonne Goolagong grew up. Barellan has the Big Tennis Racquet, modelled on an actual racquet that Goolagong used.
Sydney northwards and along the Queensland coast
The 924km stretch between Sydney and Brisbane leads all along the coast and features more Big Things than you could throw a stick at. First up, is the Big Bottle, a huge wine bottle in Mangrove Mountain, just over 80 km from Sydney, but you’ll have to leave the highway to see this one.
At Port Macquarie, take the opportunity to head inland to Tamworth, 273 km to the west, for the Big Golden Guitar. During the Tamworth Country Music Festival, which is usually held towards the end of January, winners of the Country Music Awards of Australia receive much smaller versions of this 12 m-high instrument. Why not stop and try out your best air guitar!
Once you’ve got your fill of country, head towards the sea and head to Coffs Harbour, home to The Big Banana. This Big Thing started it all.
Further along the road is Nambour, the administrative centre of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland. Nambour is also home to three Big Things. The Big Pineapple, The Big Macadamia Nut, and The Big Cow.
You should aim to finish this trip in Cairns, the biggest city in Queensland’s tropical north. This is where you’ll find the Big Marlin. Cairns is marlin-fishing country and at 8m, the Big Marlin is probably the biggest one that didn’t get away.
From Cairns, drive 100 km north to Daintree, home of another big fish-the Big Barramundi.
Darwin to Uluru
If you find yourself in Darwin in the Northern Territory, you may want to drive the 40km or so westward to Humpty Doo. You don’t only need to do this so that you can say you’ve been to a place called Humpty Doo but also to see the town’s Big Boxing Crocodile, a croc complete with boxing gloves.
Darwin is also a good starting point for a drive through the Australian Outback to the original Big Thing- Uluru. Be prepared for a long, long drive through almost 2,000 km of nothingness to get there.
Let’s not forget Tasmania where you’ll find some interesting Big Things too. If you take the ferry from Melbourne, be sure to hire a car once you disembark in Devonport. From here it’s only about 33km along the coast to Penguin, home of the Big Penguin, standing 3m tall.
If you decide to head southwards from Devonport, make a stop in Latrobe, just over 10km away. This town is famed for its population of platypuses, one of the strangest home-grown animals. At the Platypus interpretation Centre you can also admire the Big Platypus.
There is a lot to see and do around Australia. Planning and taking a trip to explore the oversized landmarks that this country is famous for, is a trip not to be missed. Not to mention the bragging rights at the pub, and trivia kudos that could be yours.