The Big Thongs journeyed their way into Calen in a rather interesting way. Lionel Knott, an artist, left Australia in a pair of thongs to tour the world several years ago. He returned with the same pair of thongs, obviously worn out. And just like that, the idea behind the Big Thongs in Calen was born.
Location of the Big Thongs
You’ll find the Big Thongs at the Calen Pub in Calen, Queensland, a few metres off the Bruce Highway.
The Concept Behind The Big Thongs
Knott’s friend Gavin Butlin narrated how they came up with the idea while having a few beers with Mr Knott. A few months later, the oversized pair of thongs was built and launched at an Australia Day celebration in 2021.
Measuring 2.5 metres high, the Big Thongs were built from conveyor belt rubber spruced locally from the mines, according to Mr Knott. Speaking to ABC News, he explained how he cut the rubber with a Stanley knife, describing it as one of the hardest things he did in a while.
Mr Butlin also revealed that the main goal behind these massive thongs was to bring more tourists to Calen. The two friends also settled for thongs because they represented a significant part of Australian culture.
Also known as flip-flops, sandals or jandals, thongs are quintessentially Australian. Speaking about their choice, Mr Butlin added that the idea of the massive thongs was perfect because ‘everyone in Australia has a pair of thongs.’
The Big Thongs are now among the newest Big Things of Australia found in Queensland. When it comes to Australia’s Big Things, Queensland is home to hundreds of iconic structures worth checking out. Further south from Calen, you’ll also find the Big Brolgas and Snake situated near Mackay.