The big Gumboot in Tully Queensland
The Big Orange in Gayndah Queensland
The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour
There was a story on the TV about the Big Gumboot
It told about the locals and their troubles in getting the project built
Tully is a nice little country town, not much to it though. The biggest attraction would be the big gumboot which represents the rainfall up here in North Queensland, which floods every year. It is considered one of the wettest parts of the southern hemisphere actually, damn tropical weather. I'm into Australia's 'big things' so I thought it was worth the mention. You can walk up inside the boot to a viewing platform. It is situated on the Bruce Highway between Townsville and Cairns.
FIVE years after the tiny far north Queensland sugar town of Tully unveiled the world's biggest gumboot, it has become the subject of a documentary.Tully
, which has long battled its northern neighbour Babinda
for the right to call itself the wettest place in Australia, made international headlines in 2003 when it erected a 7.9m fibreglass gumboot as a tribute to its record rainfall.But only now is the real story behind the quirky tourist attraction being told in the hilarious documentary Big Dreamers
, which screens on the ABC on Thursday.Sydney filmmaker Camille Hardman spent nine months living in Tully following the gumboot saga, observing cost blowouts, personality clashes and even an unfortunate paint incident that turned the golden gumboot brown.
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While the documentary was quintessentially Australian, she said its themes had resonated with audiences around the world."People were saying the same thing had happened to their small town because of globalisation and a lot of agriculture (moving offshore)," Hardman said."These towns have to come up with new ways of either attracting people through tourism or coming up with new forms of industry."Ron Hunt, a lifetime Tully resident and one of the stars of the film, said the town originally intended to build a smaller gumboot to mark its claim as the country's rain capital. But when Babinda overtook Tully as the soggiest settlement, the gloves really came off."We then built it to commemorate the highest annual rainfall in town as recorded, which was 7.93m (in 1950), and they (Babinda) couldn't beat that and that really ticked them off," Mr Hunt said.Babinda even threatened to build a giant umbrella to steal Tully's thunder but the project never eventuated."We offered to build it for them," Mr Hunt laughed."And then we offered to put a brolly on top of our gumboot, but they didn't like that either. It's all tongue in cheek, although some people get real serious about it."Mr Hunt said the gumboot had given local tourism a big kick, with almost 4000 people climbing the boot's internal staircase in a two-month period."It did what we wanted it to do - get the passing traffic just to come in and visit," he said.Big Dreamers has screened at several international film festivals and is now seen on Qantas flights, opening the region to key tourist markets.As for who will win this year's wettest town competition, the Bureau of Meteorology said rainfall recorded to the end of last month showed Babinda had a 173mm lead over Tully.