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Belconnen, Australia

Giant Mushroom

Children's playground hidden under a big pink and blue cap 

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Australia is home to more than just a couple of big things. The Giant Mushroom is just one of a loosely related set of about 150 sculptures and large structures sprinkled across the country. Most of these serve as tourist traps and can be found along major roads and highways or between top travel destinations. Some, such as the Giant Mushroom, are big by design and serve more practical functions.

Located in the Belconnen Town Centre at the Fresh Food Markets, the Giant Mushroom's enormous cap shelters a children's playground from the sun. It officially opened in 1998 with a special ceremony led by the ACT Chief Minister. The six-meter-high, pink, blue, and yellow mushroom towers over a space that measures about 160 square meters. The cap has a diameter of more than 15.5 meters.

Supported by the Australian Cancer Society, the playground allows parents - and their children - to take a break from shopping. The mushroom's stalk forms the centerpiece of the playground, and is hollow, allowing children to use it as a staircase in order to gain access to triangular "lookout" windows, slides and other playground equipment. 

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