Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gulliver the Big Guide Dog

Australia is full of Big Things.

There are estimated to be around 150 of them around Australia. Basically they are tourist traps gone troppo - huge statues (mostly constructed from fibre glass, concrete or other bits and pieces knocking around) designed to encourage you to take a detour off the main highway and have your photo taken then buy a pie or fridge magnet etc.

In my short time in Australia I've been lucky enough to see a Big Orange, a Big Merino (sheep), a Big Prawn, a Big Rocking Horse and a Big Bagpipe-playing Scotsman! I haven't made it a project to see these things, even the most casual visitor here can just stumble on them. There are some souls who dedicate their lives to ticking off all of the big things. Good luck to them. Perhaps when I reach a critical mass of around 30 or so I'll join them in their adventures.

If you want to see a list of them (in order to plan your Australian Big Thing route, click here which is a very good site detailing them all, or alternatively another listing can be obtained here.

Do they encourage tourists? I'm not sure. Most Big Things are connected to dilapidated gift shops so I rather suspect not, but a landscape possessing plenty of natural beauty but devoid of fifteenth century cathedrals, Victorian stately homes or Cromwell ruined castles needs something to get people talking.

One Big Thing you might find tricky to spot on your Big Thing adventure is the Big Guide Dog. That's because the cunning people at Guide Dogs (NSW and ACT) have put the dog (Gulliver) on wheels. I guess it's handy as should the Big Scotsman, or Big Ned Kelly ever have need for a Guide Dog one can easily be at hand, I guess it takes mobility to another level. As with all Guide Dogs, Gulliver was immaculately behaved.

Gulliver came to Canberra last weekend and we caught up with him. He was only in town for an hour and then carried on his somewhat clandestine tour around the country.

Was it as impressive as the Big Pineapple or Big Banana? I'm afraid I really can't say, but it was good to tick another big-thing off (even if it was sneakily on wheels).

1 comment:

Bob Lethaby's Blog said...

How odd is that, though not a bad idea I suppose and all the makings of what I thought was a very good post indeed, though after beating Everton last night at Goodison I am having a day when I am easily amused. Hope all is well!

Bob and co