Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

Moonbi, Australia

Big Chook

Fiberglas monument to Moonbi's poultry industry. 

Australia is home to more than just a couple of big things. The big country, it has been said, has a love of similarly-oversized objects. The Big Chook, as this giant chicken is called, is only one of a loosely related set of about 150 sculptures and large structures sprinkled across the country. Most of these, the Big Chook 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.

A Fiberglas monument to the Moonbi Chicken, this enormous Chook is located in Moonbi, New South Wales, Australia. A small village situated along the New England Highway, Moonbi is home to less than 400 people. Still, it’s renowned as a center for the poultry industry because of its many large poultry farms and extensions of the industry that have set up shop within the city limits.

The traditional land of the Anaiwon Aboriginal people, Moonbi was settled in the 1850s when travelers passed through looking for new land on which their livestock could feed. Over the next decade, a post office was established as well as a public school system, two inns, and a hotel; for a while, it looked like Moonbi would grow to be a thriving urban center in New South Wales. But it didn’t - though it was never abandoned like so many towns with similar origin stories.

Instead, Moonbi carved out a space for itself as the poultry capital of this part of Australia. In 2007, though, it became the center of attention when an equine influenza outbreak forced a lockdown at the Moonbi Recreation Ground and many horses were quarantined.