Only in OZ #18 – Big Woolbales, Hamilton, Victoria

The Big Woolbales, Hamilton, Victoria

Although physical evidence sometimes suggests the contrary, not every iconic object in OZ has been turned into a Big Thing!

That’s just as well. 
What kind of nightmares would a Big Politician evoke? And the disturbing mental image of the Big Potato – well, let’s just say that was a narrow escape!!

Although a Big Politician AND a Big Potato together? Now you’re talking!! But I digress …
Not every object is improved by extreme enlargement either. Cuddling up to Dadswells Bridge’s grotesque Big Koala, for example, isn’t quite the same as smooching its cutesy and photogenic real life counterpart. 



Big Koala, Dadswells Bridge

And some Big Things are just plain silly! Like Atherton Tableland’s Big Peanut – WAAAAAY bigger than a real peanut, but still only a metre or so long! Sadly (!), I have no photo, as we couldn’t find it last time we looked …

But some are just so bizarre, they work! Take Tully’s Golden Gumboot, for example – it’s even got its own festival now! 
And I’ll bet I’m not the only one to feel tiny for the first time in my life on Broken Hill’s Big ParkBench.


Big Park Bench, Broken Hill

BUT … which category do Hamilton’s Big Woolbales fall into??

Designed to commemorate the region’s reliance on wool – it’s one of the best merino growing districts in the country – the Big Woolbales contain a cafe, Shearing Museum and shearing supplies and clothing.



Golden Gumboot, Tully

Itching to capture my virgin viewing of this Hamilton icon on camera, I asked the service station attendant exactly where they were.
’Down the road and on your right, luv,’ she stated, waving a hand in the general direction we were travelling. ‘Can’t miss ’em, they’re HUGE!’

Well, guess what.
Yep – we missed them. Huge for wool-bales, yes! BUT … 5 BIG Woolbales – a similar shape and size to a pueblo-style suburban house – just didn’t stand out that much amidst the Redgums that surround them.  Strangely, they’re not featured on the Australian Big Things website so maybe, just maybe the site compilers couldn’t find them either!! 

BUT … at least I’ve had an experience not shared by many others …



Past times at the Big Woolbales!

So which category do the Big Wool Bales fall in to?
You tell me!!

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42 comments

  • @Tash – Go for it, girlfriend!! But be warned – the more you look for weird & wacky things, the more you’ll find!! I guess that’s not a bad thing …

  • Ohh, just found this post when looking for any info on the Big Hay Bales – am thinking of doing a little detour on a work trip this week just to see and blog about them myself! I love this weird and quirky “art” around our country!

    Your post has inspired me, I think I can do it! Ha!

  • @Diane – OK, you win!! But where are the proof pix?? If any of these are in RED, then you’re on for a RED Alert post!!

  • Love it! Okay. In Alberta, we have the giant baseball bat, Perogy, Ukrainian egg, sausage coil, potato, mushroom. I’m sure there are more, but I haven’t seen them yet!

  • @NixBlog – I’m kinda proud of their appalling Aussie uniqueness!!

  • LOLLLL. Yes, I’m amazed at the “big” things that crop up all over the place. Some of them are wonderfully kitch!

  • @2Peeps – Are we reading the same post here??
    @Dina – you’re amongst friends with the ‘what is that?’ reaction!! I guess that’s why there are multiple labels …
    @Frankie – You’re kidding me!!!! Last I heard, the Big Potato had been shelved – much to my relief!! I MUST see it!!!! Do you have pix??
    @TMW Hickmann – Australia speaks, the world listens. The ‘Big Things’ fungus will take over the world one day, mark my words!!
    @Ken G – Yes, they really DO make you feel small and delicate, and that’s not a feeling I get every day!!

  • @Gemma – Our obsession with ‘Big Things’ is, I’m sure, a national mystery!! BUT … it gives big folk like me an opportunity to feel small once in awhile …
    @diane b – Hahaha, I’d like to see that! Actually, no I wouldn’t – it would be a bit grotesque!! But would it be more grotesque than the Big Koala?!?!?!
    @Ann O’Dyne – It’s amazing where you’ll find a good pie these days! I can forgive almost anything if there’s a good bakery at the end of it!!
    @FruitCake – Yes, some things are best left in their natural state – but I’m not sure that applies to politicians!! I’d forgotton about the paddock of fat – thanx for the reminder!! How’d a ‘Red’s OZ bakeries’ book go??
    @Betty – I’m SO not cute … note to self – make self look smaller by hanging out with Big stuff!!!

  • I think I would feel strange and uncomfortably – so tiny, brittle and delicate – standing by these huge things. Like some dwarf ;)))

  • There is a town near here, Floresville, that boasts a large peanut. They have a peanut festival every year to celebrate it. I think they got the idea from your country!

    Except that I have not seen any woolbales. Maybe I will soon!

  • Ya know there is Big Potato and it lives at Robertson on the southern highlands of NSW. Big Potato? Hmmmm! Really it is about the size of a family size car but it is still a big potato. No big Polly,s though. I saw a big Merino today near Goulburn in NSW. Merinos have dags and most Polly’s are dags.
    Cheers

  • I’d be lost. In my ignorance, I have no idea what the normal size of wool bales should be. If I saw them and noticed them, I’d say “What is that?” not “Wow! Those are big!”

  • Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry

    aww how funny!
    that koala is gross and you look very cute, but somewhat tiny sitting on that big bench! haha!

    hilarious stuff, thanks for the smiles.

    great post as usual!

    xx

  • So many laughs here, Red, where do I begin? I love the serendipitous [or perhaps subtle] juxtaposition of the words politician, giant and sausage… which reminds me of a true story I can’t repeat…

    And the wool bales, well, they wouldn’t be stark white to begin with, would they? They simply reminded me of Magda and Marg’s sketch of the two fat ladies and a paddock full of fat… and a punchline that’s probably a bit too rude to repeat…

    But I’ll put the bales in an “okay” category because they reflect something a little more than a cultural cringe, they aren’t as fugly as the koala, and they haven’t [yet?] fallen into disrepair like so many other biggies.
    If the pies are as good as Ann O’Dyne says, you’ve not only written another interesting story, but my list of “Red’s Bakeries” is growing.

  • oh wow you’re in the heart of The Western District.

    The pies at The Big Woolbale are pretty good.
    x x

  • At least the Big wool bales are being used for housing a cafe etc. Some others are just loads of junk. That Koala is gross. The park bench is a good one. We had a furniture shop with a Big Chair on top of it. I often wondered what would happen if a sex shop wanted to put a big penis on top how that would go?

  • That big bench always fascinated me! So I wrote about it and the large sculptures of the desert for Hub pages a while ago! Your photo really emphasises its size! You look like Alice in the Wonderland of the Giants! So cute!

    I just wonder why Australia seems to be so intent on these big iconic eccentricities! And they are not always associated with the immediate region in which they are placed either! That includes the grotesque koala! Koalas have many Australian hang-outs!

    Fascinating post!

  • @Saucy Kod – The first and possibly only time I’ve EVER looked small! Would LOVE to see your Mr Peanut – and the more comments I get, the more I think there’s something in this interchangeable ‘Big Things’ idea!
    @PDP – I’ll leave that to your imagination!!! And you’re right – not much chance of cuddling THAT koala!
    @Sallie – So many big things still undiscovered! But don’t people realise what a big potato is actually going to look like?!?!

  • So funny! We have some silly stuff in the States too, so I’m laughing with y’all not at you! (I’m sure there’s a big potato in Idaho somewhere and SD/ND have big cows and big buffalos etc etc…!

    You look very cute on that bench — and it would take something like that to make me feel small…well, either that or a visit from my tall grandkids!

  • That is hilarious Red, you sitting on that bench, you look like a naughty little girl..what did you do haha! That has got to be ugliest looking interpretation of one of our cutest little critters ever, who on earth got away with that one !!

  • Hey, who is that tiny person on the bench – CUTE
    The Bales of Wool remind me of how we do our winter hay, except the bales are round and very large. In this area we have a really huge peanut (Mr. Peanut) and also a very huge violin. The violin is really nice and built to represent our very own Ned Landry. Both these icons are just up the road a ways.
    Hey, one could paint dots on all sides and you’ve got some really huge dice. 🙂 On the other hand, the Bales of Wool kinda remind me of blocks of cheese 🙂
    Very interesting post – thank you

  • Good one! I wasn’t aware of the big park bench. Coincidentally, I have been posting a Big Thing every day on my Google+ page:

    http://www.capecrawfordtourism.com.au/g+

  • @Beach Bum – I’m guessing he doesn’t follow your internet perambulations, right?!?!

  • @Dianne – There’s clearly only one solution – build your own, in a location convenient to you!!!
    @Nikki – Yes, indeed!! But interchangeable Big Things is a unique concept in itself, right?!
    @Sandra – I’m sure I’ll keep on discovering them – they’re not all on the website! Over to check you out soon!!
    @River – Well, my secret is out! I made up the categories – Lame/NOT Lame seemed like a good starting point!! The Big O could also be the Big Mozzie Bite??!!
    @Joan Elizabeth – I draw the line at the Big Potato!! I quite liked the Woolbales myself – I just couldn’t find them at first!!!

  • Oh my god, that Big Koala looks like one of my wife’s uncles.

  • @Magsx2 – Haha, I know it SEEEMS like they’ve all been turned into Big Things, but we’re still waiting on the Big Barbecue, Big Sausage and Big Sauce Bottle, right?!?!
    @SFlaGuy – Hahahaha!! Now THAT’S a disturbing mental image – Big Knitting Needles, indeed! Australia needs YOU!!
    @Filip – Welcome! If aliens land in OZ, they’ll be scared away because they WILL think they’re in a land of giants!!
    @Windsmoke – Ah, I’m not sure if the Golden Gumboot survived Yasi last year – but it IS amazing!!
    @Alessandra – Happy New Year to you too, my friend – hope your travels are going well!! The colonists weren’t known for their imagination …

  • @Andrew – Well … maybe I haven’t visited enough yet – Big Galah, Wine Cask, Murray Cod and ANY Big WA stuff remain undiscovered!!
    @Kath – It was in your post that I first learned of the Big Wine Cask!! MAYBE, the Big Woolbales could double as wine casks should the need arise?? How confusing would a ‘switching’ Big Thing be?!?
    @Mary – Not sure what we expected, but the woolbales almost looked like *gulp* a building!!
    @My Journey with Candida – Trust me! A bonnet on my head would turn ME into the next grotesque Big Thing!!
    @Betsy – I never knew you were connected to George!! I hope to see you again!! And you’re dead right about Big Woolbales products – they’re all about wool!

  • I don’t think that large square white blocks that have to be labelled so we can tell what they represent, really qualify as “Big things.”
    They could be anything under a different label.
    I am thinking giant tic tacs.

  • Well I think the big wool bales are a lot better than that awful Koala and as for the big potato … I reckon the wool bales are a a big thing in better taste than some.

  • I didn’t know there are categories for these big things. I just thought that Big Things was a category all its own.
    I’m thinking that now the Big Orange has faded to pink it should be renamed the Big Pink Grapefruit.

  • These these of art seem to come from the world of ginats. Very special.

    Greetings,
    Filip

  • Hi there, Thanks for coming to my blog.. Come back anytime. George talks about your interesting blog about Australia. I have two blog friends there, both are in Brisbane.

    Looks like to me that the Big Woolbales should be listed in Australian Big Things… Wonder what kind of clothing they sell??? Probably some great WOOL clothing…

    Hugs,
    Betsy

  • Oh my Red! I just wanna go sit on that giant bench – but Broken Hill’s a long way to go just to sit on a park bench!

  • We have a Hamilton in NZ too, no much fantasy with names these colonialists :-)!!! I love the pic with the big bench, so much fun!!

    Happy New Year Red, sorry if a bit late :-), little internet for me these days, but lots of travel!!!

    Ciao
    Alessandra

  • That’s gotta be the ugliest Koala i’ve ever seen poor fella on the other hand i do like the Golden Gumboot and the Frog :-).

  • I’m thinking maybe they were turned into a Big Sweater or even bigger hat. Did you see any big knitting needles along the way??

  • Hi,
    “Not every iconic object in OZ has been turned into a Big Thing!”
    Are you sure? LOL.

  • My Journey With Candida

    I was going to ask how you got on that park bench, but then I clicked to enlarge the picture and see the cement blocks. So funny. You need a bonnet on your head.

  • I’m sure the bales have meaning for the folks who live and work in the area, but they are lost on me. Had you not told me what they were I’d be sitting here with a rather dumb look on my face. I have no idea how they should be classified, but I’m continually amazed at your ability to find these things. Well done. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  • I remember doing a ‘big things in Oz’ post a while back, but can’t find the link as blogger has updated it’s template stuff and it’s all too much for me to handle.

    The Big Koala always looked like a pill of Big Koala *droppings* in my mind, let alone having the entry to the gift shop where it’s rudey parts would have been….!

    The Big Hay Bales are certainly contenders for the Piss Weak Effort, along with the Big Orange (now so old it’s off the tourist map and the sun has faded it to pink) and the Big Wine Cask at Stanley winery.

  • I’ve always thought you should have been the person to do the ‘big things’ everywhere post. Gumboot song, Macca, won’t release the song.

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