With Tesla set to build the world’s biggest battery in South Australia, we’re getting in the mood with a list of our very best bulbous icons.
THE BIG PELICAN, LOXTON
What it is: Originally built as a Mardi Gras float, Loxton’s larger-than-life Big Pelican burst into the party scene in 1979 where it was straddled by a local drag queen. Further career highlights have included being strapped to the roof of a houseboat and set-free to float solo down the Murray. Loxton’s Big Pelican officially hung up its glittery flippers in the mid-eighties and now resides at the Loxton Riverfront Holiday Park where it enjoys a more relaxed retired life.
Where it is: The Big Pelican is perched gracefully outside the Loxton Riverfront Holiday Park, 1 Sophie Edington Drive, Loxton, South Australia 5333. To drive from Adelaide, it takes just under three hours.
ROOEY II, BORDER VILLAGE
What it is: Border Village’s Rooey II is a fair dinkum giant kangaroo statue holding a can of soft drink. According to locals, Rooey II was originally holding a tinnie which was later confiscated and replaced by a less problematic beverage. Rooey II came-to-be after local truck stop owner Brian Rucioch tried to acquire Matilda, the giant kangaroo mascot of the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games. Sadly, Matilda was no longer in the country so Rucioch and a group of passionate locals did the next best thing and created their own version.
Where it is: Grab a tinnie with Rooey II at Border Village, Nullarbor, South Australia 5690. To drive from Adelaide, it takes a casual 13 hours. We recommend dropping-in if you happen to be driving to/from Western Australia.
THE BIG OLIVES, TAILEM BEND
What it is: Not one, but two 4X4-sized olives (a kalamata and a pimento) greet guests outside Tailem Bend’s aptly named The Big Olive showroom. Here you can buy house-made olive oil, black and green olives, tapenade, soaps and olive-based hampers. Alternatively, simply pull over and marvel at the two spherical wonders before you.
Where it is: Take your pick at 77 Big Olive Grove, Dukes Highway, Tailem Bend, South Australia 5260. To drive from Adelaide, it takes just over an hour.
THE BIG ANT, POOCHERA
What it is: The Eyre Peninsula’s little-known town of Poochera scuttled to fame in 1977 when a new species of ant named Nothomyrmecia macrops was discovered near its town centre. Since then, Poochera has become a Mecca for ant addicts worldwide with a commemorative Queen perched regally in the middle of town.
Where it is: Worship the mighty ant at Poochera, South Australia 5655. To drive from Adelaide, it takes seven hours.
ANOTHER BIG PELICAN, MENINGIE
What it is: The original Big Pelican’s less adventurous sibling lives in the Murray River, Lakes and Coorong's Meningie, just off the Princes Highway. Having successfully avoided the glitz and glamour of Mardi Gras life, it spends its days peacefully perched by the side of the road. A nature-lover from birth, Meningie’s Big Pelican was handcrafted from an old pine tree by Ant's Redgum Gallery in August 2015.
Where it is: Spend some time with the other Big Pelican at the Meningie Lions Jubilee Park, South Australia 5264. To drive from Adelaide, it takes just under two hours.
THE BIG OYSTER, CEDUNA
What it is: Giving The Big Pelican a run for its money, Ceduna’s Big Oyster is a fellow retired pageant queen, having clapped its shell to the rhythm of consecutive Ceduna Oysterfests before retiring in 1994. Swapping the stage for the kitchen, it now rests outside the Ceduna Oyster Bar, where it proudly spruiks the town’s famous seafood scene.
Where it is: See the Big Oyster in action at 35 Eyre Hwy, Ceduna, South Australia 5690. To drive from Adelaide, it takes eight hours.
LARRY THE LOBSTER, KINGSTON SE
What it is: The Big Lobster, known as Larry, stands tall at South Australia’s Kingston. At a whopping 17 metres tall, Larry is often praised as the state’s most impressive big icon, but we’d rather it didn’t go to his gigantic crustacean head. The Big Lobster was built in 1979 as a way to attract attention to the region's visitor information complex and was recently given a much-needed makeover (no offence intended, Larry).
Where it is: The now-more-handsome-than-ever Big Lobster stands proudly at 17 Princes Hwy, Kingston SE, South Australia 5275. To drive from Adelaide, it takes three hours.
THE BIG ROCKING HORSE, GUMERACHA
What it is: The most wholesome of our big things, Gumeracha’s 18 metre-high Big Rocking Horse was concocted in 1981 and to this day, still attracts crowds. The Rocking Horse was designed to catch the attention of passing motorists, luring them to a wooden toy factory, café and wildlife park. Visitors can climb aboard the horse, navigating their way to multiple viewing platforms.
Where it is: Rock on at 452 Torrens Valley Rd, Gumeracha, South Australia 5233. To drive from Adelaide, it takes just under an hour.
BIG MURALS, COONALPYN, PORT ADELAIDE, KIMBA
What is: The tiny town of Coonalypn received an extensive makeover in March with artist Guido van Helten turning the town's grain silos into a South Australia's largest art canvas. The silos feature images of local school children and took over 200 paint cans to complete.
Massive portraits splashed with neon transform warehouses and buildings in Port Adelaide into living stories. On Vincent Street, two ten-floor-high murals dress the walls of a long-abandoned office building. Overlooking the skeletal City of Adelaide shipwreck, it’s a unique mix of contemporary art and history.
Meanwhile, artist Cam Scale is currently adding the final touches to his massive six-silo-long mural, adding life and colour to the Eyre Highway, just outside the Eyre Peninsula's town of Kimba.
Where it is: You'll find the Coonalpyn silos at 23-25 Poyntz Terrace, Coonalpyn SA 5265. To drive from Adelaide, it takes just under two hours.
See Port Adelaide's Mural Map for the best street art spots. To drive from Adelaide, it takes 30 minutes.
Once completed, you can view Cam Scale's silo mural in Kimba. To drive from Adelaide, it takes five hours.