‘BIG’ Aussie Things – Strange and Quirky sights in Australia

I love the unexpected. Driving on long road trips we often look for the unexpected. Australia is full of BIG things, and ‘things’ in unusual locations. I intend to add to this blog as I stumble across things that make me squeal. BIG things are my favourites, but the quirky finds make me happy!

Ned Kelly, Glenrowan

Man about town Ned Kelly.

The Thong Tree, Echuca.

Aussie Skeleton

On the roadside between Robe and Kingston is SA.

The Giant Koala.

Situated in Dadswell Bridge, between Stawell and Horsham is It is 14 metres tall.

The Big Mango

The Big Mango stands 10 metres high. It is located at the Visitor Information Centre, Bruce Highway,  just a little south of Bowen. It’s quite a good ‘Big Thing’. Nice colours.

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The Giant Galah

Kimba is the home of The Giant Galah. Standing eight metres high, it lies half way across Australia between Melbourne and Perth on the Eyre Highway. I can’t find any reason why Kimba has a BIG Galah, but who cares. It is there.

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Cocklebiddy Roadhouse

Cocklebiddy is a roadhouse on the Eyre Highway. This is an iconic sign that makes everyone smile after a long drive. Great place to stop. Meals are huge, home cooked and delicious.

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The CD Tree

Still on the Eyre Highway, the CD tree. Glittering enticingly, I couldn’t go past without stopping for a photo

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The Big Murray Cod

The Big Murray Cod in Tocumwal, New South Wales, is one of the earliest big things in Australia. Installed in 1968 Goodoo is the Aboriginal name.

Euroa Ladies Lavatories

Euroa service centre boasts these lovely doors in the ladies toilets.

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The Giant Trout

Odd of my favourites. The 10 metre high giant trout in Adaminaby is located 51 kilometres northwest of Cooma, in the Snowy Mountains.

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Holbrook Submarine

Holbrook is situated between Melbourne and Sydney on the Hume Highway.It is the home to the decommissioned Australian submarine HMAS Otway. It is BIG, but only because it has been restored in it’s actual size. Strange thing to find in country NSW!

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The BIG Merino 

The Big Merino is concrete merino ram standing 15.2 metres tall. Situated in Goulburn, New South Wales, Australia. It has been nicknamed “Rambo” by the locals. It is a symbol of Goulburn as ‘the Fine Wool Capital of the World’.

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The Big Golden Guitar.

On the southern approach to Tamworth, Australia’s home of country music is the Big Golden Guitar. The Big Golden Guitar was unveiled by Australia’s “King of Country Music” Slim Dusty in 1988. It is one of the most visited and photographed sites in Australia. I took my turn in the queue.

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The Big Orange, Berri South Australia.

The BIG Orange is 15 metres high, has a diameter of 12 metres and is the biggest of the BIG fruit in Australia.

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The Big Lobster, Kingston South Australia.

Looking very fierce, the BIG lobster was built in 1979 and is known locally as Larry the Lobster. It stands 17 metres tall.

The Big Prawn

The Big Prawn is in Ballina near Bunnings. It used to perch on the roof of a bait shop, but now contends with passing traffic in and out of a car park. A great example of Aussie Big Things, i think it deserves a better place to reside.

King Neptune – Two Rocks Western Australia. A ten metre tall King Neptune was hard to photograph as he is enclosed by a wire fence and hidden by overgrown shrubbery and debris. The Atlantis Marine Park constructed in 1981 lies in ruins around him, with other ocean-themed sculptures lurking in various parts of the seafront.

The Big Beach Chair – Lancelin Western Australia. Standing 2 metres high the big beach chair can’t be missed at the junction of Gingin Road and Walker Avenue.

THE SHOE FENCE PRINCESS HIGHWAY NEAR PORTLAND. We saw this on a recent trip to Cape Bridgewater and had to stop for a photo. The photo didn’t take in the entire length of the fence but it went on for some distance. I snapped and jumped back in the car as the smell was pretty gruesome.

Lorne – The Great Ocean Road

No matter how many times our destination is Lorne on The Great Ocean Road, we are never, less than in awe of the beauty. Different seasons unfold an exciting drama of changing colours and atmosphere.

Although summer is the ideal time to experience the pristine waters, it is also the time when you have to battle for a space to float in the perfect undulating waves. If you don’t like crowds, avoid Lorne during peak summer holiday times. It has much to offer even during the bleakest of winters, with warm cosy cafes aplenty, and a coat, scarf and beanie is all you need for an invigorating, blustery walk on the pier.

There are many grassy places to sit and picnic, or lay back and soak up the sun. The view is beautiful from any height or angle.

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Loutit Bay from the popular walk to the pier.

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Lorne Festival of Performing Arts – held in August – brings to the community, groups like The Nymphs, who strolled the pier after a brilliant performance at the Grand Pacific Hotel a couple of years ago.

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Cooler weather gives a good excuse for a coffee or home made soup in one of the many eateries. Moons makes an excellent iced coffee, with real beans sprinkled on top which contrast perfectly with the sweetness of the ice cream. However, don’t go there if you are in a hurry, or expect service with a smile.

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High tide and rough seas – the sea gulls rode those waves. It is not often that I have seen the water this rough or high at Lorne. It was awesome.

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Plenty of bird life. There are also Kookaburra’s frequently sitting on verandahs, waiting patiently for anyone with a bit of mince meat to feed them. It is not recommended you feed the birds.

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The fisherman’s co-op offers a good selection of seafood,  both caught locally, and brought in. I can’t resist the fresh prawns. The chalkboard on the front wall has changing quotes of wisdom.

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An easy stroll along the boardwalk follows the inlet towards the swing bridge.  It offers great photo opportunities with its still glassy surface giving a mirror reflection that is stunning. The Swing Bridge Cafe and Boathouse makes an excellent Chai Latte.

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The inlet offers a safer water play option for families, at low tide.

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Interesting plants spotted along the walk past the swing bridge.

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Erskine Falls is a pretty walk. The blue stone steps make it much easier than the slippery tree roots and dirt I remember sliding down  many years ago. Be wary of snakes.

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Rock hopping at the falls. There are some beautiful walks following the falls for the more adventurous.

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The Lorne skate park has places to sit, and a water tap.It offers a bowl that is suitable for less experienced skaters, so plenty of little kids zig zagging through the older skaters and riders.

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Squid of humongous proportions have been landed on the Lorne pier. Such beautiful colours.

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And on a still day, you can often see Stingrays at the shallow end, skimming over the sand under the pier. I can watch them for ages. A relaxing pastime.

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I highly recommend getting up early to watch the sun rise from the pier. It is truly beautiful, and brekky is available across the road on Mountjoy Parade by the time the sun has risen. On this day, it was a bit cloudy, so we didn’t get the full impact of the rising sun, but it was still majestic.

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So lovely.

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A feel good experience.

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Lovely Lorne. Always worthy of a return visit.

Wollongong and Kiama with my sister in a Toyota

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Hello. I am a big fan of the road trip. However long, or short, the km’s, there is so much to discover and enjoy in simple, unexpected ways. Mini breaks are a fantastic way to focus on one area, or as in this trip, two. Sister and I flew to Sydney, picked up a Toyota and drove to Wollongong. We lodged for the evening at Quality Suites Pioneer Sands -Wollongong. The one bedroom apartment was clean,quiet and spacious, with a good sized shower. There is a very nice breakfast area if you don’t want to utilise the kitchen.

 

Towradgi Beach Hotel  can be accessed via the back of the property. It is huge, with several different areas to sit and relax and have a couple of wines, and a huge feed. We arrived late in the afternoon, starving, and sick of driving, so the fact that the kitchen was open and had a selection of meals between lunch and dinner service was brilliant.

Crispy chips are my downfall…and the house wine was refreshing and perfectly chilled.

It was Friday night, we decided to drive into the Wollongong CBD for a look around – the shops began shutting at about 5.30. We had a quick look around before were locked out in the street. No late night shopping.

The Wollongong foreshore has a sinister feel on a clear day. In the distance, the steel works with it’s powerful presence provides a sense of tension.

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Wollongong Nymphs, frolicking in the wash on the breakwater. I had to capture their exuberance, and sheer delight in a simple pleasure – with their permission of course.

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As the sun began to set, the golden reflection cast over the breakwater was magical.

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The walk along the main beach is long enough to provide some exercise. As night fell, the restaurants lit up along the beach, the foreshore looked beautiful. We stayed out well into dark, and enjoyed the benefit of the warm evening. Next time I visit Wollongong, I will definitely reserve a table overlooking the water and enjoy a leisurely dinner. It was lovely.

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And return to Wollongong I did. A month later I had dinner Harbourside at Level One. Under dressed as we were, they were gracious enough to allow us to dine in thongs and casual gear – we promised to be out before their 7pm booking, which suited us just fine, we wanted an early dinner and back to the motel to relax. It had been a long day of travel.

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The food at Level One was excellent, I chose a couple of entree’s instead of a main and followed with a delicious dessert. The entrees are decent sized portions, enough to share. Topped with a couple of glasses of house white, we were satisfied and pleased with our choice. Recommend Salmon Bruschetta and Creme Brûlée.

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Low tide accentuates the seawalls, built to hold back an at times, ferocious ocean.

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Harbour in the early evening sunshine. View from Level One. Lovely way to dine.

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After a leisurely breakfast on the balcony of our apartment – the sun came out in all it’s glory, giving us a brilliantly blue sky, –  we headed to Kiama.

I love Kiama. I stop there almost every time I head south from Sydney. It is always busy, car parking can be challenging, but with the big clean, grassy park, and the fabulous walk along the waterfront, it is worth circling for a while until a parking space becomes available. We always get a spot, usually up near the blow hole, where the turn over of visitors is relatively quick. The main street has plenty of choice of cafes and eateries but for a cheap and tasty lunch, and a glass of wine, I recommend the The Grand Hotel. They have a comfortable courtyard, and the steak sandwich or BLT, only costs $6.00!!! I didn’t get a photo of our lunch, but l would like to try the Schnitty on the specials board one day. Check out these prices.

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Thar she blows. Great booming blow hole. Never lets us down. I have read that the Kiama blowhole is the biggest  in the world. I don’t know if this is true, but I would like to think it is.

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Kiama sea pool. Beautiful. I believe the pool is formed by natural rock formations, so it is irregular in shape, has variable depth, and a natural rock floor. Beware the stubbed toes and scraped knees.

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Aaah. The sea pool water feels so soft on hot tired feet.

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Check out these beautiful crayfish. We passed these local guys unloading on our walk along the waterfront. The cray he is holding is tiny, in comparison to the big boys in the tub.

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Lucky to be in Kiama on market day, we had freshly made Turkish gozleme for lunch. Can’t recommend it enough. Yummy. And big enough for the two of us to share. Give it a try if you are there on the right day. Mmmmmm.

We decided not to stay overnight in Kiama, as it was extremely busy and accommodation was scarce. We enjoyed the lovely day as long as we could, but it is a long drive back to Melbourne and we had to leave the sun and blue waters.  We headed home via Saddleback mountain and Jamberoo. A very pretty tourist drive. Much nicer than taking the Princess highway.

We drove through a town we had never seen before, and had to stop! It was the home of another giant Aussie ‘thing‘ for my collection.

Meet The Giant Potato – Robertson NSW

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After excitedly elbowing English tourists out of the way – although their children refused to move – we took a photo and resumed our Southward trip.

Another stop with a big thing, although this one is big in its actual size. Holbrook boasts it’s own submarine.

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And another BIG thing at Goulburn! The Big Merino.

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Ummm. Not sure this end was necessary…

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IMG_4721.JPGTry to take a toilet stop at Euroa, you have to check out the pretty doors of the cubicles.

 

 

 

 

 

Night fell as we neared Albury. We were ravenous, and walked up and down the streets, reading the menu’s in the many restaurants. There is no shortage of choice for dinner in Albury. We chose The Lounge Tapas Bar and Restaurant. We love share food, and the little individual bubbly bottles were so cute. Nice glasses to sip from.

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And for dessert…Yumm. Cold Rock Ice Creamery. I couldn’t resist the coffee ice cream.

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We arrived home in Melbourne,around 1.30am. Tired but happy. It was a short but enjoyable road trip.