1971 Big Pineapple opens in Queensland

The Big Pineapple is located in Woombye in Queensland’s Sunshine Coast Region,

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.

The Big Prawn, a 35-tonne monstrosity, originally decorated the roof of a local service station. It celebrated the local prawn fishing industry.  There was a spiral stairway inside, allowing people to climb up and view the world through the prawn’s eyes. When the servo closed in 2010 the prawn was to be demolished. However, local people collected thousands of signatures on a petition to save their fishy landmark. When Bunnings bought the site they embraced the cause and in 2013 the refurbished prawn was resurrected in their car park, this time complete with a tail.

“Larry” the Big Lobster is a 15m tall steel and fibreglass crustacean, currently home to a restaurant, tourist centre, playground, and a wine tasting area. The giant sculpture was constructed in 1979.  Doubts have been raised about Larry’s future as his fibreglass shell is somewhat the worse for wear. At the time of writing, locals were trying to raise the not inconsiderable sum needed to give him a spruce up.

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.

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