Big Pineapple in Woombye

Big Pineapple in Woombye, public art, Queensland

Public Art : Big Pineapple

Artist : © Lynn Taylor

Description : A 16m high fiberglass pineapple. Inside you can view an audiovisual display on the pineapple harvesting process or climb the spiral staircase to a viewing platform at the top. The shell of the structure is made from fibreglass and supported internally on a steel frame. The fibreglass has been moulded to replicate the skin texture and colour of a pineapple and has been formed in several pieces which are rivet-fixed together. The stalk of the pineapple and the surrounding viewing platform are made in steel and then painted. the interior is finished off with fibre cement and painted to look like the flesh of the fruit.

Date Unveiled : The big fruit was unveiled on the 15th August, 1971 by the then minister for Labour and Tourism, Mr Herbert. Also in attendance was the Marchoochy Shire Council chairman Eddie de Vere.

Location : The iconic Big Pineapple is located in Woombye near Nambour on the Nambour Connection Road , Queensland, Australia. You can't miss it!

Background behind the Big Pineapple : The enormous pineapple was the brainchild of pineapple farmers Bill and Lynn Taylor. In 1970 Bill , who had worked for the United Nations for 20 years, and his wife Lyn, who was an interior designer in New York, decided to return to Australia and purchased a 23 hectare pineapple farm they called the Sunshine Plantation in Woombye.

After approval from the local shire they constructed the Big Pineapple in the hope of attracting tourists to the area. It was one of the first "Big" things to be built in Queensland. A few months later another 16m high Big Pineapple, 65kms away, was constructed at the Gympie service station .

In 1972 the Taylors won the first annual award for tourist development in Queensland.

By the 1980's the Big Pineapple and the Sunshine Plantation was attracting over a million visitors a year. In 1981 the Taylors sold the plantatio and the following year they were invited to Hawaii to build a similar project.

Controversy : When you are dealing with something big and unique there is bound to be a little controversy and the Big Pineapple is no exception. There have been rumors,innuendos and conspiracy theories over who came up with the Big Pineapple idea first. Some believe the plans for the Gympie Pineapple were submitted first but that "someone" had leaked the idea to the Sunshine Plantation. They then quickly drew up their own plans and had them rushed through, pipping Gympie at the post by 2 months. There has also been unfound rumours that the Woombye Pineapple was later enlarged to claim "biggest" bragging rights.

Trivia : Believe it or not the Big Pineapple is heritage listed.

On 11 September 1978 an early morning fire broke out completely destroying the tropical market and restaurant next to the Big Pineapple. Close call!

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