The Big Beer Can in Ghan

an oversized big beer can next to two board cut outs of people at a beach with missing heads so that you can get a funny picture by putting your head on the cut outs body
Big Beer Can in Ghan (Source: Creative Commons)

The Big Beer Can in Ghan

Ghan, a locality in Northern Territory, is famously considered by travellers as the first and last stop for a drink in this part of Australia. Outside the Kulgera Roadhouse Motel stands a huge yellow beer can bearing the brand XXXX Gold Lager. 

The initial logo embedded on the can was that of West End Draught lager but was later changed to its current label for marketing purposes. On one side of the Big Beer Can, two huge boards depict the body of a headless man and woman wearing beach attire. The site is popular for taking funny pictures where travellers replace the couple’s missing head with their own.

Brief History of Ghan

Ghan is a local area at the intersection of Lasseter Highway and Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory, named in honour of the Afghans’ contribution to exploiting Central Australia.

The Afghans and their camels came into the country to help the British access Australia’s interior areas. Since the area was dry, many horses and buffaloes had died from a lack of water. The British thought it wise to use camels, known to be drought resistant, as a means of transportation through the desert. Consequently, they hired about 2000 Afghan cameleers who had vast experience handling the animals.

In 1923, the South Australian Railway introduced train cars for passengers and perishable goods that connected Adelaide and Oodnadatta. The train cars included the Alberga sleeping car, the first of its kind in the region, which aroused the local’s curiosity to get a glimpse of it at the Quorn station.

As soon as the train pulled over at sunset, a Muslim Afghan passenger rushed out, searching for a quiet corner across the station just in time for his prayers.

A man in the crowd joked about the Afghan’s actions and nicknamed the train ‘Afghan Express’, a name that resonated well with the locals for years. The nickname was later simplified to the ‘Ghan’ and is now one of the world’s most incredible train journeys.The Big Beer Can aside, other notable Big Things in the Northern Territory include the Big Aboriginal Hunter and Anmatjere Woman and Child in Anmatjere, Big Barramundi in Katherine, Big Buffalo in Winnellie, and the Big Dinosaur in Yarrawonga.

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