Is this Australia’s worst big thing?

Seeing a big thing on the side of the road is a part of every great Australian road trip. Some are very impressive, some are average and others are just plain bad.

On a quest to determine the strangest big thing, Geoff Rissole, New Zealand-born co-founder of the satirical website Sh*t Towns of Australia (STOA), compiled a list of the 32 weirdest big things and asked the public to vote on the one they found the worst.

“I think what’s really great about it, is it shows that Aussies are really passionate about their big things … people really seem to get behind it, they’re really invested in voting and the outcome of who’s going to be the sh*ttest big thing in Australia,” said Mr Rissole.

Read: Your big adventure around Australia starts right here

The start of our love for big things dates back to the 1960s when the Big Scotsman in Adelaide and the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour were unveiled to much delight.

They really caught on and now there are more than 230 big things dotted around the country. Although whether they fit into the category really depends on your definition of ‘big’. I feel that some are definitely more medium-sized.

Whether it’s the Big Lobster, the Big Mango or the (multiple) Big Koalas, Aussies seem to have embraced this trend and celebrate their favourite structures. But only one was ultimately crowned victorious in the 2022 Sh*ttest Big Thing contest.

The experts at STOA shortlisted 32 of the country’s most cringeworthy concrete creatures, fibreglass fruits and other oversized embarrassments and asked the public to vote for the worst one.

The eight that got through to the quarterfinals were:

  1. The Giant Koala in Dadswell Bridge, Victoria
  2. The Big Ant in Broken Hill, NSW
  3. The Big Oyster in Taree, NSW
  4. The Big Bin in Kalgoorlie, WA
  5. The Big Easel in Emerald, Queensland
  6. The Big Potato in Robertson, NSW
  7. The Big Mango in Bowen, Queensland
  8. The Big Captain Cook in Mount Molloy, Queensland.

Ultimately though, the choice came down to The Big Bin and the Big Potato.

Read: The ultimate playlists for iconic road trips

The Big Bin is an eight-metre length of rusty pipe with some handles and ‘The World’s Tallest Bin’ painted on it. It was originally installed as a promotional prop to discourage littering, however, it’s too tall for anyone to actually use.

The Big Potato is… well a large concrete structure that looks similar to a potato. It was built in 1977 and measures around 10 metres long and four metres wide, with a hollow interior.

Visitors used to be able to go inside the Big Potato, but the town had to put a stop to that due to some people unfortunately using it as a toilet.

So maybe it’s quite fitting that the Big Potato was named the Sh*ttest Big Thing in Australia.

Mr Rissole hopes the towns will take the competition’s subject matter on the chin and recognise it in the spirit in which he intends it.

Read: Launceston takes out 2022 top Aussie Town of the Year Award

“We have had a lot of people that have followed our books around and actually gone and visited places that we’ve written about before on the basis of our reviews, so it’s sort of taken with a bit of tongue-in-cheek, as intended, I think it can be quite a good thing,” he said.

Do you agree with the outcome of the poll? Which do you think is the worst big thing in Australia? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Ellie Baxter
Ellie Baxter
Writer and editor with interests in travel, health, wellbeing and food. Has knowledge of marketing psychology, social media management and is a keen observer and commentator on issues facing older Australians.
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