Take a Big Things Road Trip
Victoria's Big Things; some are artworks, some are creative commercial signage, and some are buildings. Whether officially recognised as a Big Thing or not, all capture our imagination.
The Big Hens at Meredith (Photo by Mattinbgn CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
The more than forty listed below are part of an ever-growing list as businesses and towns choose big things to place them on the map.
Make a list and tick them off. It's a great excuse for a road trip holiday.
Melbourne CBD and Inner City
1. The (Big) Public Purse - Bourke Street Mall
Mud Map of Victoria's Big Things (Copyright Gayle Beveridge)
The Public Purse in the Bourke Street Mall is not just there to be admired - it is a seat for visitors. Designed in 1994 by artist Simon Perry, it was part of a program to integrate public art into the city. The Public Purse is sculpted from red granite and stainless steel and is themed to fit into the commercial focus of Melbourne's Central Business District.
2. The Giant Pocket Watch - Melbourne
The Public Purse in Bourke Street, Melbourne (Photo by Julia CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
The Giant Pocket Watch at Melbourne Central Shopping Centre dwarfs the upper balcony. This watch strikes on the hour to the tune of Waltzing Matilda and as it does, the back descends displaying galahs and cockatoos. This popular tourist attraction is next to the Shot Tower Museum. It can be found at 211 La Trobe Street, Melbourne.
3. The Big Skipping Girl - Abbotsford
The Big Skipping Girl is an iconic Melbourne advertising sign ironically named Little Audrey. Built in 1936, the original sign advertised Skipping Girl Vinegar. Today's sign is a smaller replica but has none-the-less been listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. The Big Skipping Girl can be seen atop the building at 651 Victoria Street, Abbotsford.
4. The Big Bees Melbourne
The Big Skipping Girl at Abbotsford (Photo by Biatch at English Wikipedia Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
The Big Bees form part of a huge aluminium sculpture of a bee colony which adorns the side of Eureka Tower, Melbourne's tallest building. The bees are a gold colour as is the top of the tower. Eureka Tower and the bees can be found at Riverside Quay, Southbank, in Melbourne.
5. The Big Petition Melbourne
The Big Bees on the Eureka Tower in Melbourne (Photo by Chris Phutully from Australia (Eureka Tower (Melbourne)) CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Unveiled in 2008 to commemorate 100 years of women's right to vote in Victoria, The Big Petition is 20 metres long. It represents a petition of almost 30,000 signatures raised in 1891, on papers stuck to sewn strips of calico stretching 260 metres. Titled The Great Petition, the sculpture sits proudly in Burston Reserve at MacArthur Street, in Melbourne near Parliament House.
6. The Big Coffee Maker Brunswick
The Big Coffee Maker heralds the presences of Georges Gourmet Coffee in Brunswick. Georges supplies coffee beans and coffee making accessories. They describe their beans as "Mystery in a Cup". This big stovetop espresso pot was set in place in February 2014. The Big Coffee Maker can be found at 340 Victoria Street, Brunswick.
7. The Big Flower - Yarra Junction
The Big Stove Top Espresso Pot (Photo from Georges Gourmet Coffee Facebook Page)
The giant metal gerbera that graces the top of Flowers @ Junction is The Big Flower. Flowers @ Junction is at 2455 Warburton Highway, Yarra Junction.
8. FIDO The Big Dog Fairfield
FIDO, the Fairfield Industrial Dog Object, is a recycled-hardwood sculpture forming part of the City of Darebin's Public Art Works. The sculpture is 5.5 metres tall and 8 metres long. It was built amongst much controversy in August 2000 at a cost of around $50,000. FIDO can be found beside the Fairfield Railway Station at the corner of Gillies Street and Railway Place, Fairfield.
9. The Big Watermelon - Bushy Park Wantirna
FIDO Fairfield Industrial Dog Object (Photo by Bourko at English Wikipedia - Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
The Big Watermelon is a giant watermelon slice marking the location for the vegetable and fruit wholesaler of the same name. The Big Watermelon is at 1161 High Street Road, Wantirna South.
10. The Big Abalone - Laverton North
The Big Abalone is a revolving fibreglass sculpture introduced in 2001 amidst much fanfare. The then Victorian Premier, Steve Bracks, unveiled it declaring Victoria to be the abalone capital of the world. The Big Abalone marks the location of Australian Abalone Exports at 18-20 Plummer Road, Laverton North.
11. The Big Gnome Langwarrin
The Big Abalone in Laverton North (Photo by Timothy Bridgman (Own work) Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)
Plagued by more than its fair share of ridicule the shiny, silver Big Gnome by sculptor Gregor Kregar stands 9 metres tall. The Big Gnome, titled Reflective Lullaby, towers over the passing traffic at Cranbourne Road, Frankston by the Peninsula Link Freeway. It is due to be relocated to the nearby McLelland Sculpture Park in 2019.
12. The Big Golf Ball Clayton South
This is one golf ball that will never be lost in the rough. The Big Golf Ball can be found at The Spring Valley Golf Club, 619 Heatherton Road in Melbourne's Clayton South.
13. The Big Pelicans Marriott Waters
At Marriott Waters Recreation Reserve nothing is done in small measure, so here is not one Big Pelican but many. Large metal sculptures of pelicans are set on raised platforms; pelicans on the nest, pelicans feeding chicks, pelicans taking flight and more. The Big Pelicans can be found at Boland Drive, (Marriott Waters) Lyndhurst.
Wimmera, Grampians and Southern Coast
14. The Big Wool Bales - Hamilton
One of many large metal pelican statues scattered throughout the reserve (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Sadly the Big Wool Bales no longer herald the entrance to a museum and caf้. The business closed in 2013 leaving the three giant bales. A silent sentinel to times past, they are still a popular tourist attraction. The Big Wool Bales can be found at 230 Coleraine Road, Hamilton.
15. The Giant Koala - Dadswell Bridge
The Big Wool Bales in Hamilton (Photo by Mattinbgn (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
The Giant Koala is 14 metres tall and weighs in at 12 tons. It was constructed in 1989 from a design by Ben Van Zetton. The Koala is a tourist shop which beside a caf้, a motel and a small petting zoo. An internal staircase takes visitors to the top. The Giant Koala is on the Western Highway at Dadswell Bridge between Stawell and Horsham in the Grampians region.
16. The Big Mallee Bull Birchip
The Giant Koala at Dadswell Bridge (Photo by Mattinbgn (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Birchip claims to be the home of the Mallee Bull. The Big Mallee Bull was constructed in 1991. It depicts the tale of Big Red, a raging Mallee Bull said to lead a herd of cattle in the late 1800's and now the stuff of legend. You will find Big Red in the medium strip at 26 Cumming Avenue, Birchip.
17. The Big Cows - Newhaven
The Big Mallee Bull at Birchip (Photo by Mattinbgn (Own work) CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
The Big Cows take pride of place outside the Phillip Island Chocolate Factory. Tick these robust beauties off your 'Big Things' list and call in for all manner of chocolate treats and see the chocolatiers at work. The Big Cows are at 930 Phillip Island Road, Newhaven, on Phillip Island.
18. The Big Koala Cowes
Big Cows at Newhaven on Phillip Island (Photo by Bilby CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
The Big Koala on Phillip Island is ideally located. It sits out front of the Holiday Park near the Rusty Water Brewery and Restaurant for Mum and Dad and the Amaze 'N Things Fun Park for the kids. The Koala Conservation Park where the whole family can have a great time is nearby. The Big Koala can be found at 1825 Phillip Island Road, Cowes.
19. The Big Tap Phillip Island
The Big Koala at Cowes (Photo by Bilby CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
The Big Tap at 1805 Phillip Island Road Cowes, Phillip Island an Amaze 'N Things feature. Amaze 'N Things is an entertainment park offering a maze, mini golf, illusion rooms, puzzles, and a skytrail with high rope adventure courses. The Big Tap is one of the parks optical illusions. It appears to be suspended in mid-air, spouting water into a building.
20. The Big Wave - Newhaven
The Big Tap at Amaze N Things on Phillip Island (Photo by Bilby CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
The vibrant blue and white Big Wave sculpture marks the Big Wave Complex at 10 Phillip Island Road, Newhaven. The sculpture is interactive. It depicts surfing the pipe but only after you hop onto the surfboard inside for a photo. Surfing is a popular pastime on the Island.
Mallee and Sunraysia
21. The Giant Murray Cod - Swan Hill
The Big Wave at Newhaven on Phillip Island (Photo by Bilby CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
The Giant Murray Cod at Swan Hill at 14 metres long and 5 metres high is an oversized replica of the species of fish native to the Murray River. The model named Arnold started life as a movie prop in 'Eight Ball'. After completion of the movie in 1992, Arnold was donated to the town of Swan Hill. The Giant Murray Cod is at the Swan Hill Railway Station at 139 Curlewis Street.
22. The Big Mallee Root Ouyen
The Big Murray Cod at Swan Hill (Photo by Whinging Pom Flickr CC BY SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
This big thing is not a statue or work of art but the actual giant root of a Mallee tree. In 2017 there was a challenge to Ouyen's claim to have Australia's largest Mallee Root. Reputations were secured during the inaugural Mallee Root Festival in March 2017 when Guinness World Records officials confirmed the root, at 10.69 metres in circumference to be the biggest. The Big Mallee Root can be found at 6 Calder Hwy, Ouyen.
23. The Big Orange - Mildura
The Big Orange marks the location of the Orange World, an orchard and tourist attraction near Mildura. Here visitors enjoy a tractor-train tour and a narrative delivered a large dose of showmanship. The smile on the Big Orange speaks for itself. Orange World is on the Silver City Highway in Mourquong, a few minutes from Mildura.
24. The Big Mallee Fowl Patchewollock
The Big Orange (Photo copyright Gayle Beveridge)
The Big Mallee Fowl are two large corrugated iron sculptures. The sculptures are part of a historical park which includes the restored railway station and goods shed, both classified by the National Trust. They can be found at in Patchewollock, home to one of Victoria's painted silos.
25. Big Lizzie - Red Cliffs
Unlike many of our Big Things is not a sculpture but a real giant tractor which used the Bottrill Dreadnaught wheel, the forerunner of caterpillar tracks. Big Lizzie is 10.4 metres high, 5.5 metres wide and weighs 40.8 tonnes. When she was built in 1915/16 Big Lizzie was the largest tractor in Australia and may have been the largest in the world. You can see Big Lizzie at Barclay Square on the Calder Highway in Red Cliffs.
26. The Big Wheat Ouyen
Big Lizzie at Red Cliffs (Photo by cheekydog (flickr.com) CC BY SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
The Big Wheat is a fitting icon in Ouyen, a town surrounded by wheat fields and is home to large wheat loading facilities and grain silos. The Big Wheat stands at 6 Calder Hwy, Ouyen next to The Big Mallee Root.
27. The Big Octopus Lakes Entrance
Looming large atop Griffiths Sea Shell Museum and Marine Display, its tentacles draped across the roof, the Big Octopus is quite the curio. In the building beneath over 90,000 shells and sea creatures are on display. The Big Octopus can be found at 125 Esplanade, Lakes Entrance.
28. The Big Pheasant Tynong
This very colourful concrete pheasant has long marked the entrance to Gumbuya World, a wildlife and theme park on 2705 Princes Highway in Tynong. The Big Pheasant honours the property's historic use as a pheasant farm.
29. The Big Beer Glass Mirboo North
The Big Pheasant at Gumbuya World in Tynong (Photo by Bilby CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
Not content with ordinary signage, The Grand Ridge Brewery and Restaurant erected The Big Beer Glass. Not only representative of Aussie culture, the Big Beer Glass is a talking point. Does this beer have just the right amount of foam? What do you think? The Grand Ridge Brewery is at 1 Baromi Road, Mirboo North.
30. The Big Cigar Churchill
At 31 metres high the Big Cigar might be the world's largest. The monument was erected to honour Sir Winston Churchill. Amongst much controversy, the town's name was changed from Hazelwood to Churchill in 1965. The Big Cigar dwarfs its surrounds at Monash Way, Churchill.
31. The Big Mullet - Fish Creek
The Big Mullet lies on its side atop the Fish Creek Hotel. Often referred to as the big dead fish or the Stunned Mullet, this iconic sculpture was restored in late 2016. The historic art d้co hotel, known locally as The Fishy Pub was built in 1939. The Big Fish did not take its place on the corner of the roof until 1989. The Big Mullet can be found at 1 Old Waratah Road, Fish Creek.
High Country and Yarra Ranges
32. The Big Wine Bottle - Rutherglen
In 1969 the old 18,226 litre (70,000 gallon) water tower in Rutherglen had its top shaped as a wine bottle. This towering iconic tourist attraction was revived in 2014 and is a fitting statement for one of Victoria's premier wine growing regions. The Big Wine Bottle can be found in Hunter Street, Rutherglen.
33. The Big Cigarette Myrtleford
Not the most politically correct monument in this day and age, the Big Cigarette in Myrtleford stands in front of the old Tobacco Co-Op. The Big Cigarette is on Prince Street, Myrtleford next to the Showgrounds.
34. The Big Ned Kelly Glenrowan
The 'Big Ned Kelly', is just across the road from Kate's Cottage and Ned Kelly Museum. Behind the museum is a replica of the Kelly homestead presented as it was in Ned's day. At 6 metres tall, Ned's statue towers over the shops. You will find the Big Ned Kelly at the corner of Gladstone and Kate Streets, Glenrowan.
35. The Big Rolling Pin - Wodonga
The 'Big Ned Kelly' at Glenrowan (Photo Copyright Gayle Beveridge)
Above Henri's Wodonga Bakery sits a 13.2 metres long rolling pin. The rolling pin is 1 metre in diameter and weighs 2 tons. It is claimed to be the world's biggest. Erected in 1992, the rolling pin is powered by an electric motor and does turn. The bakery can be accessed from the Coles car park in Hovell Street, Wodonga.
36. The Big Apple Gladysdale
The Big Apple is a fibreglass statue hanging from a pole in front of the Gladysdale Primary School. The school hosts the annual Apple and Wine Festival. The Big Apple can be found at 550-560 Yarra Junction-Noojee Road, Gladysdale.
37. The Big Strawberry - Koonoomoo
The Big Strawberry is not just a Big Thing but is the name of a business offering all things strawberry. Visitors can tempt their taste buds in the caf้ or lash out on jams and condiments. There is even strawberry picking in season. The Big Strawberry is made of steel and fibreglass was constructed in 2005. The Big Strawberry is at 7034 Goulburn Valley Hwy, Koonoomoo in the Goulburn Valley.
38. The Big Milkshake Containers Tongala
The Big Strawberry Koonoomoo (Photo by Mattinbgn CC BY SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
You will find the Big Milkshake Containers in the heart of dairying country. They mark the Golden Cow Dairy Education Centre, set up in 1994 for tourists and students alike. The Big Milkshake containers are at the corner of Henderson and Finlay Streets in Tongala.
39. The Big Cherry - Wyuna
The Big Cherry, known locally as Big Kev is a giant animated cherry outside a farm gate business and caf้ in Victoria's Sun Country on the Murray. The Big Cherry stands tall at 6448 Murray Valley Highway, Wyuna.
Goldfields and Bellarine
40. The Big Miner - Ballarat
The Big Cherry in Wyuna (Photo by WikiWookie CC BY SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
At 6 metres tall and sitting atop a 2 metre high, 15 tonne base, the Big Miner is hard to miss. The hand sculptured polystyrene statue announces your arrival at Gold Rush Mini Golf. The Big Miner and the two themed 18-hole mini golf courses can be found at 4/9367 Western Highway, Warrenheip, Ballarat, next door to the Woolshed.
41. The Big Flower Bendigo
The Big Miner at Ballarat (Photo by Bilby CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
The Big Lotus at Dai Gum San in Bendigo is 5 metres tall. In the Chinese precinct of Dai Gum San which encompasses the Golden Dragon Museum, the Yi Yuan Gardens and Kuan Yin Temple. The precinct and the Big Lotus can be found at 1 Bridge Street, Bendigo.
42. The Big Sphinx Geelong
The 15 metre high Big Sphinx is just a part of the Egyptian theme of this popular Geelong Hotel. The Sphinx Hotel is located at 2 Thompson Road, Geelong.
43. The Big Cricket Bats Shepherds Flat
At Cricket Willow in Shepherds Flat two Big Cricket Bats stand sentinel at the gateway. Willow trees for cricket bats have been grown here for over 100 years. Visitors to Cricket Willow can view the making of cricket bats from start to finish. The Big Cricket Bats can be found at 355 Hepburn-Newstead Rd, Shepherds Flat.
44. The Big Hens Meredith
The Big Cricket Bats at Shepherds Flat (Photo by Mattinbgn CC BY SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
These three giant pedestal mounted hens are your introduction to the Happy Hens Egg Farm in Meredith. This free-range farm is focussed on production through happy and well cared for hens and the Big Hens are often referred to as the Happy Hens. The Big Hens can be found at Midland Hwy and Taylors Road, Meredith.