The Big Fish in Manilla

the big blue fish in manilla is a giant fish sculpture outside a tourist shop
The Big Fish in Manilla (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Big Fish in Manilla

The Big Fish in Manilla is one of the little-known Big Things of Australia. It is located outside the Big Fish Roadhouse at 79 Arthur Street Manilla, New South Wales. 

The roadhouse features a takeaway restaurant that serves special fish recipes. 

Manilla is a small town with a population of around 2,550, as of 2006. Its name originates from the Gamilaraay language, meaning “winding river”, and rightfully so, given that the town is a junction for the Namoi and Manilla rivers.

Due to the presence of the two rivers, Manilla is famous for water-based activities, such as fishing, paragliding and soaring. In 2007, the town hosted 150 pilots from 41 different countries and thousands of tourists for the World Paragliding Championships. This was actually the first time the sport was being held outside Europe.

Fishing sports are also famous in the several inland rivers of the town. Some of the fish species caught in these waters include codfish, golden perch, and catfish. Although not so popular, the Big Fish is undeniably a symbol of Manilla’s rich fishing culture.

Other Big Things in the Shape of Fish

There are several other big fish sculptures in different parts of Australia, and each has a different story to tell. 

For instance, the Big Barramundi in Katherine, Northern Territory, is a mascot for a shop that sells fishing, camping, hunting, and barbecue supplies. There are two Big Barramundis found in Queensland, one in Normanton and the other in Daintree.
The barramundi fish is also referred to as passion fish in Australia because of an old Aboriginal tale about a young couple in love. You can read more about the story of the young couple here.

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