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    Ballina's Big Prawn

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    Joy
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    default Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 3:50 pm

    Situated in West Ballina, on what was the Pacific Highway, but has now returned to its name of River Street, is the Big Prawn. This was first built in 1989 as part of a tourist & transit centre on what was the main highway north/south between Sydney, NSW & Brisbane, Qld. It was a major truck stop too with restaurants, etc. The Big Prawn was also a viewing area for tourists to look at the surrounding vistas. They had to climb up inside to look out through its bulbous eyes. Meanwhile the bright pink prawn was fading in colour. There was a demolition order placed on the Big Prawn due to concrete cancer which, fortuitously, was not carried out.

    A bypass was being built to take long distance traffic away from Ballina itself which meant this site would no longer be used or needed as a tourist, transit & service centre. Well before the bypass was finished a developer bought the site & kicked out the businesses. So the Big Prawn was left to moulder away, totally neglected prone to vandalism. 

    The site became weed-infested with the developer not continuing with his plans to build apartment blocks, although the service station's huge below ground petrol & diesel storage tanks were removed & the soil remediated. He had said he was going to move the Big Prawn to a new service centre. This never happened either. Eventually the site went back on the market. A nation-wide hardware store chain bought the site to build a large trade & retail warehouse store. They already had a smaller store in Ballina & the area was ripe for a larger one. They included plans to refurbish the Big Prawn within their development application to the Ballina Council. The mayor at the time was anti-Big Prawn & wanted it demolished. He felt it was too "low-brow" for the image he had for Ballina, whatever that was. It is, after all, a family-oriented holiday destination with no pretensions of glamour. :lol3:  A petition organised to protest the demolition received over 5000 signatures & Bunnings plans were approved, in total, by the council with the mayor being overruled, thankfully, so the Big Prawn was saved. Not only that it was given a tail & a whole new lease of life. :bravo:

    Opening Of Big Prawn & Bunnings - More Facts

    Big Prawn Gets A Tail

    The New Tail In The Making


    Australia has a liking for Big Things & a trip around the country to see them all could take sometime. There are over 150 of them. This is a link to the list of them.

    List of Australia's Big Things
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 3:57 pm

    Here are a couple of pics I took of the Big Prawn, as it was, 5 years ago in 2008,  while we were driving past. This was when it was sitting atop the tourist/transit centre/service station. It was already very faded & neglected.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 3:58 pm

    A closer view.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:00 pm

    As the Big Prawn is now. Approaching The Big Prawn. It was raining with rain spots on the windscreen. This was taken as we were coming into Ballina.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:01 pm

    The refurbished Big Prawn with its new tail at Ballina. It now has pride of place at the newly built Bunnings Hardware warehouse store.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:03 pm

    The eyes & antennae were replaced as well. Cannot even see where the tail was added to the prawn. It is coloured the same as a cooked eastern king prawn which are the species of ocean prawns caught in the Northern Rivers region.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:04 pm

    This pic was taken less than 1 min 25 secs after the last image & there is now blue sky showing.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:05 pm

    Image taken from across the road at Sam's Warehouse carpark.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:06 pm

    Vista view. The Big Prawn was originally at the other (southern) end of this lot. It continues to be a landmark of this area.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:08 pm

    Heading home from shopping elsewhere at Ballina & the Big Prawn emerges set against dark rain clouds down south.

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:10 pm

    The Big Prawn with its nice new tail..

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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:11 pm

    Big Prawn with a truck racing past.

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    Bruce
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Bruce on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:25 pm

    Very good love
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 02 Aug 2013, 4:28 pm

    Thank you Bruiser. :kiss:
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by granny on Sat 03 Aug 2013, 2:15 am

    :clap: Thanks Joy!  Great pictures of the Big Prawn.  I am so glad they kept the prawn.   The new tail looked great and the paint job was amazing. I didn't realize Australia had so many big things.    Thank you so much for the pictures.:good:   Granny 
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Sat 03 Aug 2013, 7:12 am

    Thanks Granny. :D  We are really glad they did manage to keep the Big Prawn, especially, also, that the mayor, who wanted it demolished, was overruled. :clap: Bunnings would also have known that while having the Big prawn wouldn't really bring in extra business it would be good PR & make people happy. :excited: 

    People here do like their "Big Things" although I can think of better reasons to go to Kiama (that's if I wanted to venture that far south) than to see the Big Poo. :lol2:
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Dawn on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 6:59 pm

    It  looks good enough to eat Joy ! :D The revamping of "the Prawn" and the keeping of it as a landmark is wonderful. Thank you for the history of it all, that was very interesting indeed. :photos: too !
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    default Big Poo

    Post by granny on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 9:55 pm

    :donald: I just found pictures of the Big Poo in Kiama.  So funny!!  Granny
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 16 Aug 2013, 7:02 am

    It is Granny. :laugh:  Kiama is noted for its big blowhole so having the Big Poo there isn't really that out of place, is it? :rofl:
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    default Re: Ballina's Big Prawn

    Post by Joy on Fri 16 Aug 2013, 7:11 am

    Dawn wrote:It  looks good enough to eat Joy ! :D The revamping of "the Prawn" and the keeping of it as a landmark is wonderful. Thank you for the history of it all, that was very interesting indeed. :photos: too !
     :thanks:  It does doesn't it, Dawn. :smile:  That is the colour of an eastern king prawn when cooked although maybe a teensy bit brighter to allow for the possibility of some sun-fading. The restorers did a great job & although the amount spent on its restoration was small compared to total costs of the building of the Bunnings store, we are so grateful they did it. :bravo:  It sure is one of a kind. :cool3:

      Current date/time is Fri 28 Jul 2017, 2:47 pm