The Giant Mushroom
The Giant Mushroom is located in Belconnen, a suburb in Canberra, in Australia’s Capital Territory (ACT). The six-meter-tall mushroom has a stalk with a cap that spreads over a 160-square-meter circumference to provide shelter for a children’s playground underneath it.
The then ACT Chief Minister opened the oversized mushroom in 1998 at the town’s Fresh Foods Market. Thanks to the Australian Cancer Society’s support, this sculpture was built as an ideal resting place for parents and children while shopping.
Children love going up the mushroom’s stalk, peeping through the triangular windows, getting down through the slides, among other fun games. Shoppers can also have some refreshments at one of the cafes in the vicinity.
The name Belconnen derives from a land grant made in the district during colonial times. The grant, totaling up to 2000 acres of land, was awarded to British explorer Charles Sturt. Apart from exploring Australia, Mr. Sturt had a passion for farming. To explore his passion, he invested in more land stretching as far as Adelaide, where he kept cattle.
Additionally, Belconnen receives sufficient natural water from Lake Ginninderra, adjacent to the town center. Australia’s second-longest River Murrumbidgee is also found on the west side of the suburb, creating the perfect terrain for agriculture.
The Giant Mushroom in Belconnen isn’t the only Big Thing of its kind in Australia. There is another one in Balingup, a town in Western Australia, 241 kilometers south of Perth. Though not as big, it sits in the Old Cheese Factory’s gardens in Nannup Road, Balingup.
Canberra and ACT are also home to other Australia’s Big Things, such as the Big Powerful Owl in the same suburb of Belconnen, Big Pears in Parkes, and the Big Coins in Deakin. If you plan on visiting this region, be sure to check out these historic Big Things.