Postcard from Highway One
#19:  Big Things

5 April 2003

As a nation, Australia is infatuated with size.

One of our national icons, Uluru - Ayerís Rock to the unenlightened - is a case in point. When you visit the rock, almost the first thing youíre told is that ours is bigger than anybody elseís.

We all know how vast our open spaces are, but thatís not good enough. We also seem to feel the need to take everyday objects and inflate them to fantastic proportions.

I was inspired to write this postcard upon flying into Carnarvon this morning. Itís my first visit to the town so it was quite a surprise when I first spotted it from the plane, larger than life, standing erect on the townís rural fringe.

Trawling the web this evening, trying to get a handle on the scale of the issue, I found Big Things. This Australian site introduces itself as ďa collection of the most surprising things you've ever seen on the roadside" and is largely a collection of 'supersized' stuff.

Not surprisingly, Big Things reveals advertising to be the major motivation behind the construction of these edifices. Fruit and vegetables tend to predominate, but all manner of unexpected 'big things' have been documented on the site.

My first Ďbig thingí sighting, as far as I can recall was in Goulburn NSW in July 1991. The Big Merino distracts driversí attention from the highway; Standing 15M high itís hard to miss, possibly in more ways than one?

And then thereís Queensland, a state renowned for its large fruits. Among its documented collection of bloated produce, Queensland can boast an apple, a macadamia, a mandarin, an orange, a peanut, two pineapples, two pumpkins and a strawberry.

So far, Iíve revealed that thereís a lot of big fruit out there and that Iíve also seen a ram in Goulburn, but what of Carnarvonís big thing?


© Rob Morgan 2003