Giant melon to be Queensland's next Big Thing
IT'S Queensland's next big tourist attraction - literally.
The Western Downs town of Chinchilla, 290kms west of Brisbane, will today officially unveil the Big Melon, a giant, 9m long slice of fibreglass watermelon which will stand loud and proud permanently on the main street.
In a throwback to the tourism era where big was definitely beautiful, the melon follows in the footsteps of the Sunshine Coast's Big Pineapple and Bowen's Big Mango.
In a promotion headed by online travel giant Wotif.com, voters were asked to name Queensland's next big thing in tourism, with the Big Melon edging out the Big Peanut which was planned for Kingaroy.
The melon was installed yesterday and will promote next year's MelonFest, the biennial celebration of everything to do with watermelons.
Western Downs Mayor Paul McVeigh said the melon would spark renewed tourism in the town.
"It looks absolutely fantastic and I can see it being a real showstopper," he said.
"It's such a fun fruit and this is very exciting for us."
Wotif Managing Director Daniel Finch said ''big'' tourist attractions were still a favourite for Aussie travellers.
"There's no denying 'Big Things' are an inherent part of regional tourism and help put local communities on the map," he said.
"Queensland is home to the most 'Big Things' in Australia, and we're confident The Big Melon will give Aussies one more reason to explore Chinchilla and add this great town to their next road trip."
Wotif research has shown big tourist attractions remain an Aussie favourite, with 90 per cent of people having visited at least one in their lifetime.
However, Chinchilla's bold claim might have locals spitting pips in the Whitsunday town of Gumlu which already has its own big watermelon, albeit on a smaller scale.
QUEENSLAND'S BIG ATTRACTIONS
■ The Big Mango, Bowen
■ The Big Pineapple, Sunshine Coast
■ The Golden Gumboot, Tully
■ The Yatala Pie Shop, Gold Coast
■ The Big Barramundi, Normanton and Daintree
■ The Big Barrel, Bundaberg
■ The Big Banana, Coffs Harbour and Mackay