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We're off to...the Big Things

Best friends Trish Unger and Tracey were like Thelma and Louise only on a different BIG adventure.

With the open road in front of us and work behind us, my best friend Tracey and I were like Thelma and Louise.

We were on a big adventure, but not in the way you'd think.

A few years ago Tracey, 35, and I were chatting on the phone when an ad came on TV. 'Dad says the French have the Eiffel Tower, the Chinese have the Great Wall. Australians? We have Big Things,' a boy's voice said.


Visiting all the Big Things around Australia sounds like so much fun!, I thought excitedly.

I explained my idea to Tracey. 'That sounds great!' she laughed.

We began our research and realised there were over 150 Big Things around Australia - too many for one road trip. Instead we devoted long weekends and holidays to exploring ones we could get to.

We visited the Big Cow, the Big Shell, the Big Pelican, the Big Strawberry and probably most famous of all - the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour.

Then earlier this year we decided to plan a longer trip in a campervan.

We mapped out a 4500km course that would take us from Brisbane to Port Douglas, visiting 30 Big Things along the way.

Our first stop was at the Big Bulls in Rockhampton. Looking at the six statues, they weren't as big as I'd expected.

But we then headed inland to Emerald where we visited the Big Easel. Even by our standards, it was massive!

From there it was on to Gemfields where we saw the Big Miner and the Big Sapphire. They looked a bit worn but due to their size they're hard to protect from the elements.

Then we set off to Blackall via Jericho. 'We'll take a shortcut,' Tracey winked, veering off the main road. But things went from bad to worse when the dirt road began turning into mud.

'We're going to get bogged!' Tracey shrieked. When we finally made it to Blackall we agreed our cross-country adventure had been a bit too big!

We're currently at Charters Towers, just 600km from our final destination. We've visited over 60 Big Things up and down the east coast of Australia.

For Tracey and me there's no better way to see our beautiful country than with the wind in your hair and your friend by your side. When we get home we'll have plenty of big tales to tell!

I went with...
My best friend Tracey and Ted the stuffed toy who's become our mascot!

We travelled from...
Brisbane to Port Douglas via Longreach and Winton.

It cost...
$2500. The only expenses are fuel, campervan hire and parking at night.

Best bit...
My favourite Big Thing so far is the Big Muttaburrasaurus at Muttaburra. Tracey's is the Big Easel in Emerald.

Shopping...
Most of the Big Things have information centres where you can browse for unique souvenirs.

If you're on a budget...
Drive your own car, and take your own food and drinks from home.

My top tip...
Utilise internet trip-planning sites and information centres, and try to include other activities other than just Big Things

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