At nearly thirty years old, the Big Galah in Kimba, South Australia is an incredibly big statement piece and an even bigger tourist attraction! It sits at the ever so beautiful ‘Halfway Across Australia Tourist Shop’ and is a well-known ‘Big Thing’ of Australia. This gorgeous Big Galah was built in 1993, which means it has been around long enough to gather quite a reputation around Australia.
It was modelled based on our gorgeous Galahs here in Australia and it took a whopping 18 months to complete. This gorgeous Big Galah is part of a series of ‘Big Things’ in Australia. It is said that they are all loosely related and obviously, big things! Some are just novelty architecture, while others are admirable statues. Either way, people all over Australia (and the world), flock in groups to see them!
A rough estimate shows that there are over 150 Big Thing sculptures all over the country. The first being the majestic Big Scotsman in Medindie, Adelaide. The Big Scotsman was built in 1963 and has since made headlines all over Australia. You’ll be surprised to hear that there are Big Things in every single territory in Australia!
This colourful and extremely beautiful Big Galah is an insanely huge tourist drawcard and it makes for some pretty amazing photo opportunities when you’re travelling. They also create a reason for you to stop and have a rest. Locals have said that people will line their family up and take hundreds (and in the rare case, thousands) of photos near the Big Galah, and we can see why!
Not only is The Big Galah going to be one of the biggest birds you’ve ever seen but it also doubles as the halfway mark across Australia between Perth and Sydney. Stopping here is a wonderful experience as there really is so much to see and not to mention that it is a great opportunity to grab the Instagram photo that you’ve been waiting for.
Origins of The Big Galah
The Big Galah was opened in 1993 by Robert and Diane Venning and was built over an 18 month period.
During dinner one evening, the family were discussing how to get visitors travelling east and west to stop at their shop. The Venning family decided to make a massive galah as its eye drawing colours would draw motorists attention and in turn visit the Venning’s family shop. It was very fitting as real galahs famously flock to the nearby grain silos.
After The Big Galah was constructed, it made its journey from the shed to the shop with the help of a police escort.
All about Kimba
Situated on the Eyre Highway, Kimba is a rural service town at the top of the Eyre Peninsula, situated in the stunning state of South Australia. When a census was completed in 2006, it showed that Kimba only had a population of roughly 636 people, that is tiny!
What you may not know, is that Kimba isn’t just known for its Big Galah! Kimba also plays home to some amazing painted silos. But underneath all the tourist attractions lies a lovely community and even more amazing things that aren’t a quick stop and photo opportunity.
There are several great places to visit in Kimba that can bring some knowledge to their amazing community. You can visit The Gawler Ranges (stunning and unique wilderness that is itching to be explored), The Conservation Park (a lovely area full of wildlife and it is accessible by 2WD), The Kimba Museum (an insight to the rich history of Kimba and so much more), Geocaching areas (plenty of hidden geocaches), and several lovely places for some food on your stop!
How big is The Big Galah?
Well, it is called The Big Galah for a reason! This stunning big bird sits at a massive 8 metres tall (taller than the average adult giraffe), 2.5 metres wide (about a king-size bed long), and 2.3 tonnes. If you’re struggling to understand how heavy 2.3 tons is, it is about as heavy as a white rhinoceros! Isn’t that insane?
No matter what you compare The Big Galah to, it will prove larger almost every time and it is a sight to see! It is big-boned, has a big personality, and is generally just big!
What is a Galah?
If you’re from Australia, you likely see a few Pink and Grey Galahs per day. They are lovely little birds that have a distinct colour and are a proud and widely recognised part of Australia. They can easily be identified by their gorgeous rose-pink head, neck, and underneath, with a pale pink crown, and a grey back, underwings and tail area.
It can be particularly hard to tell male and female Galahs apart due to their similar colours and characteristics. However, it is fairly simple to differentiate the two if you can get close enough to look at their eyes. Male Galahs will have dark brown/black eyes whereas the females will have pink/red eyes.
Galahs really are a common sight in Australia, and they are usually seen hanging upside down on the telephone poles, bobbing around the streets like they’re dancing, and being silly around town. That is why silly people are commonly referred to as ‘Galahs’.
You can also find them in bushy trees, and you’ll know when they’re on the move! Towards the end of the day, the Galahs will take flight in large flocks and produce enough noise to be heard from Jupiter! They really are noisy little creatures.
How to get to The Big Galah
Kimba is situated roughly 155km west of the stunning town of Port Augusta. If you’re coming from the from the east of Kimba on the Eyre Highway, you can head about 1.2km into town and find The Big Galah perched upon his steel frame waiting for your arrival. It sits just on the left near a T section.
When you’re coming into Kimba from the west, however, it is a different story. Coming from the west, 88km from Kyancutta on the Eyre Highway, turn right after about 900m in town. Once you turn right you will continue on the Eyre Highway heading towards Port Augusta. Then, simply cross over the railway line and take your first left. Once again, The Big Galah will be perched and ready to meet you just on the right.
If you’re worried about missing The Big Galah, don’t worry about it, he/she is very hard to miss! The Big Galah really is something you should add to your bucket list. If you stick around for a while, you may even see a real Galah flying overhead or playing with some pebbles on the road.