The big barramundi

The 3 Big Barramundi of Australia

The Big Barramundi is a set of oversized sculptures of the barramundi species of fish located in different parts of Australia. As part of our obsession with the Big Things of Australia, this article covers the three big barramundis located in different towns, states, and territories across Australia.

The Big Barramundi in Katherine

The Big Barramundi in Katherine sits atop Rod & Rifle Tackleworld in Katherine, Northern Territory. The shop sells fishing, camping, hunting, caravanning, and barbecue supplies. 

The town of Katherine was named after the Katherine River and is the fourth-largest settlement in the Northern Territory. 

The big barramundi in Katherine
The big barramundi in Katherine. Source: Creative Commons

Given its proximity to the Katherine River, fishing is one of the most popular activities in this town. The river itself is home to the Barramundi, Sooty Grunter Tarpon, among other species of fish. 

The Barramundi is one of the most common types of fish in the Katherine River. The fish is found almost anywhere along the river, but some other popular fishing spots are worth checking out.

Examples of popular fishing spots in Katherine include Donkey Camp, Knott’s Crossing, Old King River Crossing, and Edith River. The Flora River, in particular, is considered an excellent fishing spot for Barramundi. Typically, fishermen in this part of the Territory cast their fishing equipment from the bank or by small boats. 

Because of the popularity of Barramundi in this Territory, the Big Barramundi sculpture atop Rod & Rifle reflects Katherine’s fishing culture. It also draws attention to the shop by targeting customers looking for fishing equipment. 

The Big Barramundi in Normanton

Constructed in 1995, the Big Barramundi in Normanton is one of the most famous Big Things in Queensland. Measuring six meters long, the Big Barramundi in Normanton symbolizes the town’s fishing culture in the Norman River. Remember, Normanton is also home to the storied saltwater crocodile named Krys. 

The Barramundi is among the most common species of fish found in the Norman River. There is also a huge population of salmon in the river. 

The big barramundi in Normanton
The big barramundi in Normanton. Source: Creative Commons

The Big Barramundi in Daintree

The third Big Barramundi is located in Daintree, a rural town and locality in the Shire of Douglas, Queensland. Built in 1986, it measures around 6.6ft. 

The oversized barramundi sculpture sits on the Big Barramundi BBQ Garden, a fast-food restaurant. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating; the latter offers the best view of the Big Barramundi.  Now that we know what the Big Barramundi sculpture is, let’s take a look at some interesting facts about this species of fish.

The big barramundi in Daintree
The Big Barramundi in Daintree. (Source: Creative Commons)

7 Interesting facts about the Barramundi

  • It is mostly found in Nothern Australia, Southeast Asia, and the coastal waters of Sri Lanka and India
  • It is also known all over the world as the Asian Seabass, Giant Perch, Bekti, Palmer, Cockup, Australian Seabass, and Silver Barramundi. 
  • All Barramundi are born male, and then they turn into females when they are 3 to 4 years old. 
  • To find out the age of Barramundi, you’ll have to count the growth rings on their scales, just like you would on a tree. 
  • This species of fish is known for traveling long distances; one fish was tagged and discovered 400 miles away!
  • A mature female barramundi can produce more than 32 million eggs in one breeding season
  • The name barramundi derives from the Aboriginal definition for large-scaled silverfish

The story of the Barramundi 

There is an old Aboriginal folktale that explains the origin of the Barramundi. The story begins with two young lovers Boodi and Yalima, who wanted to marry, many years ago. Their marriage was forbidden because Yalima’s tribe wanted her to marry an older man so she could take care of him.

Boodi and Yalima decided to elope into the forest in a daring act of defiance, but the tribal elders pursued them. The two lovebirds then reached the edge of the land, and all they could see on the other side of the cliff was a huge water body. 

They quickly made spears from wood and threw them towards the approaching tribal elders. When the duo ran out of spears, Boodi turned to Yalima and said:

“For us to be together, we must go into the sea to live.” 

And off they went down the cliff and right into the water. Legend has it that upon drowning, the two lovebirds came back to life as the Barramundi. The characteristic three spines on the fish’s fins are believed to be marks from the spears thrown to the couple by the tribe elders. 

To date, the Barramundi is fondly referred to as the ‘Passion Fish,’ a tribute to the two lovebirds who risked their own lives to be together in the after world. 

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