Ready for the road trip of a lifetime? If you thought the 'Big Things' road trip from Brisbane to Cairns was awesome, this one will definitely be of interest to you too. The shortest route from Melbourne to Adelaide takes only 8 hours - you could even do this trip in a day if you wanted to. But where's the fun in that? Road trips are more about the journey than the destination, meaning that there is always time for a few detours to see all the 'Big Things' that the states of Victoria and South Australia have to offer!
There are so many small towns and cities between the major cities - how many of you have been to both Melbourne and Adelaide but have not ventured far out from the city? By going on this road trip, you can kill two birds with one stone and cross all the towns in between Melbourne and Adelaide off your bucket list.
Stop #1: Wantirna South, Victoria Location: 1161 High St Rd, Wantirna South VIC 3152
Located in Big Watermelon Bushy Park, the site of the Big Watermelon is the place to go to for your fresh fruit and vegetable. They are open 7 days a week and sell both wholesale and direct to the public. Located on the east side of Melbourne, it may be in the opposite direction of Adelaide, but is well worth the short detour!
Photo is a bit dark because I got there before sunrise!
How could you resist not turning into Taylors Road to see these three Big Happy Hens? The Happy Hens are located near the entrance of The Happy Hens Farm. In case you're wondering why these hens are so happy, it is because they aim to provide the hens with as natural a lifestyle as possible, including a natural diet and are completely free from anything synthetic (e.g. weight inducing hormones).
Stop #3 & Stop #4: Warrenheip, Victoria Location: 4/9367 Western Hwy, Warrenheip VIC 3352
I love it when one place has two Big Things in the same place - it's like like a 'buy one get one free' promotion! The Big Miner with Dog and the Big Ned Kelly are located at the entrance of Gold Rush Indoor and Outdoor Mini Golf, a miniature golf course. There's no need to pay an entrance fee as they are located outside, unless of course you feel like a round of mini golf!
If only Eddy could have come with me on this trip - I guess this Big Dog will have to do for now!
Stop #5: Dadswell Bridge, Victoria Location: 5829 Western Hwy, Dadswells Bridge VIC 3385
This is arguably Victoria's most famous Big Thing, and also one of Australia's most iconic. Standing at a whopping 14.9m tall, the Big Koala was perfect, down to the nails on each claw - yes, I did have a close look! It even has little tuffs of hair in its ears!
Stop #6: Hamilton, Victoria Location: 230 Coleraine Rd, Hamilton VIC 3300
Sadly, Hamilton's Big Wool Bales Cafe closed its doors in 2013 due to slowing business from an outcrop of cafes popping up nearby. However, luckily for Big Things fanatics like me, the owners did not decide to sell their land, but decided to put it up for rent instead, meaning that the Big Wool Bales are still there today, standing tall and proud.
Keep your head held up high, Big Wool Bales - you're still awesome even if the shop has closed down.
Stop #7: Kingston SE, South Australia Location: 1 Princes Hwy, Kingston SE SA 5275
Arguably South Australia's most famous Big Thing, and most definitely one of Australia's most iconic! Unfortunately, when I visited in July 2016, Larry the Lobster was not living up to his former standards - due to being 'mistreated' by visitors (i.e. climbing on him to get a good photo), coupled with years and years of weathering, Larry now has a fence surrounding him to prevent further damage. The Big Lobster Cafe has also since closed down. This is one of the saddest things that could happen to a Big Thing, so hopefully Larry, who is well loved by both locals and visitors alike, will one day be restored to his former glory.
Stop #8: Tailem Bend, South Australia Location: LOT 58 Big Olive Grove, Tailem Bend SA 5260
The Big Olive in Tailem Bend sits outside The Big Olive Company claims to produce the world's best extra virgin olive oil and olive products - I wish I could support their claim, but unfortunately, I happened to be there on a Sunday meaning that they were not open. I could only see the Big Olive through a metal fence - readers, please learn from me and plan your trip so that the day you pass by Tailem Bend is any day but Sunday!
This turned out pretty well considering it was taken through a hole in the fence.
Note: Due to time constraints (from sleeping in till 10am and it being winter (i.e. sun sets early) when we did not want to arrive at our accommodation after nightfall, we unfortunately had to give the Big Cherries in Pages Flat and the Big Church Block Bottle in McLaren Vale a miss - I will definitely be back to see these beauties!
Stop #9: Gumeracha, South Australia Location: 452 Torrens Valley Rd, Gumeracha SA 5233
This is possibly one of the coolest Big Things I have ever visited - Similar to the Big Pineapple, you can get to the very top, only this time, you literally have to climb up a couple of ladders! Don't worry, it's totally safe and child-friendly too. Entry to climb up costs $2, with children 3 and under being free - if you take your ticket to any of the counters in the Toy Factory or the cafe, you get a free certificate to prove that you successfully climbed up! The Big Rocking Horse is located next to a Toy Factory that sells a wide variety of toys, both traditional and modern, as well as, of course, rocking horses! There is also a mini replica of the 18.3m x 17m Big Rocking Horse, which you can sit on. This is a great day out for families, as there is a cafe, as well as a Wildlife Park, with entry being only $1 - awesome!
Spent way too long in this place - it was the highlight of my road trip!
Stop #10: Medindie, South Australia Location: 1 Nottage Terrace, Medindie SA 5081
Stop #10 in Medindie is a special one, because The Big Scotsman is actually Australia's first ever Big Thing! Built in 1963, "Scotty's" stands 5m tall, is a year older than the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour - how cool!
At this point in the road trip, you've officially driven from one capital city to another - congratulations! Have you had your fill of Big Things yet? I don't think I will ever answer 'yes' to that question, so of course, my road trip continued on further into South Adelaide. If I had unlimited time, I would most definitely have continued until I reached Perth - there are so many Big Things on my bucket list on the road from South Australia to Perth!
Quite a long drive, but the scenery makes it well worth it!
Stop #11: Kingscote, South Australia Location: 59 Playford Hwy, Kingscote SA 5223
Okay, so this Big Bee is located on Kangaroo Island, Australia's third largest island, and even a Big Thing fanatic like me would not contest the fact that it is not worth taking a ferry over to this island with the sole purpose of seeing the Big Bee. However, Kangaroo Island was breathtaking - you are surrounded by the best that nature could possibly offer. Besides, the 'Remarkable Rocks' on Kangaroo Island may as well be a Big Thing - they're massive!
Stop #13: Port Lincoln, South Australia Location: 30 Ravendale Rd, Port Lincoln SA 5606
This Big Bobtail Lizard is located outside the Port Lincoln Aboriginal Community Council in Port Lincoln, approximately 6 hours from Adelaide. Similar to the Big Bee, it may not be worth driving 6 hours just to see this Big Thing, but the reason why I came was for shark cage diving with the Great White Sharks - which can possibly be considered a Big Thing? The drive out to Port Lincoln is beautiful, providing you do it during the day - at night, it gets really really dark with no street lights, and there is a much greater risk of having a collision with Australia's wildlife. Besides, there is a really cool and significant Big Thing on the way back to Adelaide...
Stop #14: Kimba, South Australia Location: Eyre Wy, Eyre Hwy, Kimba SA 5641
The significance of this Big Galah is that the town it is in, Kimba, marks the half way mark between the east and west coasts of Australia! Kimba is a small service town, with its name derived from the local Aboriginal word for 'bushfire'.
Stop #15: Napperby, South Australia Location: 60 National Highway A1, Napperby SA 5540
Okay, so this might not be a traditional Big Thing as it is made out of many tins, but it is so unique that I had to include it on this list! It's also a great pit stop on the road trip for a (clean) bathroom break, as well as fill up at the BP here.
Would love to stay at the Tin Man Roadhouse Motel someday.
Stop #16, #17, and #18: Napperby, South Australia Location: 150 Port Wakefield Rd, Two Wells, SA 5501
A hidden gem of an area encompassing 3 Big Things! I didn't come across these Big Things despite extensive research before my trip, but chanced upon these beautiful objects en route back to Adelaide. Coolest of them all is definitely the World's Biggest Cockroach - of course, it had to be in Australia!
Not counting the border between Queensland and New South Wales (seeing as I accidentally drove over the border in Tweeds Head - very anti-climatic), this was my first road trip that covers 2 states - both Victoria and South Australia have their own unique landscapes and scenery, it was so good being able to drive on a wide variety of roads.
As I'm not from either Victoria or South Australia, are there any Big Things in between the cities of Melbourne and Adelaide that I have missed? If yes, please do comment below so that I can add them to my bucket list for next time!
There's also a giant garden gnome in Frankston. It's 9m high and shiny silver and has been the subject of all sorts of tongue in cheek vandalism some of which was a bit rude. It's actually a sculpture called Refective Lullaby. I can vouch for the reflective bit having driven past there on a sunny day.