The Big Wheelbarrow
You’ll find the Big Wheelbarrow in Port Hedland, a mining town in Western Australia. It sits at the entrance to the Wedgefield Industrial Area, located between South Hedland and Port Hedland.
Volunteers erected the giant yellow wheelbarrow to attract more visitors to the small town of Wedgefield. Most of the land in the region is covered with mines, leaving the landscape barren.
The structure stood alone for a pretty long time, only accompanied by empty car parks. Finally, the Big Wheelbarrow found actual company when Kennards Hire, a company that rents out various equipment and machinery, occupied 5,000 sqm of land next to it.
The History of Wheelbarrows in Port Hedland
About 40 years ago, Port Hedland miners enjoyed a unique wheelbarrow race that started as a bet between two miners. The race later grew to become one of the biggest fundraising events in the town, raising over $1 million AUD to fund community organizations such as St. John’s Ambulance and the Royal Flying Doctor.
The races were mostly conducted at night when it was cooler outside. They involved three activities:
- Pushing a wheelbarrow loaded with 11 kg of iron ore in turns over 120km
- Jumping from a moving wheelbarrow
- A rolling relay
Back then, there was enough space for the locals to race freely before mining activity escalated between 2002 and 2010. With more mining trucks on the road, the race became riskier. By 2010, the race that was once dubbed the Black Rocks Stakes came to an end.