PHOTO: There’s no going back to the Big Pineapple

A big pineapple of the past (photo by Tseen Khoo)
A big pineapple of the past (Photo by Tseen Khoo)

As kids, our family loved the Big Pineapple. We loved going there ourselves, and we took just about every single visitor there as well. Our photo albums are peppered with now-faded shots of various clan members. Complete with big sunglasses and perms. Everything about our trips there signalled excitement, visitors, and happy tension. Childhood’s salad days before we could see past the fibreglass and merchandising.

When I try to think about what it was exactly that we were drawn to, I’m left somewhat empty-handed. I remember the old advertisements on TV that featured ridiculously tall parfaits (that I never had) and the Macadamia Nut Train.

On a recent trip to Queensland, we stopped by the Big Pineapple for old times’ sake. To see it as it is today, and scotch the rumours that we’d all heard that it had been taken away.

It was there. The photo for this post was taken there in September 2014. Surrounding it were grassy, cracked car-parks, rundown novelty stalls, and overgrown pineapple patches. There was an odd little zoo further down the block. Everything felt a little defeated and sad.

We left thinking we didn’t need to go back to the Big Pineapple any more.

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8 thoughts on “PHOTO: There’s no going back to the Big Pineapple

  1. Mabel Kwong 18/12/2014 / 10:53 pm

    What a gigantic fruit sculpture. I have never heard of this Big Pineapple up in Queensland, only the big banana at Coffs Harbour in NSW. Now I want to see those both these attractions with my own eyes. I remember seeing advertisements for tinned pineapples and mangoes a lot when I was watching TV as a kid in Australia. I always sang and danced along to these commercials and my mum thought they were my favourite fruits. But no, banana is my favourite fruit 🙂

      • Mabel Kwong 19/12/2014 / 11:07 pm

        Oh no, no entry! What a pity. I guess we can only admire it from the outside. Ooooh. Thanks for the link, Tseen. Lots of roadside attractions to admire, they look lovely 🙂

        Always nice to see you around here!

  2. oanh 19/12/2014 / 8:42 am

    Never go back.

    We loved the Big Pineapple to and I never once got a sundae or a ride on the Macadamia Nut train.

    The Big Prawn near Ballina is pretty sad, too. But the other bigs that I’ve not seen? I’m keen to see them.

    • Tseen Khoo 19/12/2014 / 9:41 am

      Yes, S. and I have been in the head of the Big Prawn, and it did indeed smell like what one would imagine the inside of a prawn’s head would be (authenticity!). I’ve always wanted to go to the Big Cow, and S. has had the privilege of going to the Big Strawberry AND the Big Guitar. Oh, dizzy heights. Here are some to check out on your next hols: http://www.australianexplorer.com/australian_big_icons.htm (maybe you’ll see Mabel there [see above!])

  3. Katherine Firth 19/12/2014 / 1:10 pm

    Have you read Neil Gaiman’s American Gods? In it he talks of the power of these strange roadside attractions–they are basically Stonehenge after we stopped marking these sites with menhirs. It’s one of my favourite books ever.

    • Tseen Khoo 21/12/2014 / 2:44 pm

      I was given a beautiful copy of American Gods by Jonathan O’Donnell! 😀

      I love the mythology of giant roadside attractions. We have been known to go out of our way by a fair amount, just to see some of them for ourselves…

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