10 Giant Sculptures Around the World
Published 30 March 2016
Australia started the Big Things phenomenon back in 1963 with the Big Scotsman, and now has over 150 giant sculptures dotted around the country, often used as quirky stops on long distance road trips. The rest of the world soon joined in, and there are now countless large versions of everyday objects to find across the globe, each adding a splash of fun to your travels. Here are ten of our favourites:
The Big Pineapple, Woombye, Queensland, Australia
The most recognisable of Australia’s Big Things and a perennial favourite of backpacker bus tours, the Big Pineapple is 16 metres tall and impossible to miss. A bit of a tourist trap, it really milks its popularity with a zoo and a farm to visit, as well as a small train to take you around the adjacent pineapple plantation. Be sure to taste the sweet and juicy pineapples on sale at the market, while those with a head for heights can climb the sculpture too.
The Big Carrot, Ohakune, New Zealand
As the self-proclaimed carrot capital of New Zealand, it was inevitable that Ohakune would be home to what is officially the world’s largest model carrot. With the rich volcanic soil perfect for growing the favourite bunny snack, they’re rightly proud of their root vegetables here, and celebrate them in the annual orange-tacular Carrot Carnival.
Giant Safety Pin, San Francisco, California, USA
You can pose for pictures with this 6.4-metre-high safety pin, found in the pretty sculpture garden at San Francisco’s De Young Museum, without paying the museum entrance fee (although we would recommend that you go inside and browse the rest of the artworks). Created by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, this sculpture is one of three, the other two being on display in New Orleans Museum of Art and Dallas’ North Park Shopping Center.
Visit San Francisco on our Coastal California Journey.
Champagne Bottle and Glass, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada
By the side of beautiful Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, the award-winning Summerhill Pyramid Winery is the most visited in the state. It’s not just the fine wines and fabulous organic restaurant that punters drop in for though, as many come here to pose up a storm with the enormous, gravity-defying Champagne Bottle and Glass, with its stunning lakes and hills backdrop. We think we spy a new Facebook profile picture coming along…
Kelowna is a two-hour drive from Kamloops, which features on our West Coast Wonders Journey.
Gundam Robot, Tokyo, Japan
For those not so familiar with Japanese pop culture, Gundam is a hugely popular sci-fi animation series featuring gigantic robots. So it makes complete sense to build one outside the Gundam Front, a Gundam-obsessed theme park inside the DiverCity Shopping Centre in downtown Tokyo. Best of all, this slightly scary robot plays disco tunes, shoots smoke and lasers and can move its arms and head, which it does every evening. Very cool or mildly terrifying? You decide.
Visit Tokyo on our Mount Fuji & the Japanese Alps Journey.
The Big Prawn, Ballina, New South Wales, Australia
The second of Australia’s Big Things on our list, this one has recently undergone a renovation to refresh its pinky hue and restore its tail, at a cost of AU$400,000. The friendly crustacean is nine metres high and rather unfairly overlooks a row of seafood stores so that you can tantalise the poor prawn as you chow down on deliciously buttery shellfish and fresh scallops.
Ballina is just a 30-minute drive south of Byron Bay, so why not add it in to your Legendary Pacific Coast Journey?
Ozymandias on the Plains, Amarillo, Texas, USA
In the middle of the desert, this bizarre statue of a giant pair of legs has had numerous brightly-coloured socks over the years, making it all the quirkier. The socks are actually the work of local graffiti artists, who paint them back on in various designs each time they are cleaned off. Ozymandias is the Greek name for Rameses II, the Egyptian king who the legs are supposed to belong to. Perhaps a little creepy due to the lack of a body, the sculpture was built by local artist (and imaginatively named) Lightnin’ McDuff.
Swing by Amarillo on our Texas in Depth Journey.
Spoonbridge and Cherry, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Our second Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen entry, this one has stood on a lake in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden since 1985. The cherry’s stem doubles as a fountain that sprays water into the spoon and runs off into the lake below. Very quirky, and lots of fun, this sculpture is beloved by Minneapolitans, who were hopping mad when it was vandalised as part of a protest in 2012. It has since been cleaned and returned to its former glory.
Minneapolis can be added to any of our USA Journeys, or we can tailor-make a trip for you. Take a look here for inspiration.
Rubber Duck, Hong Kong
The brainchild of Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, a selection of inflatable ducks of various sizes was created in 2007 to ‘spread joy around the world’. Since then they have been displayed all over the planet, including in Osaka, Sydney and São Paulo. One duck floated happily in Hong Kong Harbour from May to June 2013. The poor thing was later moved to Taiwan, where it unfortunately burst, and its deflated remains were swept away by Chinese floods in mid-2014. Its whereabouts are currently unknown.
Why not combine a trip to Hong Kong with our Mystical China Revealed Journey?
Shuttlecocks, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Our third and final Oldenburg-van Bruggen entry, these 5.5-metre tall shuttlecocks are scattered across the well-tended lawns of the Kansas City Museum, three on one side and one on the other, with the museum representing the badminton net in the middle. While to most they are a harmless bit of fun, some believe the shuttlecocks are cursed, as since their installation in 1994 no Kansas City sports team has won a national championship.
Feeling inspired to visit Kansas City? We can add on a trip to Kansas to any of our USA Journeys. Call or email us with your itinerary ideas and we’ll tailor-make your perfect holiday.
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