11 September 2019

Is the Big Tulip the next big thing in Australia?

| Lachlan Roberts
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A big Tulip in Mittagong? Images: Supplied.

The Sunshine Coast has the Big Pineapple, Coffs Harbour has the Big Banana and Goulburn has the Big Merino and now Mittagong in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales wants to claim the next big thing.

Online travel site Wotif has launched a competition to decide on and gift Australia’s next ‘big thing’ and after a two-week nationwide search that saw thousands of Aussies submit their big thing ideas, Canberra’s neighbours in Mittagong are one of four finalists.

The local town to home Australia’s newest oversized tourist attraction will be decided by the Australian public, with voting set to close next Tuesday afternoon (11:59 am 9 October).

The Next Big Thing shortlisted finalists are:

  • The Big Melon in Chinchilla, Queensland, which is famous for its melon production and home of the popular Melon Fest.
  • The Big Kilt in Glen Innes Highlands, NSW, which features Glen Innes’ own signature tartan. The Big Kilt would also highlight the town’s early Scottish settlers and Celtic history.
  • The Big Peanut, Kingaroy, Queensland, which is known as the “Peanut Capital of Australia”. Kingaroy’s unique soil makes it one of the world’s most ideal places to grow peanuts and houses Australia’s largest peanut processing plant, making the Big Peanut a natural fit for the area.
  • The Big Tulip, Mittagong, NSW is the gateway to one of Australia’s oldest floral festivals, Tulip Time, which results in the planting of over 100,000 tulips in the area each spring.

Manager of Tourism and Events for Destination Southern Highlands Steve Rosa says the Big Tulip will drive visitors to the region and boost the local economy.

“Not only will the Big Tulip be a symbol of one of our most well-known festivals, but it will also give Australians another reason to visit and explore our great region and everything it has to offer year-round,” Mr Rosa said.

Wotif Managing Director Daniel Finch said the array of entries with the likes of the Big Chiko Roll in Bendigo, the Big Choccy Milk in Newcastle and the much-loved ‘Bin Chicken’ showed the true larrikin spirit of Australia.

“Collectively, the submissions reflect what makes Australian culture so unique,” Mr Finch said. “From the quirky to the humorous, to the patriotic to the bold, with so many brilliant submissions, the Wotif team had the near-impossible task of choosing only a handful of entries to be shortlisted for public voting.

“The entries that stood out to us most showed a long-term connection to the local area and we’re confident that these final four ‘Big Things’, not only reflect the spirit of their respective town but will also make a positive impact to the local community.”

Voting is now in the hands of the Australian public to decide, with the final winner of the ‘Next Big Thing’ to be determined by next week, and Australia’s ‘Next Big Thing’ planned to be built and unveiled by the end of the year.

Vote for The Big Tulip here.

Original Article published by Lachlan Roberts on the RiotACT.

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