At the 2231 Kilometre Mark Across Australia!



Half Way Across Australia – or is it??!!  Kimba, South Australia
The 4000 km drive across Australia* is such a LOOOONG way even getting halfway is an achievement.

The small town of Kimba, deep in the South Australian Outback on the Eyre Peninsula, leaves Cross-Australia travellers in no doubt that they’ve reached this significant milestone. If you don’t feel a photo coming on when you reach the ‘Half Way across Australia’ sign, you’ve got WAAAY more willpower than I!



It’s all happening at the half-way-across-Australia mark!  Tourist Shop, Bakery AND the BIG GALAH!!

And depending on which way you’re travelling, just up (or down) the road is the ‘Half Way Across Australia Tourist Gift Shop and Bakery’! Even the most jaded traveller would be tempted to stop here, wouldn’t they?

But on the off chance you’ve driven right past the sign AND you’re unaccountably tempted to skip the tourist gift shop and/or bakery, chances are Kimba’s other BIG attraction at the halfway marker will reel you in.
 
The Big Galah, Kimba, South Australia

Because you can’t miss the Big Galah!

The eight metre*** high statue of this iconic Australian bird outside the gift shop is what’s known in tourism parlance as a ‘sure thing’. By the time you get to Kimba from any direction, chances are you’ve already driven through a whole lot of nothing – with a whole lot more to come!
 
Half Way?  Kimba, South Australia

So the Big Galah**** and the attendant plethora of tourist drawcards awaiting your ‘pleasure’ will likely be an irresistable lure – for the photo opportunities alone!

But is Kimba REALLY half way across Australia?

It is – at least according to the Half Way sign, the Eyre Peninsula tourist guide and several websites promoting the town and region, all of which conveniently fail to provide any distances to support their claims. Although the website indicates the measurement to be ‘as the crow flies’**

According to Google Maps the distance from Perth to Sydney is 3934 km by road. It calculates the shortest road distance from Sydney to Kimba at ~1700 km, and from Kimba to Perth ~2230 km. Even taking the longest possible route from Sydney via Melbourne brings the Sydney-Kimba leg to only ~1900 km – still less than half, especially as the distance to Perth then also becomes greater than 4000km.

And while measuring ‘as the crow flies’ would decrease the Kimba-Perth leg, it would also decrease the Kimba-Sydney leg.

Grotesque?  NO!  It’s the Big Galah!  Kimba, South Australia
Perhaps Kimba is the CLOSESTtown to the magic 1977 km half way mark? No – other towns of varying sizes between Kimba and the oblivion of the Nullarbor – such as Ceduna, Wirrulla and Poochera would have greater claim to half way honours if it’s a matter of road distance.

So why Kimba? Maybe Kimba just thought of it first – then travellers, grateful for something to break their long journey don’t question the sign’s authenticity OR the inexplicable presence of a Big Galah!

And unless you’re travelling from Sydney to Kimba and back again, you’ll pass the halfway point somewhere down the road anyway.

So lets keep this a secret, shall we?!?!

A REAL Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus) for comparison purposes!

Want more information?

* From Perth (Western Australia) to Sydney (New South Wales)
** ‘As the Crow Flies’ = shortest distance between two points
*** 8 metres = 8 ¾ yards
**** I’ve included a photo of a REAL galah for comparison purposes

Visit Wild Bird Wednesday for more wild birds from around the world – but I’ll bet no one else could find anything quite as ‘tasteful’ as the Big Galah!!

AND … for a great variety of both accurate and inaccurate signs from around the world, visit Signs, Signs!

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46 comments

  • This may be of interest, a short song accompanied with photos by my granddaughter Nikki who left Perth, Scotland, to near Perth, WA. Now on honeymoon, with her new husband, of course . . . not as a Lonesome Traveller!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBVDYSDjv8E

    • Wow! What a cool clip!! She’s a LONG way from home – and I bet those two Perths are MILES apart – not just in distance, either! Thanks for sharing, Jimmy!

  • So love a giant Galah – whether it’s on the centre of the country or not!

    • You’re right Glen – what does it matter if it’s not exactly half way?!?! It’s not like I’m going to see another Giant Galah anywhere else in Australia, if not the world, if not the universe 😀

  • Whomever did the sculpture did a fine job of replicating the bird in wood. Pretty big!!! Thanks for showing the actual bird. genie

  • Well, now I’ve seen it all, the big banana, pineapple, orange, ram, trout, crayfish, koala, even the great rocking horse in Gawler, and now a whopping great galah! Somewhere in the back of my mind lurks the big potato, I just can’t remember where that is. Somewhere, from the depths of memory, I also seem to dredge a massive gumboot. The world certainly is a funny place.

  • never heard of the galah before – perhaps it doesn’t fly as directly as a crow.

  • @lorik – Galahs (both bird and human) are everywhere when you look!!
    @Sallie – I’m yet to visit Australia’s geographic centre – but I’m sure there’ll be plenty more craziness there …
    @SFlaGuy – Hahaha, Attack of the Giant Galah!! I’ll go you halves in the profits … It’d be WAAAAAY worse if you were drunk or hungover!!
    @Stewart – Big Thing kitsch is all very well – but the real thing gives it perspective!
    @Pat – Haha, so do I!
    @RedPat – You wouldn’t believe how good it feels …
    @37&Counting – There’s only a small number of states – but they cover a HUGE geographic area!!
    @Jim – Thanx!
    @Gerald – Correct! The galah zigzags all over the place with an erratic flight path! Don’t set your GPS by this bird!!
    @MaryHC – That’s the trick to appreciating them – they’re both great in their own little way!!

  • Mary Howell Cromer

    The real life Galah is gorgeous and the man made one looks very impressive…very cool~

  • It must be important – Lions Clubs International was there! 😉

    Have never been to Australia, but I am quite impressed by your profile info that you have traveled in every Australian state. That could be no small feat!

  • Great post! It must be a huge relief to finally hit a town during that long drive!

  • I love that big Galah!

  • This is terrific.

  • I like whimsical stuff like that once in a while — and the center of your huge country is a darn good place for craziness. (We stopped once in someplace, Kansas at what they said was the exact center of the US. … and they didn’t even have a big galah. (Or anything but a boring marker.) But we still took a picture.

  • They really did get the colour right in the big galah, didn’t they!? The real one is much prettier though. I just realised it is a long time since I have seen one – time for a country trip. We see lots of white, and sometimes black, cockatoos here in Sydney though.

  • By the half way mark I would be looking for a place to stop for a while.

  • OK, so I have a certain fondness for “Big” things, I’ll take a flock of the real ones any day!

    cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

    Stewart M – Australia

  • Wow….I believe I like the REAL one best!! Great colors on this bird.

    Hootin’ Anni @ Hootin’ Anni’s – Egret taking to flight
    and
    I’d Rather B Birdin – Cooper’s Hawk

  • Haha I love all the “Big _______ ” they they have all over Australia!

  • what a great road marker! 🙂

  • I’m imagining driving up to that bird in the middle of the night after a long ride of nothingness. It would be sort of a 50’s horror movie moment.

  • @Gary – Thank you!
    @Hootin Anni – Really? Well that puts you in the majority, I believe!
    @Neil – Not just looking, but BEGGING!!!

  • @Iris – I’ve been to Rocky, but don’t recall the Lobster. Don’t they have a Big Cow or something like that as well?? Sorry you missed the galah – that means you’ll just have to come back, right?!
    @mick – Haha! I don’t think anyone would be fooled for a minute!! The trap works really well – impossible to take a pic without a car or person in it!
    @Carole – SSSHHHhhh… don’t tell them!! I suspect if they DON’T know it won’t matter – because I reckon they’ve got a different clientele out that way!!
    @Jane & Lance – Haha! I now know I’d get cabin fever if I were an astronaut … even the kindest critic couldn’t honestly describe the Big Galah as a heavenly body!!
    @TexWisGirl – It certainly is original!!
    @EG Camera Girl – Even if you were repelled by the Galah I suspect you’d still HAVE to take a pic!
    @Karen – I’m still enjoying the Big Things – every time I post about one, I find out about more! This should fill my readers with either pleasure or dismay!
    @Michelle – HHHMMMmmm… I wonder what word most people would insert in your convenient blank?!?!

  • @Andrew – Haha, what are you trying to say?!?!
    @eileeninmd – Yes, the real galah will win every time!!! The pink is enhanced by the setting sun!
    @Rose – Haha! Maybe we DO have the most Big Things – at least per capita! Wonder how we’d find out?!
    @PDP – Give me ‘discoveries’ like these ANY day! They make such great blog fodder!!!
    @River – We came from Perth, so we’d already passed the half-way mark! We just didn’t know it!!
    @jenny – Galahs are possibly Australia’s most ubiquitous bird! Not that I mind … I wonder can you see it from the air?!?!
    @Liz – Plenty more OZ Big Things!! I’ll hunt them all down …

  • @Beach Bum – It all depends how you define ‘nothing’, doesn’t it?!
    @FruitCake – Come now! Where’s your sense of humour??!! It’s SO bad it’s almost good … although I suspect it exists only as a tourist trap!!
    @Are We There Yet – The sign says so, so it must be true!!! Galahs are different shades of pink, depending where you are!!
    @Rubye Jack – Haha, yes why not go all the way!! I guess it IS halfway round the world – from somehwhere!!!
    @TMWH – Didn’t go to the bakery! We went off the highway to the main town before we saw it!!! So I’m ashamed to report there’s still a bakery out there we haven’t patronised!! Although I guess I’ve patronised it in another way …
    @Filip – Come on – the other word you’re searching for is ‘ugly’, right?!?!
    @Windsmoke – I don’t think I’d take any measurement from the way Galahs fly – they zigzag all over the place!!!

  • Some galah Red! So Gulargambone has been trumped; I wonder did they know?

  • Well that big Galah is the right color and definitely a bird – but looking like a real Galah – I don’t think so! Definitely a good tourist trap though!

  • Great post!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  • Great shots! I love galahs! We had one as a pet (rescue). And I enjoyed all the “Big” things I saw while travelling around Oz, which I also snapped pics of.

  • The Great Galah is a fun way to mark your progress across Australia. For sure my camera would beg me to click its shutter.

  • Awww! We hit Ceduna! Aw! So dang sad we missed Kimba and this bird!
    Thanks for those cute pics!
    Have you been in Rockhampton, QLD? (What a question, huh?!) They have a huge … lobster(?) there.

  • Jane and Lance Hattatt

    Hello Red:
    Even half way [or a tiny bit more or less]across Australia seems like a very long way indeed. The numbers seem to be like something out of an Einstein equation relating to heavenly bodies rather than human ones. Everything, we have decided, is big in Australia…..the distances for sure….and now the Galah!!!

  • That’s one large statue. Have a fabulous week.

    Liz @ MLC
    Liz @ YACB

  • Those pink and grey galahs sure do get around, don’t they! I probably would have hoped the big one was an apparition!

  • I’d go to Kimba just to see the galah (and the bakery).
    Which way are you traveling?
    Perth to Sydney or Sydney to Perth?
    If traveling to Sydney, you’ve already passed halfway and can now start saying “we’re almost there…”

  • Another fun fact about this big wonderful country Red, there’s just so much still to discover!,

  • G’day Red – woo hoo – well done mate, half way there! I wonder if Australia would win the medal for “The Big this or that” around this country! I hadn’t heard of the Big Galah though!
    Great pics, thanks Red!

  • Well I guess you can say you were half way there!!!

    Galahs are a new bird for me, love their color.

  • Looks like a great place to stop, especially the bakery. The real Galah is really pretty. I enjoyed your post.

  • Now, if just placed one stick of dynamite here…

  • Bonza photos especially the enormous Galah. As the Crow or the Galah flies sounds more likely the correct measurement i would say.

  • Filip and Kristel

    It is certainly a big bird statue.

    Greetings,
    Filip

  • Kimba was smart to get there first! How was the bakery?

  • My guess is Kimba was the first to lay claim to the half-way mark. I mean given the sort of mind that could create the Big Galah, I’m surprised they didn’t claim half-way mark to the world. That’s big bird!

  • A very ho-hum stretch of road, and now an even more ho-hum attraction. Having lived on the Eyre Peninsula [some time ago] I must admit there are a lot of galahs in the area… though one less now, of course.

  • …chances are you’ve already driven through a whole lot of nothing…

    I would actually enjoy something like that, way too much sprawl in my area.

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