The Big Cheese is a huge structure of a cheese wheel labelled “Big Cheese Bodalla”, after an old cheese factory. It is found off the Princes Highway to Bodalla, New South Wales.
What was once a favourite stop for travellers along the highway, who stopped by to buy the local cheddar cheese, now stands abandoned since its factory closed shop.
In its heydays, the Bodalla Dairy Cooperative was known for its butter and cheese in the entire region. Unfortunately, the business closed shop in 1987 after losing its local suppliers to a competitor.
At the time of closure, the company had only remained with 13 local suppliers who could not supply enough milk to continue production.
Many years later, the new Bodalla Cheese Factory took over the old one. It now produces dairy products as well as cheese. Visitors can watch the cheese-making and milk pasteurization process at the factory and learn a thing or two about it.
Other exciting, engaging and family-friendly things to do at the cheese factory include:
- Watching calves being bottle-fed twice a day (kids love this)
- Petting the farm animals
- Watch videos about the dairy industry
- View old dairy equipment archived at the museum
Revisiting the Glory Days of Bodalla Cheese and its Big Cheese
The Dhurga Aboriginal people of Australia initially occupied the Bodalla region. In the 18th century, during the European exploration of Australia, investors moved into the area with their cattle.
Dairy farming in the region began in 1834 as more investors began to relocate to Bodalla with their cattle. By 1856, most of the land in the area had been subdivided into 32 dairy farms.
As more dairy firms opened and production increased, Bodalla Cheese began exporting its cheese to Sydney and overseas, becoming Australia’s first commercial cheese.
Despite its closure, the Big Cheese remained a reminder of an age-old tourist complex that served visitors with their favourite cheese, honey, and ice cream.