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Is the 'Big Melon' Australia's next biggest tourist attraction?

Could a small Queensland town and a major online travel...

Posted: Nov 14, 2018 5:39 PM
Updated: Nov 14, 2018 5:39 PM

Could a small Queensland town and a major online travel site have planted the seeds of the next biggest tourist attraction in Australia?

The "Big Melon" was unveiled on Wednesday in the rural town of Chincilla, in Australia's north, the latest in a series of "Big Things" built as tourist attractions across the country.

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The bright-pink slice of watermelon will join such cultural icons as the Big Merino in Goulburn, New South Wales, the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour and the Big Lobster in South Australia.

"I could not think of a better way to capture the fun and excitement of visiting our region, especially after the Chinchilla Melon Festival, than by having your photo taken with our newest tourist attraction," Paul McVeigh, mayor of Western Downs Regional Council, said in a statement.

Standing 9 meters wide (29 feet) and 3 high (nine feet), the "Big Melon" is located next to the town's visitor center.

Every two years Chinchilla hosts MelonFest, a celebration of the region's watermelon-growing industry which is attended by more than 15,000 visitors, according to the town.

The watermelon was built as part of Australian travel site Wotif's "Next Big Thing" campaign, in celebration of their 18th birthday, where thousands of Australians submitted their suggestions for what should be the country's next large-scale roadside attraction.

According to Wotif, the "Big Melon" beat out the "Big Peanut," suggested for Kingaroy in Queensland, and the "Big Tulip" in Mittagong, New South Wales.

Wotif Managing Director Daniel Finch said in a statement that the company had been inundated with votes from each of the contending towns. "It goes to show the significance of 'Big Things' in Australia and how sentimental Aussies are about them," he said.

Mayor McVeigh said he was excited to have Chincilla finally on Australia's "Big Things" tourist map.

"We hope The Big Melon provides travelers with fruitful experiences for years to come, and we encourage all Aussies to consider a road trip to the region," he said.

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