As many locals will know, Nambour has a very special landmark. The type of landmark that Australia has over the years become quite famous for. I’m of course talking about our iconic ‘Big’ attractions, such as the Big Prawn, Big Banana, Big Avocado, and more specifically, the Big Pineapple. As well as being a giant, fake pineapple, the attraction has long been home to a zoo, its visitor centre, the Pineapple train, and more recently a very popular music festival.
As a child I remember it as a thriving tourist attraction, a place of fun and food. However, the times and in this case its fortunes changed. It fell out of favour as more competition came about whose attractions were bigger, more adventurous and in tune with the kids of the day. It profitability fell and the site was eventually closed.
Thankfully a few years ago it was acquired and reopened by new owners Brad Rankin and Peter Kendall, two successful Queensland businessmen with considerable construction and development expertise, who have partnered to put into motion a number of plans to revitalise the site and what it has to offer.
The proposed revitalisation of the Big Pineapple seeks to expand and thereby sustain its long-term future as one of the Sunshine Coast’s most identifiable and famous tourism icons. Following years of uncertainty, the partners paid homage to the attraction’s community heritage by inviting public comment and contributions to help shape its future.
The combined vision now sees additional site considerations that are to include a family fun park, a travel centre, food-based tourism, an eco-tourism destination with walking trails, outdoor sport and recreation, educational facilities, health and well-being services and tourist accommodation, such as a holiday RV park and ‘glamping’ sites.
Co-owners of the Big Pineapple, Brad Rankin and Peter Kendall, said their dream for the site was to restore and sustain the profile of the Big Pineapple as a major tourism destination, thereby adding to the Sunshine Coast tourism experience and economy.
“We understand many people have fond memories of their visits to the Big Pineapple, and would like to see a positive future for this tourism icon following years of uncertainty,” Mr Kendall said. “A contemporary expanded experience of the Big Pineapple can generate ongoing jobs in the local community while showcasing our lifestyle and produce and attracting greater numbers of tourists and locals to the hinterland.”
Mr Rankin said extensive communication was underway with the local community and stakeholders, inviting people to share their thoughts and to hear other ideas about the future of the Big Pineapple.
A drop-in community information session will be held at the Big Pineapple, Nambour Connection Road, Woombye, on Saturday, February 18. If you feel like you have some ideas to contribute to the project, then feel free, as visitors are welcome to pop in any time between 10am and 2pm to meet the Big Pineapple project team and contribute their input to the future renewal of the site.
For more information on the project, visit the Big Pineapple Renewal website.