The Bold and The Beautiful

What’s big, brown and looks like a turd? Why it’s the Big Potato, one of Australia’s premier tourist attractions.

the big brown one

A couple of years ago we told Gareth about this monstrosity and I don’t think he ever quite believed us when we said it was utterly crap – an entirely pointless giant concrete lump plonked in the middle of an overgrown block in the main street of Robertson, New South Wales. But he vowed to make the pilgrimage if he ever made it Down Under.

I managed to capture the exact moment of underwhelmed-ness when the spud came into view:


According to the Big Things website, the definitive guide to all things Big and Australian, the Big Potato originally served as the toilet block to the adjacent Potato World, both long since abandoned.


But The Big Potato merely played entree to the main course that was The Big Merino of Goulburn – fifteen metres of concrete jowls with a souvenir shop where its balls should be.


Once again Gareth was bedazzled.


Inside the Merino, you can learn all about the history of the Australian wool industry with a display that remains unchanged since the Merino first opened its guts to the public in 1985.


We learned that you should always dress your children in wool, not evil man-made flammable fabrics. Like they say, 165 million sheep can’t be wrong!


After that, all that’s left to do is climb upstairs into the sheep’s majestic head, gaze out at the world through its yellow eyes and ponder, “I flew 24 hours for this?


About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

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18 thoughts on “The Bold and The Beautiful

  1. Hi Shauna,

    As a former Goulburnian (now a Hobartian) I must say my view of the Big Merino (AKA Rambo, as it is offically named) has changed. Wow – it really is as ugly as everyone said so.

    Hope Goulburn treated you well and didn’t try and suck the water out of your skin – god knows they need it.


  2. Wow. I did Year 11 and 12 at Goulburn and didn’t think there was a tourist monument more crapola than the Big Merino (apart from the big artificial haystack in the main street of my hometown where no tourist has EVER been spotted), but apparently there is something even crappier! The Big Potato – Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Shauna.

  3. Oh, I nearly forgot —

    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday to you
    Happy birthday, dear ShAUUUny
    Happy birthday to you!

    And many more of them.

  4. Happy boithday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    hope you enjoyed your trip.
    Especially that big poo.

    That merino is looking particularly dirty & tragic. Once was a noble beast, I rather thought: Took me 4 year old to see it on the way to the snow a few years back.
    Come to think of it, she’s 12 now. …

  5. HEHEHEHE! There are some things I miss about Australia – but even though I hail from near Coffs Harbour (and the associated Big Banana), giant papier mache “things” are not included. Hehehe – still it is important for those new to out shores to experience the giant lameness for themselves. Great snaps, woman! Classic! 😀

  6. You can go inside the sheep!! Wow. I better not tell my (Irish) other half. Every time we go to Oz we have to see one of the Big Things. Last time it was the BIG WOOL BALES (I kid you not), before that it was the BIG ROCKING HORSE and the BIG LOBSTER. Woo-hoo.

  7. Gah, and I thought Canada was weird for that stuff. We have giant perogies, giant eggs, giant boots, giant geese and a reall big UFO landing pad. (Two, in fact, IIRC.)

  8. hehe…. thanks folks!

    kim – i must see the bales next time, sounds spectacular. we DID see the Big Worm (utter shite) and the Big Lawn Mower (ultra shite). Next time I want to see the Big Pavlova which by the look of the pic on, is MEGA SHITE!

  9. I remember seeing the Big Koala on my way from Adelaide to Melbourne one year, although I was in a sleep deprived haze as I’d just flown from the UK to Oz the day before and then my parents drove me over to Melbourne from Adelaide the next day in their car.

  10. It must be a downunder thing Shauny. Here in NZ we have the big carrot, the big bottle of softdrink and my favorite the big sheepdog which is constructed of corrugated iron and admittedly has a very fine visitor’s center inside. So if you run out glorious attractions in Oz you need only venture across the Tasman for more.

  11. I LIKED the potato. Also the merino. I still wear the hat I bought while wandering through the testicular region.

  12. In Penguin in Tasmania they have a big …… penguin! But here in the Netherlands, somewhere near Arnhem, I came across the Big Can Opener. Pure Poetry!

  13. I lived in Robertson when they were building the Big Spud (locally known as the Big Poo) and even when it was being built the locals were scratching their heads and saying “what the … ?” Apparently they did it as a scale model of a real potato. It must have had a long term effect on me, because I moved to Coffs Harbour (home of the first Big Thing – the Big Banana).

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