The Story of The Big Abalone
The Big Abalone welcomes visitors to Victoria, the ‘Abalone capital of the world.’ Here’s everything you need to know about this unique fibreglass sculpture.
Unveiled in 2001 by Steve Bracks, the oversized mollusc is believed to be one of only two rotating Big Things of Australia, the other being the world’s biggest rolling pin, located atop Henri’s Bakery in Wodonga, Victoria.
The Big Abalone is a fibreglass sculpture of an abalone sitting on top of a 5.3 metres high tower located at the Australian Abalone Exports offices on Plummer Road. Beneath the colossal abalone is a huge placard welcoming visitors to the self-proclaimed Abalone capital of the world – Melbourne, Victoria.
This title derives from the fact that Victoria is home to the abalone-rich coastal waters. Wild abalone fishing is also regarded as one of the most valuable professions in the state’s seafood industry. To get these molluscs out of the water, expert divers descend as far as 30 metres deep into the shark-infested coastal waters and collect them from the ocean bed.
Abalones are highly-priced all over the world and can fetch up to $500 AUD per kilo in the international market, with Asia being the biggest buyer.
Certainly, The Big Abalone is the only abalone that’s not shipped internationally. Instead, it sits in Laverton North, illuminating and rotating to the local’s admiration.
More Shell-Themed Big Things
However, The Big Abalone is not the only shell-shaped Big Thing in Australia. There’s the Big Shell in Tewantin, Queensland, that forms the entrance to a private residential home. There’s also the Big Oyster in Taree, New South Wales, a building complex constructed in the shape of an enormous oyster.