Australia

The BIG List

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Australia’s must-visit big things

The Big Pineapple, the Big Banana, even the Big Prawn – the ‘big things’ dotted around Australia linger fondly in many a childhood memory. The only question for road-tripping families these days is which one to visit first. Read on for a snapshot of some of the attractions waiting for you at Australia’s most iconic big things.

The Big Pineapple, Queensland

Rising 16 metres into the sky, this giant fibreglass fruit on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast has been a magnet for tourists since 1971. From its agricultural tourism roots, the Big Pineapple has grown into an action-packed family attraction. Along with an impressive TreeTop ropes course and 120-metre zipline (book ahead), there’s a zoo, café, craft brewery, and gift shop on site (resisting the pineapple keyrings, t-shirts and magnets is futile). The plantation train Princess Diana and Prince Charles rode on in 1983 is closed indefinitely for repairs but there are hours of fun for all ages to be had here every day of the year.

The Big Banana, NSW

Back in 1964, a humble banana stall sat forlornly by the side of the road as car after car passed by on their way to Coffs Harbour. Banana grower John Landi decided the best way to stop traffic was by building a giant banana. With the help of an engineer, he cut bananas into 40 pieces to design and construct a 3D version 15 metres long and five metres high. Fast forward almost 60 years and there’s a whole bunch of fun to be had at the Big Banana – a water park, laser tag arena, toboggan ride, ice-skating rink, 36-hole mini-golf course, and more. If you can tear the kids away (good luck!), the theatre runs a short documentary every 30 minutes about bananas.

The Big Merino, NSW

Heading inland? You’ll be glad you put this giant sheep on your itinerary. What the Goulburn centrepiece lacks in theme-park excitement, it makes up for in nostalgia – the Big Merino celebrates Australia’s 200-year history of wool. The 15-metre-high structure is modelled after Rambo, a handsome stud ram. Built in 1985 (then moved 800 metres in 2007), visitors can go inside the Big Merino to learn all about how Merino wool is produced and turned into everything from fine Saville Row suits to that jumper your grandma knitted. The wool industry’s hey-day may be behind us, but there are still 30,000 properties across Australia producing wool for export around the world. Snap up woollen garments, Ugg boots and souvenirs from the gift shop.

The Big Golden Guitar, NSW

You don’t have to be a Slim Dusty fan to appreciate this 12-metre-high stunner in Australia’s country music capital. The giant guitar is a replica of the Golden Guitar Award presented to artists at the annual Country Music Awards of Australia. Be sure to take a #tamworthnsw selfie before visiting the on-site wax museum, guitar museum and café. Time your visit right and you can join the fun of the Tamworth Country Music Festival, held every January. More than 800 artists perform at the 10-day festival for crowds hailing from across Australia and around the world. Book accommodation and festival tickets well ahead of your visit!

Other must-visit big things

Heading to Byron Bay? Stop off at the Big Prawn in Ballina, NSW. The giant crustacean has had a recent makeover. Don’t miss the Big Galah in Kimba, South Australia, the Big Potato in Robertson, NSW, the Big Trout in Adaminaby, NSW, the Big Lobster in Kingston, South Australia and the Big Cow in Yandina, QLD. And whatever you do, don’t let a little fear of creepy-crawlies stop you putting this one on your list – the 20-metre-high Big Funnel Web Spider in Jamberoo, NSW.

Travel Insurance

With many of the ‘big things’ being located in regional areas of Australia, chances are they’re probably far from home and you’re visiting them by car.

If you’re considering travel insurance for a road trip, it can help you out of some of the sticky situations you may encounter on long Australian roads. If you’re injured and need medical evacuation, have an accident in your rental vehicle (any four-wheeled vehicle with a gross vehicle mass less than 4.5 tonnes), or a section of your road trip is cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances and your rental vehicle needs returning, having cover can help.

Below is a summary of what is an isn’t covered, additional details can be found here, however for full terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions read the PDS and consider if the product suits your needs.

What’s covered

  • Medical evacuation and repatriation (keep in mind, your medical expenses won’t be covered when travelling in Australia)
  • Cancellation or holiday deferment costs
  • Emergency travel arrangements and accommodation expenses
  • Personal liability
  • Luggage and personal effects
  • Coronavirus travel costs for some Coronavirus related events
  • Rental vehicle insurance excess

What’s not covered?

  • Reckless high-risk behaviour – like climbing a giant prawn for instance!
  • Intoxication – Drinking and driving is a big no-no.
  • Driving without a valid license – Never a good plan.
  • Riding a motorbike with an engine capacity greater than 250cc
  • Riding a motorbike without a helmet
  • Riding or being a pillion passenger an all terrain vehicle or quad bike
  • Fraudulent activity
  • Operating a rental vehicle in violation of the agreement
  • Complications as a direct result of an existing medical condition we don’t automatically cover

 


Author

I grew up in the US, Germany and Australia, so it feels more foreign for me to stay in one place than to move around. Since then, I’ve called Boston, London, Seattle, Brisbane, Madison and Sydney home for study and work as a journalist, travel writer and photographer. I specialize in adventure travel, social issues and interiors/architecture. Home is now an 1890s cottage in the Blue Mountains near Sydney. I traveled to my seventh continent last year – an action-packed expedition to Antarctica – and have memories galore of my travels. Snowshoeing in the Canadian Rockies, galloping with gauchos in Chilean Patagonia, trekking through Japan, and camel riding in Jordan are among the most memorable. My least favourite travel hiccup was being stranded in Cameroon when I should have been winging my way to Paris for a little me-time. You win some, you lose some.

We have temporarily given our travel insurance plans a break. These include The Works, The Basics, Annual Multi Trip and Domestic plans.

Keep an eye on the TID website for when our products will be available and we’ll do our best to alert all of our travellers.

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