Big Things in Queensland Bucket List
You may have heard of the Big Pineapple and the Big Mango, but what about Queensland’s other 46 big things?
These big guys have been around for a while and were hot way before the world of Instagram and selfie sticks. We’ve created a bucket list of big things in Queensland from the Gold Coast to the Daintree so you can tick these big boys off!
So, charge your smartphone, fuel up with petrol and roadie snacks, get the playlist pumping and take on Queensland’s Big Things Bucket List on your next retro road trip.
The Big Smoke: Brisbane
- The big things road trip begins in Brisbane. You’ll find a collection of big things around South Brisbane starting at the Queensland Museum. Meet T-Rex and Triceratops in ENERGEX Playasaurus Place on the Ground Floor. Then wander towards QPAC to find the big cicada near the bus stop. Your final big thing in the area is the big wheel. If you need a break from the big things list challenge, grab a ticket on the Wheel of Brisbane, kick back, and enjoy the views from above the River City.
Photo Challenge: Do your best T-Rex or Triceratops impression in front of the dinosaurs at the Queensland Museum.
Comparing Pineapples to Mandarins
- You can’t get bigger than Queensland’s coastal drive – the Pacific Touring Route. From Brisbane, head on the up the Bruce Highway to the Sunshine Coast. Your first stop is the Big Mower in Beerwah.
- While it’s not officially a ‘big thing’, the pub at Aussie World on the highway between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast makes for a classic family holiday snap, too.
- Jump back on the M1 and head towards Big Things Mecca: The Big Pineapple (which is also the site of the Big Macadamia) in Woombye. The Big Pineapple hosts weekly fresh food markets and the annual Big Pineapple Festival in May. You can also meet farm animals at the Queensland Zoo, which is onsite. Either way, the Big Pineapple is definitely worth a stop to stretch your legs and line up that selfie or jump shot.
- It’s time to jump back in the car on the M1 and head towards Noosaville. Here you’ll find the Big Pelican at Lions Park in Noosaville, on the bank of the Noosa River. Grab an ice-cream on Hastings Street and watch the surfers do their thing at Main Beach before hitting the road. If you need to stretch your legs, try the Noosa National Park coastal track. You’ll find loads of big things (waves and the hefty drop at Hell’s Gate) to keep you entertained.
- Next stop is Matilda the Kangaroo. She represented Australia at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane and has enjoyed batting her eyelids in retirement south of Gympie. Stop into the Visitor Information Centre for some local tips once you’ve taken your pic.
Photo Challenge: Jump shot (and GIF) in front of the Big Pineapple.
From Bush Rangers to Juicy Fruits
- Jump back on the Bruce Highway and continue north. Take the Maryborough exit and keep an eye out for a big Ned Kelly as you head into town. It’s not a big thing, but if you’re a big Mary Poppins fan, you should definitely head to the corner of Kent and Richmond Streets and get a pic with Mary herself (well, the Mary Poppins statue anyway)!
- It’s time for a sea change. Follow the sea breeze and head east to Hervey Bay. You’ll find a Big Whale at the Fraser Coast Discovery Sphere (you will also find humpback whales in real life in the bay area from June till October every year!).
- Before getting back on the road, grab some local fish and chips or famous Hervey Bay scallops, find a spot on the beach from Urangan or Scarness and soak in the sunset.
- From Hervey Bay, head north to sugarcane country, Bundaberg. Bundy is the home of the Big Barrel and Big Bottle (of Bundaberg Rum). You can do tours at both the Bundaberg Rum Distillery and Bundaberg Brewed Drinks. There’s a Big Turtle at the park at Bargara which is perfect for your youngins to bust some energy out before getting back on the journey.
- Take the Isis Highway south-west from Bundaberg. Before you hit Childers you’ll find the Big Beer (we’re talking about Queensland’s amber nectar, XXXX Gold) on the Bruce Highway at Apple Tree Creek. You’ll be making a big mistake if you don’t stop in at Mammino in Childers for one of the best ice-creams!
- Continue west on the Isis Highway. Your next stop is the Big Orange in Gayndah. The drive out will be filled with farmed fields and honesty boxes so you can buy the local produce. Make sure you stop in at the Big Orange Café to try the local drop (OJ).
- For some more citrus action, head a further 35 kilometers west on the Burnett Highway (along the Burnett Circle drive) to the Big Mandarin at Munduberra. Follow the Isis Highway east to rejoin the Bruce Highway.
Photo Challenge: Show us your best blue steel and tough it out in front of the Big Ned Kelly in Maryborough.
REEF AND BEEF
- You’ll find the next big thing in Miriam Vale. It’s the Big Crab at the Shell Service Station. Do as the locals do and stop in for a fresh crab sandwich.
- Next stop, beef country! Rockhampton is the home of the Big Bull or Bulls! There are a few around town so keep your eyes peeled. Big Thing aficionados may question the ‘big thing’ label as they are more like life-size bulls, but still worth a photo stop regardless. To try the local carnivore fare, head to the Great Western Hotel. The hotel hosts their own rodeo every Friday night. You’ll also find the Big Dugong at Dreamtime Cultural Centre on the Bruce Highway.
- After Rocky, head west on the Capricorn Way to Emerald where you’ll find an unusual big thing – a Big Easel. The mural is a 25-metre replica of the wonderful Sunflowers created by Vincent Van Gogh. You’ll find field upon field of yellow if you head out in sunflower season, too. If you’re heading out further on the gem trail, check out the Big Spanner in Sapphire.
Photo challenge: How many bulls can you find in Rockhampton? Put them together in a Flipagram or a multi-image tweet!
SLIPPERY LITTLE SUCKERS: CANE TOADS, SNAKES & FROGS
- Make your way back to the coast and continue north to Sarina. Here you’ll find the Big Cane Toad. While cane toads aren’t the best-looking Big Things, they are the mascot for Queensland’s beloved rugby league team for the State of Origin. We’re hoping for a Big Platypus someday in the Mackay region to pay homage to the local shy guys that you can see in the wild at Eungella National Park.
- Two hours north of Mackay, you’ll find the Big Mango in Bowen. This big boy is one of the most photographed Big Things in Queensland, so make sure you stop here for a full on Next Top Model-style photo shoot. For more local tips and a delicious 100% mango sorbet treat, stop in to the Visitor Information Centre, right next door to the Big Mango.
- Things get more fruity as you continue north 50 kilometres to Gumlu. You’ll find the Big Watermelon on the highway north of Gumlu.
- Head to Ayr (along the Bruce Highway) to get a snap with the Big Snake at Plantation Park.
- Jump back in the car and continue north as a Big Brolga awaits you south of Townsville. Stop in at the Visitor Information Centre to get the goss on famous local Tonka the Wombat who calls Billabong Sanctuary home. He’s a pretty big deal.
- You won’t believe it, but we have two Big Crabs in Queensland. Your second crabby viewing opportunity is in Cardwell on the Bruce Highway at Richards Street. If you are looking to break up the drive, make your way to Hinchinbrook Island or even Murray Falls in Girramay National Park on the mainland.
- Tully, located 30 minutes north of Cardwell, is known for its gushing river and epic rainfall stats. To celebrate this, they have a big Golden Gumboot with a cute frog! If you’re in need of some adrenalin action, head to the Tully River for some white-water rafting.
Photo challenge: Stick your head through the serving suggested photo frame at the Big Watermelon in Gumlu.
TROPIC THUNDER: CASSOWARIES TO CROCS
- Mission Beach marks the start of the Cassowary Coast. It’s one of the best places to spot a cassowary in the wild. It is probably safer to get your selfie with the Big Cassowary though.
- Head back up the Bruce Highway towards Cairns. Here you’ll find a Big Captain Cook along Sheridan Street and the Big Marlin at the Earlville Shopping Centre.
- If you’re in need of something salty, head to Tolga to find the friendliest Big Peanut you’ve ever seen. He is waiting to welcome you at the Peanut Place on the Kennedy Highway.
- It’s time to head north for the final time to the World Heritage-listed Daintree Rainforest. The drive up along the coast is epic. Make sure you stop at Rex’s lookout for a sweet view of the beaches below. You’ll pass Palm Cove and Port Douglas (both worthy of a pitstop!). There are loads of big things in the Daintree, but keep an eye out for the Big Croc Head (and medium cassowary) on Daintree Road before you cross the Daintree River over to Cow Bay and Cape Tribulation. Across the river, you’ll find the Big Barramundi at the Big Barramundi Garden. For some outdoorsy fun, try your hand at Jungle Surfing or kayak where the rainforest meets the reef at Cape Trib.
Photo challenge: See how many people you can fit into the Big Croc Head at the Daintree River!
JURASSIC PARK: DINOSAURS TO CROCODILES
- Now that you’re at the top of map in terms of Queensland’s big things, there’s only one way to go: West! Take the Savannah Way from Cairns and make your way to Normanton. Here you’ll find another Big Barramundi (just like Pokemon, you’ve got to catch or photograph them all!) and a Big Crocodile. Get to know some outback legends before getting back on the road north to Karumba. You’ll find another Big Barramundi at the Barramundi Discovery Centre.
- From Karumba, head south on the Matilda Highway until you hit the Overlanders Way at Cloncurry. Go east to meet the Big Kronosaurus in Richmond.
- Continue east on the Overlanders Way to Hughenden before taking State Route 66 south to find some prehistoric beauties at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs just outside of Winton. Say “g’day” to Banjo, Australia’s greatest carnivorous dinosaur before doing the half-day tour.
- Take the Matilda Way south-east for 400 kilometers of Winton to get to Blackall. Blackall is home to shearing in Queensland and has the Big Sheep. To see how it was done back in the day, head to the Blackall Woolscour and get your photo in front of the Jackie Howe statue in town.
- From Blackall, jump back on the Matilda Highway. Take a stop in Augathella to check out the Big Meat Ant.
- From Auguthella, head south to Charleville (home of the big skies and telescope at the Cosmos Centre) and then way, way west to Birdsville. Birdsville is close to the South Australia and New South Wales border and is home to Big Red. Big Red is the only natural inclusion in the list. Climb up it, drive your 4WD over it or calmly sit at sunset and take in the awesome view with a champas or cold brew in hand. Ahhh, the serenity.
Photo challenge: Snap a dinosaur at sunset in Winton.
Pyramids and Pies
- Make the most of the red dirt and open spaces and then take the highway back towards the coast via Windorah (home of some impressive solar panels), Quilpie and Charleville. Next stop is Big Rig in Roma. Head to the Royal Hotel for a pit-stop in Roma.
- The Big Things Bucket List is nearly complete! It’s time to continue east along the Warrego highway towards Queensland’s wine country. As you approach Dalby, take Australia’s Country Way south to Ballandean. Here you’ll find a Big Pyramid made of rocks on Jacobson’s Road. Keep an eye out for the Big Apple at Vincenzo’s in Stanthorpe. Make sure you try some locally made apple pie, cider and Verdelho to wind down.
- From Stanthorpe, take the A15 highway towards the Gold Coast. Once you’ve seen the big surf beaches, jump onto the highway towards Brisbane and find your final big thing, the Big Pie at Yatala. It’s definitely worth stopping for a classic meat pie. And don’t hold back on the gravy or mushy peas!
Photo challenge: Have fun lining your model up with the Big Apple or Big Pie – either take a bite or hold it in your hand.