the big cassowary

The Big Cassowary in Mission Beach, Queensland

The Big Cassowary in Mission Beach
The Big Cassowary in Mission Beach (Source: Creative Commons)

The Big Cassowary

Mission Beach, Queensland, Australia, is home to the Big Cassowary statue. Standing five metres tall, the statue is located outside the Wongaling Beach Shopping complex. Darryl Lourigan built the Big Cassowary monument to celebrate the town’s famous bird. 

The small coastal town of Mission Beach is surrounded by the World Heritage rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef. The rainforest and the reef provide the perfect habitat for many wildlife species, the cassowary being the most famous in the region. 

These birds can be found almost everywhere within the town, and sometimes, they find their way into local gardens and resorts. Because they roam freely, Mission Beach has several street signs warning motorists to observe the speed limit while driving through the town. 

5 Facts about the Cassowary bird 

  1. Cassowaries resemble the ostrich or the emu and could grow just as big.
  2. These heavy birds are also known to attack anyone they consider a threat. Over 200 cassowary attacks are recorded each year, most of them caused by people trying to get uncomfortably close to the birds.
  3. These gigantic birds feed on fruits and pass undigested seeds to the forest bed through defecation. As a result, they are considered natural conservers of the rainforest.
  4. The cassowary is just a bird, but did you know that it is the largest land animal in Australia? It weighs approximately 60 kg; however, the largest one was discovered north of Mission Beach in 1992. It weighed 94.5kg.   
  5. Male cassowaries sit on eggs for around 50 days until they hatch. After hatching, the males also look after the chicks for approximately nine months until when the young ones are old enough to take care of themselves. 


The Big Cassowary is not the only famous Big Thing in Queensland. This Australian state is home to many iconic Big Things worth checking out. To read more about Big Things in Queensland, please visit our Queensland page.

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