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 Oyster is only one of a loosely related set of about 150 sculptures and large structures sprinkled across the country. Most of these, the Big Oyster 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.
Once a popular restaurant and souvenir shop, the Big Oyster in Taree, New South Wales, is now a car dealership. The Oyster appears to have giant, gleaming teeth, but these are actually huge windows that allow for panoramic views over the coast - and the Pacific Highway, which it sits just off of. The Oyster has plenty of room for visitors that want to take in the views; it measures about 12 feet tall and more than 30 feet wide.
While you probably wouldn’t be able to guess it based on its new function as an attraction for a car dealership, the Big Oyster is an homage to the local produce. Fisherman pull the Manning River, on which Taree sits, for more than three and a half million oysters every year. The name Taree is even believed to come from Tareebit, an Aboriginal name for the local fig tree. The Aborigines used that fruit to supplement their diet of mostly seafood and fish from the river.
Laid out as a private town in 1854 by Henry Flett, the son-in-law of William Wynter, the man who had originally settled in the area in 1831, Taree is home to about 20,000 people today. The center of a significant agricultural district, Taree is more than 300 km north of Sydney, but can be reached by car over the Pacific Highway or by train via the North Coast Railway.
- Wikipedia: Australia's Big Things: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia%27s_big_things
- Travelmate: Big Oyster: http://maps.travelmate.com.au/BigThings/BigThings.asp?Type=Show&ToDoId=167881
- Being Australian: The Big Oyster - Taree, NSW: http://www.beingaustralian.com.au/script/news_pop-up.php?n=174
- Wikipedia: Taree, New South Wales: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taree,_New_South_Wales