The Big Prawn

Australia is home to more than 150 unique pieces of architecture and sculptures collectively known as “the big things” of Australia. These quirky, supersized attractions can be found in every Australian state and territory and have become something of a cult phenomenon.

Ballina, NSW is home to the “Big Prawn,” constructed in 1989 to honor the local prawning industry. The over-sized crustacean was originally tail-less and sat on the West Ballina transit center on the main road through town. Visitors could enjoy a viewing deck built inside the prawn’s head, and look out through its enormous eyes.

Over time, a bypass rerouted traffic around the town and the concrete and fiberglass structure fell into disrepair. In 2009, the Ballina Shire Council voted to demolish the Big Prawn. The community rallied around their beloved landmark and petitioned for it to remain.

Bunnings Warehouse, a hardware store, purchased the site and refurbished the prawn as part of a redevelopment effort. The 2013 restoration cost around $400,000 and included the addition of a tail, and relocation to the stand that currently holds the giant prawn.

Soon after the makeover, the Bunnings Warehouse site went up for sale and sold for $21.3 million — many attribute the restoration of the sculpture to the huge price tag.

The Big Prawn is 6 meters x 9 meters (20 feet x 30 feet) in size and weighs around 35 tons.

It can be seen and photographed at all times of the day and night. The photo above was taken in the early afternoon.


507 River St
West Ballina NSW 2478

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