Australia has gained notoriety for its collection of colossal structures, often embodying the quirky and peculiar. With approximately 150 of these “big things” scattered across the country, it’s interesting to note that over 60 proudly stand in New South Wales (NSW) alone. As I traverse different roads during my various road trips, I make it a point to visit these oversized and eccentric landmarks, each telling a unique story of Australian creativity and humour.
PIN for later reference – Big Things in NSW
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11 Big Things to See in New South Wales (NSW)
The Big Merino
My absolute favourite is at the top of my list, the Big Merino. Erected in 1985, this mammoth structure portrays a Merino Ram and proudly stands in Goulburn, NSW. Affectionately referred to as “Rambo” by the locals, the Big Merino was crafted to commemorate Australia’s esteemed wool industry.
Such is its significance that in 2007, Australia Post honoured the Big Merino by featuring it on a 50-cent stamp. Situated about 195 kilometres south of Sydney in Goulburn, this colossal creation welcomes visitors without any entry fee, making it an accessible and iconic landmark to explore.
The Big Banana
Another captivating colossal creation is the Big Banana. Constructed in 1964, it holds the distinction of being the inaugural large-scale structure in Australia. Originating as a promotional sign for the banana stall it proudly hosts, the Big Banana graces the city of Coffs Harbour in NSW.
Recognising its cultural significance, the Big Banana found its place on a 50-cent stamp issued by Australia Post in 2007. Positioned about 540 kilometres north of Sydney in Coffs Harbour, this monumental landmark is easily accessible, welcoming visitors without any entry fee. Explore the Big Banana’s charm and delve into its vibrant history.
The Big Crocodile
Australia is home to two prominent big crocodiles, one in Western Australia (WA) and the other in NSW. The Big Crocodile in NSW can be found at the Australian Reptile Park, nestled in Somersby.
For those eager to witness this colossal reptilian creation, the Australian Reptile Park is conveniently located approximately 50 kilometres north of Sydney. To gain entry and explore the park’s diverse offerings, there is an admission fee of AUD 43 per adult. Tickets can be conveniently obtained at the entrance or through their official website, ensuring a seamless experience for visitors. Embark on a captivating journey into the world of reptiles at the Australian Reptile Park.
The Big Oyster
The Big Oyster stands as a distinctive car dealership building in Taree, serving as a unique tribute to the abundance of oysters in the region.
Situated around 315 kilometres north of Sydney, Taree allows visitors to admire the iconic Big Oyster without any entrance fee. Explore the cultural significance of this structure and delve into the rich oyster heritage it celebrates.
The Big Turtle
Although not as colossal as a real turtle, the Big Turtle in Forster is undoubtedly a noteworthy attraction. Situated along a riverside, this unique structure captures the attention of visitors.
Forster, located around 308 kilometres north of Sydney, provides an opportunity to witness the charm of the Big Turtle without any entrance fee. Stroll by the riverside and appreciate this distinctive landmark that adds character to Forster’s cultural landscape.
The Big Headphones
An exceptionally excellent addition to the collection of big things is the Big Headphones, a tribute to local musicians in Newcastle. Crafted by Mark Tisdell as part of the Head Phone project, this unique sculpture was installed in 2015. Its interactive feature sets it apart – stepping between the headphones triggers music playback, adding an extra layer of charm.
Newcastle, a bustling harbour city in NSW and the second most populated area after Sydney, proudly hosts the Big Headphones. Approximately 117 kilometres north of Sydney, Newcastle offers a diverse range of activities for visitors to enjoy.
Explore the cultural resonance of the Big Headphones without any entrance fee, and discover the rhythm and melody that this distinctive landmark brings to Newcastle’s vibrant atmosphere.
The Big Potato
Constructed in 1977 by local potato grower Jim Mauger, the Big Potato stands proudly in the village of Robertson. Measuring approximately 10 meters in length and 4 meters in width, this iconic structure is not just an exterior attraction – it’s hollow inside, allowing visitors to step in and explore.
Nestled in the Southern Highlands of NSW, Robertson is about 98 kilometres south of Sydney. Delve into the unique charm of the Big Potato without any entry fee, experiencing firsthand the creativity and innovation behind this colossal spud.
In commemorating Hydro Aluminium’s 40th year in the Kurri Kurri area, the Big Kookaburra was installed in 2009 as a generous gift to the town. Standing 4.5 meters high, this striking structure graces Rotary Park, symbolising the community’s history and connection with Hydro Aluminium.
Derived from an Aboriginal term meaning “man” or “the first,” Kurri Kurri is approximately 119 kilometres north of Sydney. Explore the significance of the Big Kookaburra without any entrance fee, appreciating its cultural and historical ties in this vibrant town.
The Big Ugg Boots
Situated within the Mortels Sheepskin Factory complex in the city of Maitland in the Hunter region, the Big Ugg Boots is a striking attraction. Remarkably, these oversized Ugg boots are 13 times the size of a woman’s US size 8, boasting vibrant and attractive colours.
Maitland, located 130 kilometres north of Sydney, hosts this eye-catching spectacle within the factory gates. While there’s no entrance fee to witness the Big Ugg Boots, it’s important to note that the structure is inside the factory premises. Stroll through the complex and marvel at the colourful and charming giant Ugg Boots that uniquely touch Maitland’s cultural landscape.
The Big Wine Bottle
Nestled in the renowned Hunter Valley, celebrated for Australia’s finest wineries and vineyards, the Big Wine Bottle stands proudly within the Hunter Valley Gardens. Serving both as an artistic structure and a functional delight, the neck of the bottle ingeniously forms a chimney for an open fire. This captivating installation was introduced in 1998, enhancing the allure of the picturesque Hunter Valley.
Approximately 173 kilometres north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley invites visitors to explore its rich wine culture and embrace the charm of the Big Wine Bottle. Take in the scenic beauty and the innovative design without any entrance fee, as this remarkable structure adds a touch of sophistication to the heart of Australia’s wine country.
The Big Axe
Initially constructed in 1979, the Big Axe underwent replacement in 2002 due to damage. This iconic structure now stands proudly next to the visitor centre in Kew, a charming town in the Mid-North Coast region.
Approximately 350 kilometres north of Sydney, Kew invites visitors to explore the unique appeal of the Big Axe without any entrance fee. Marvel at the craftsmanship of this colossal tool, symbolizing the town’s history and resilience, as it adds a distinctive touch to the cultural landscape of Kew.
As highlighted earlier, the list provided merely shows the numerous significant structures scattered across NSW. With many more awaiting exploration, I am eager to continue my journey, discovering additional remarkable landmarks. I highly recommend incorporating visits or brief stops at these structures during your road trips across various NSW destinations, adding uniqueness to your travel experiences.
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