The Big Cheese is only one of a loosely related set of about 150 sculptures and large structures sprinkled across Australia. Most of these, the Big Cheese included, serve as some of the country’s top tourist traps and can be found along major roads and highways or between prominent travel destinations.
Located in the dairying village of Bodalla, New South Wales, Australia, the Big Cheese serves as a monument to the Bodalla label that can be found all over the country. With a population of just 1,000, Bodalla is an old village that is still spotted with timber houses and a granite church built in the early 1800s. Bodalla, in addition to being known for its cheese, is recognized for its surroundings, all lakes, forest, and dairy pastures.
The Big Cheese marks a visitors’ center that was once part of the old Bodalla factory. The center closed in 2007, but the big wheel still stands on the northern outskirts of town, drawing in visitors to this region first settled by the Dhurga Aboriginal people. Cattle were introduced here in the 1830s and entrepreneurs moved in, turning the town into a spot known for its cheese and butter-making.
The Bodalla Dairy Co-operative was organized and purchased a factory for cheese and butter making, but the closed down in 1987. At that point, the factory was being supplied by only thirteen farms in the area and couldn’t continue producing enough materials to keep operations going. All of the other farmers had transferred their supplied to another company. Today, Bodalla Cheese is owned by Fonterra Brands Pty Ltd. and has been reduced to a small brand within a much larger conglomerate.