In part two of our big attractions series, Scott Podmore suggest some more ideas for hitting the bright lights of Melbourne in a DriveNow car rental or campervan hire and hunting down the big stuff in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.
MELBOURNE is known for it’s arts culture and fine food, but it’s not above jumping on the “big’’ bandwagon with its famous neon Skipping girl Vinegar sign. The sign, in Victoria Street, Abbotsford, is Victorian Heritage-registered and one of the state’s most significant landmarks. It was first established in the 1930s featuring “Little Audrey’’ and a smaller version replaced it in 1970.
For other big attractions of Victoria, hit the road for the Hume Highway, calling in at Glenrowan where the giant, gun-brandishing Ned Kelly statue stands at Kate’s Cottage. Take the Murray Valley Highway to Rutherglen and toast The Big Wine Bottle, a 1900 water tower, which in 1969 was crowned with a steel mesh ‘bottle’ top to promote the annual wine festival in the area. Rutherglen also features some magnificent old pubs and would be a great place to partake of some of the region’s fine food and wine and then stay the night.
At the very top of Victoria in Wodonga, the Giant Rolling Pin sits atop a bakery in the main street, a good place for a break before venturing on to the next big thing. And that could be the Big Murray Cod at Swan Hill on the Murray River, the Big Strawberry near Cobram or the Big Bull in Birchip in Victoria’s mid-north.
For those wanting to head out the other side of Melbourne, have a look at the Big Tap in Cowes or the Big Cigar in Churchill. Originally, five of these were to be built around points of the town centre’s edge, but only one ever eventuated. The Big Koala sits peacefully at Dadswell bridge on the Western Highway between Horsham and Stawell, and The Big Wool Bales are not far away in Hamilton.
Keep up the momentum and travel across to South Australia where the biggest, and the oldest “big attractions’’ come from. The Big Rocking Horse in the Adelaide Hills stands at over 18 metres tall and weighs more than 25 tonnes. It is part of a wooden toy factory and wildlife park. The Big Scotsman, known as Scotty, was erected in 1963 and is said to be the oldest “big attraction” in the country. Located on the corner of Scotty’s Motel in Medindie, the Big Scotsman was designed by Paul Kelly, who later went on to build the Big Lobster in Kingston. Other big noters in SA include the Big Galah in Kimba, Map the Miner in Kapunda and The Big Olive at Tailem Bend.
Anyone who likes a big drive as much as a big attraction could settle in for an adventure across the Nullabor far, far away in Western Australia where some big name tickets include the Big Crocodile in Wyndham and the Bert Bolle barometer in Denmark, the largest working water barometer recognised by the International Guinness Book of Records.