Do you think family road trips the best thing on earth or hell on literal wheels? We recently took our 3 kids on a trip to see their grand parents in Mt Gambier, South Australia. Well, my daughter and I cut out of the trip early because we had to fly home from Sydney to get back to work. But not before I got my selfie with my less-than enthused 13-year-old-girl and 2 younger brothers in front of that bent bit of famous fruit at Coffs Harbour. When I was a kid there was nothing more exciting than The Big Banana. It was a big deal and I have a big memory of visiting it. I had my 5 smurfs and a pack of cards to entertain myself for the trip from Brisbane and was squished in the backseat of Mum’s Mazda with my brother and sister. We listened to the one cassette of Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers the whole way down. There were no kindles, no Spotify, no Wordle and no iPad to keep us company. Built in 1964, the genesis for the BB came all those decades ago when John Landi was looking for a means to stop passing traffic at his roadside banana stall. John was clearly a big thinking man. This iconic yellow tourist magnet started the trend for oversized objects – giving way to big apples, avocados, beer cans, guitars, potatoes and more. Closer to home of course we have our beloved Pineapple and the smallish Big Prawn in the carpark of Erbachers Fruit and Vegetable shop. 

My favourite is the glorious Matilda the Kangaroo from the 1982 Commonwealth Games who stands tall and proud at the Kybong Matilda Service Station on the way to Gympie. But let us go back to the bend of the Big Banana. The kids did not even want to get out of the car for a belfie (a banana selfie I excitedly screamed at them). They begrudgingly did get out of our air-conditioned technology filled ute but the photo is lacklustre with their faces showing their boredom and disdain for the 13 metre long Cavendish Queen. 

The girls eventually flew home from our road trip but the boys in the family trucked on without us and did send me a video and selfie with the Big Ram at Goulburn in New South Wales. The video is priceless.  My husband is trying to muster as much enthusiasm from our sons as he can to impress their audience (me). My 11-year-old mumbles a few words that are actually genius: “It’s butt is way too big for the rest of it.” And my 9-year-old adds “It is just a lot of angry looking concrete hey”.  While my Mum pointed out we were teaching our sons the wrong facts as it is called The Big Marino. His nick name is Rambo. Sigh.  I have tasked the boys to come home via The Big Lobster at Kingston in South Australia.  Surely this hyperactive big orange crustacean will get their juices flowing and I will get the selfie I am craving. We last took a selfie there 6 years ago and Larry the huge crustacean was missing its head.  It gave me nightmares for months. I will keep you posted.

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