The Big Oyster in Taree
The History of The Big Oyster
The Big Oyster is located off the Pacific Highway in Taree, New South Wales. It is a building complex constructed in the shape of an enormous Oyster, with its huge windows appearing as the Oyster’s gleaming teeth.
This intriguing complex was the brainchild of two brothers, Attila and Louis Mokany. The duo also invented the idea of the Big Merino in Goulburn and the Big Prawn in Ballina. The Big Oyster was their third venture into constructing Big Things in Australia.
The fibreglass structure was built in 1990 by Glen Industries with the help of two of their prominent sculptors, Tony Colangelo and James Martin. Upon completion, the Big Oyster opened up as a restaurant and a souvenir shop.
The idea behind the massive oyster was to pay homage to the historic oyster industry in the region. The Manning River flows through Taree, producing over 3.5 million oysters annually. In fact, according to the region’s history, the diet of the Aboriginal people, who occupied the area in the 18th century, mainly consisted of seafood supplemented by fruits.
The oyster is 3.6 metres tall and at least 9 metres wide. The construction took more than $700,000 AUD, with some of its finishing left untouched due to the high costs. The Big Oyster restaurant business closed down in 1995. Since then, a couple of businesses have opened up at the building complex. Currently, it houses a car dealership.
Although the by-passing Pacific Highway affected the high visibility of the Big Oyster, visitors can still enjoy a panoramic view of the coast and the Pacific Highway through the Big Oyster’s massive glass windows.
Sea creatures are well represented in the iconic Big Things of Australia. Here is a list of a few popular ones and their locations.
- The Big Prawn in Ballina, the world’s largest artificial prawn.
- The Big Barramundi of Australia.
- The Big Lobster in Kingston SE.