Possibly inspired by the Big Banana, which opened in 1964, the Big Pineapple opened in 1971 at Woombye in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Region. It was the brainchild of Bill and Lyn Taylor, who bought a pineapple plantation and turned it into a tourist attraction. A small train carried visitors around the precinct to see fruit, nuts and sugarcane under cultivation. There were demonstrations of cultivation and harvesting and even a restaurant featuring locally grown produce.
Over the years, the Big Pineapple has changed ownership a number of times and the precinct was expanded to include a section of rainforest. There have been financial ups and downs and the Pineapple is not, perhaps, the drawcard it used to be. Further attractions have been added, including a zoo, treetops walk and a music festival.
The Big Pineapple is among many “Big Things” scattered around Australia. Many of them are food-related. Among the most notable are the Big Prawn at Ballina in New South Wales and the Big Lobster at Kingston in South Australia.
Big things aren’t unique to Australia. Minneapolis, Minnesota, has a giant cherry and spoon, Alamogordo, New Mexico, has the world’s largest pistachio and New Salem, North Dakota, has the world’s largest cow. There’s even another Big Pineapple. It’s in South Africa.