A Brief History of The Big Dinosaur
The sparsely populated Ballandean, a rural town in the South Downs region, Queensland, is well-known for two things: vineyards and the Big Dinosaur. The first is the common source of income for locals in the region, while the latter unintentionally became the centre of attraction of the town.
The Big Dinosaur stands in front of Ballandean railway station and has become a popular attraction in the town. It was initially built as a float for the Apple and Grape Festival in 1998, used by a local shopkeeper’s daughter who was making her entry as the queen.
After the festival, the locals put the enormous mould by the roadside in front of the railway station to attract visitors to buy fruits as an initiative to support a local football club.
The Big Dinosaur did so well that it was immediately nicknamed ‘Fruitisforus’ (fruit is for us). Since then, the sculpture has been a popular landmark and a tourist attraction in the area.
In 2009, it was revamped to repair damages caused by rain and harsh weather. After being reinforced with fibreglass, the Big Dinosaur was permanently mounted outside the railway station.
Other Similar Big Things of Australia
Fruitforus is not the only dinosaur sculpture that made it to the list of Australia’s Big Things. Ploddy The Dinosaur, in Somersby, NSW, is often referred to as Australia’s most famous dinosaur. There’s also another Big Dinosaur in Yarrawonga, NT, famously known as Big Kev.
Away from dinosaurs, Big Things sculptures are well known to represent reptiles, birds, and other species of animals. Examples of some reptile sculptures in the list of Big Things of Australia include:
- The Giant Jumping Crocodile, near Adelaide River, Northern Territory
- The Big Boxing Crocodile, Humpty Doo, Northern Territory
- The Big Bobtail Lizard, Port Lincoln, South Australia.