Kew, a small town in the Mid North Coast region of New South Wales, is home to the Big Axe. You will find this gigantic axe beside the Kew Visitor Centre.
Constructed in 1972, the sculpture is among the old Big Things of Australia.
The Big Axe was built to commemorate the ‘timber getters’ who traded timber in the region between the mid 18th and early 19th century. Later, tree harvesting in the region reduced due to regulations passed to preserve the forests in the area.
This eight-metre-long Big Axe has had a couple of transformations since it was first mounted on its two metal pillars in 1972. Despite its age, it looks pretty solid and in good shape.
Below is a brief history of its transformations.
Transformations of the Big Axe
Age took a toll on the Big Axe when ants munched down its handle. In 2002, the Big Axe got its first makeover.
The original sculpture was replaced because of irreversible damages caused by the ants. After serving another 15 years, it got a second refurbishment in 2017.
This time, the axe’s head was completely replaced by Peter Harper of the Kendall’s Men Shed, and its handle repainted. This was the third head the Big Axe had acquired since 1972. The men from the shed were assisted by some local businesses and individuals who played different roles in the refurbishment project.
The Kew Visitor Centre secured $5,000 from the Place Making grant funds of the General Community Grant. The money settled the expenses of the axe’s facelift. Also, more support came from the Port Macquarie-Hastings Councils during the refurbishment process.
At the moment, the refurbished Big Axe sits two metres lower than its original height to make it easier for locals and visitors to capture a more beautiful view of the sculpture.
You may enjoy reading about other big things such as The Big Banana.