El Grande Pina

El Grande Pina
Nambour, Australia

Nambour, Australia


The first road stop fibreglass monstrosity I ever visited was The Big Lobster in South Australia. I was only seven, but I still remember the flaking red lobster, pincers outstretched, on the long stretch of road to Melbourne. Mum bought me a pencil with a plastic lobster stuck on the end, and I kept that pencil a long, long time.

But the king of the “big” tourist attractions has to be The Big Pineapple. I’ve been there before, and tried to make it sound like Disneyland when explaining it to Rosa.

Before we reached Nambour we took a detour to the Eunmundi Saturday market. I saw it in a flyer and when you are travelling with three women, you’ve got to go the market at least once.

It is a seriously impressive market. We spent an hour on one side of the road in the smaller market, and it was enough for me. Luckily it seemed to emphasise food. Ice cold ginger beer, nougat with pineapple pieces, German sausages and mango slurpies beat tie die and pottery every time. Aidan got a wooden toy, Rosa bought a Disney kaleidoscope and I was very happy with four bars of nougat.

We raced through the larger market. There were some original artistic gifts here. I liked the snooker cues carved from wood, the kites and the spray painted kitchen aprons. It got a bit hot carrying Aidan so I was glad to leave, but you could get away with the Christmas shopping here.

The Big Pineapple, unlike almost everything else touristy in Queensland, hadn’t changed at all. In fact it seemed to have come ever so slightly dilapidated. The pineapple was flaky and the display inside dusty and broken. It even had “Pineapple” misspelled from sometime back in 1976. The train trip through the plantation cost about 15 pineapples, so we went the big ice-cream instead. I was just glad of the breeze. Rosa wasn’t too disappointed. It is amazing what over-enthusiasm can achieve.

There’s probably better “big” tourist attractions than the Pineapple. The Big Banana, perhaps, or the Big Guitar. But it’s iconic.


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