Today, our obsession with the Big Things of Australia takes us to Moonbi, a small town located along the New England Highway in New South Wales. The town sits at the bottom of the Moonbi Range and is part of the local government area of the Tamworth Regional Council.
Moonbi is also home to the Big Chook, a gigantic fibreglass chicken sculpture. Here’s all you need to know about Moonbi and the Big Chook.
History of Moonbi and the Big Chook
The early settlers of the town of Moonbi arrived in the 1850s. They passed through the town in search of new land for their livestock. For some, the town would become their new home.
In 1858, a post office was opened at Moonbi Station, followed by the Moonbi Public School in 1882. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the town of Moonbi had a population of around 1,126 people in 2016.
Poultry farming also became one of the major economic activities in the town. To date, Moonbi is widely referred to as the poultry capital of New South Wales. To celebrate the popularity of the poultry industry, the Big Chook was constructed. Poultry farming aside, the locals are quite fond of horses; there are many small ‘lifestyle’ blocks in this area that are often used to run horses.
The Equine Influenza outbreak
However, in 2007, the town made headlines following an outbreak of equine influenza. This flu is usually spread by infected, coughing horses, contaminated buckets, tack, brushes, and other horse stable equipment.
The running of dressage competitions in Moonbi was one of the reasons the Moonbi Recreation Ground had to be shut down. Horse owners who participated in the competition were also required to quarantine the horses until 30 days after the disease had disappeared. Also, there was an indefinite ban on the movement of horses, mules and donkeys across the entire state of New South Wales.
As mentioned earlier, Moonbi is a small town. It may not have urban malls, modern casinos, five-star hotels, and everything else to do with urbanization, but it for sure has a rare sense of natural beauty. Because this town is still developing, it comes with a rare sense of purity.
If you are the type of traveller that’s looking for a breath of fresh air away from the hustle and bustle of urbanization, the village of Moonbi offers a calm and tranquil environment. To get a better view of the surroundings, the Moonbi Lookout is the place to visit when you arrive in this village.
The lookout is located on the New England Highway, 5.6 north of Moonbi township. On this lookout, you’ll witness panoramic views of the plains below Moonbi Hills and the impressive landscape surrounding the daily lives of the locals. You will also find picnic facilities, including public toilets, within the lookout area.
During your trip to New South Wales, it is worth mentioning that many Big Things in this region are worth visiting. This blog keeps you updated on every Big Thing in Australia to make your trip worthwhile and adventurous. To see a list of Big Things in this state, head over to the New South Wales page on our blog.
We also have a Big Things store featuring T-shirts on some of the most famous big things in Australia. These include the Big penguin, The Big Kangaroo, The Big Jumping Crocodile and The Giant Koala. They are available in baby sizes all the way up to adult sizes.