Big Pineapple re-opens on the Sunshine Coast

Big Pineapple re-opens on the Sunshine Coast
Edited by Travel Weekly


    The biggest of Australia’s ‘Big Things’ – the Sunshine Coast’s Big Pineapple – was officially relaunched today.

    Standing 16 metres high, the first stage of the Big Pineapple regeneration includes a new café, new children’s playground, new viewing platform and fully restored train.

    The extensive renovation project has been undertaken by owner Peter Kendall and his company CMC Property.

    Visitors will be struck by the Big Pineapple’s gleaming visage, courtesy of sandblasting, repairing and hundreds of litres of two pack marine paint to ensure the prominent structure stays bright and shiny for many decades to come.

    The Plantation Train has been fully restored, along with its carriages and the track, to bring it up to current safety standards and certification requirements.

    Situated on a 165-hectare site, the Big Pineapple was originally launched on 15 August 1971, in the heart of pineapple growing territory in Woombye.

    The Big Pineapple quickly became a food and tourism icon showcasing and celebrating Queensland’s world-class produce. In its heyday, the Big Pineapple was one of the nation’s most popular tourism attractions, luring over one million visitors annually – including the likes of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, who visited in 1983.

    More recently the Big Pineapple site has diversified its attractions playing host to Wildlife HQ Zoo, the TreeTop Challenge high ropes and zipline course, the award-winning coconut foods producer COYO and Sunshine & Sons distillery.

    Big Pineapple at night.

    It is also the venue for the popular Big Pineapple Music Festival, which is scheduled to be staged again in October.

    Owner Peter Kendall said he knew that the relaunch of the Big Pineapple had been eagerly anticipated by the Sunshine Coast community.

    “The Big Pineapple is undoubtedly the most recognisable tourism icon of the Sunshine Coast and so I am very proud of the team’s work to restore the pineapple to its original glory,” said Kendall.

    “This is just the first stage of the regeneration project. Our number one priority was to reopen the main Pineapple structure and café, and to get the train running again.

    “We are awaiting some final certification for the train and hope to start public train rides soon, providing rides across the property including access to Wildlife HQ.

    “The new cafe will provide fresh home style food and premium coffee, while the new children’s playground will ensure everyone is entertained.

    “Our next priority is to complete the renovations to the inside of the pineapple structure itself and we hope to reopen it for tours later on.”

    Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Rosanna Natoli said it was wonderful to see the Big Pineapple being restored to its former glory while reinventing itself to cater to a modern market.

    “Many of us have fond memories of visiting the Big Pineapple, tasting local produce, and of course, riding the train. It was always a highlight of my childhood holidays,” Mayor Natoli said.

    “Today’s relaunch is a win for our tourism industry and means locals and visitors can enjoy, in both old and new ways, what is a quintessential icon for the Sunshine Coast.”

    Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Matt Stoeckel, shares the enthusiasm for the restoration of a true Aussie icon.

    “Sunshine is an integral part of our identity, and nothing shines more brightly than the Big Pineapple,” he said.

    “Australians are so endeared to the Big Pineapple and we are thrilled that it is operating as a tourism attraction once again. It also emphasises our history as an agri-tourism destination and highlights that we truly are Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry.”

    The new Plantation Train ready to resume services at The Big Pineapple.

    Latest News

    • Cruise

    Cruise Traveller’s new Scottish Highlands cruise tour package

    Australian small ship cruising specialist, Cruise Traveller, offers a 20-night land and sea holiday in the UK aboard the Lord of the Glens. The tiny cruise line’s 52-guest boutique vessel, Lord of the Glens, is purpose-built to explore the intricate waterways and lochs of the Scottish Highlands. It boasts a rich, traditional ambience with polished […]

    • Cruise

    Celebrity Xcel’s keel-laying ceremony in France, with 2025 inaugural sail planned

    Construction has commenced on Celebrity Cruises’ next ship, Celebrity Xcel, with a keel-laying ceremony at the Chantiers de l’Atlantique shipyard in Saint-Nazaire, France. An Edge Series ship, Celebrity Xcel will set sail in autumn 2025, with several new yet-to-be-revealed offerings. At the ceremony, Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group (RCG), the parent […]

    • Destinations
    • Tour Operators

    Globus unveils nine new independent tours for 2025

    Coach touring brand Globus has unveiled nine new independent tours for 2025, from Bangkok to Bali and Abu Dhabi to Nepal. “With Globus Independent tours, our guests are free to enjoy the many benefits of touring, untethered and unscheduled,” APAC head of marketing, Globus family of brands (GFOB), Chris Fundell said. “Providing hand-picked hotel accommodations, […]

    • Hotels

    Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group opens Mandarin Oriental Mayfair

    The Mandarin Oriental has opened a second property in London, the Mandarin Oriental Mayfair, in the heart of historic Hanover Square. Designed by internationally renowned Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, the hotel is the first new build in Mayfair in over a decade. Bringing a modern architectural approach to one of London’s most storied squares, […]

    • Hotels

    Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort unveils Coral Kids Club

    On top of its US$85 million (AU$150m) transformation, Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort’s new Coral Kids Club provides an engaging activity centre for kids. Designed for keiki (children), ages 5-12, the activity centre offers daily cultural workshops with hands-on activities rooted around the Āina Guardian workbook. It was developed by Candes Gentry, co-author of Eat […]

    • Hotels

    Minor Hotels announces fourth franchised hotel

    Minor Hotels has added to its portfolio of more than 500 hotels in operation after signing Oaks Melbourne on William Suites as its fourth franchised hotel. The 220-room apartment hotel is the third Oaks property signed under a franchise model after the Oaks Toowoomba and Oaks Townsville Metropole. The proven success of these properties highlights […]

    • Destinations

    Phuket unveils cutting-edge medical facility

    Minor Hotels has announced Layan Life by Anantara, a world-class medical wellness facility that is set to elevate Phuket’s reputation as an international medical wellness destination. The new facility is set across 1,767sqm within the grounds of Anantara Layan Phuket Resort and is set to open in Q3 of this year. It offers a blend […]

    • Events

    Out West Piano Fest comes alive in Bathurst

    The three-day symphony of the senses comes back to Bathurst, at picturesque Blackdown Farm, as Out West Piano Fest returns 25-27 October. Located just five minutes away from Bathurst NSW is a pastoral heritage, art, and culture. It was also once home to Australian artist, Tim Storrier. The extensive gardens in full spring bloom offer […]

    • Attractions
    • Cruise

    Japan in Bloom with Cruise Express

    Send clients out to experience the best of the Land of the Rising Sun with Cruise Express and their Japan in Bloom expedition, a 21-night adventure. As interest in Japan hits an all-time high, Cruise Express is pleased to announce its ultimate Japanese bucket list trip. This adventure is geared for Australians wanting to tick […]

    • Road & Rail

    Explore Uzbekistan with Golden Eagle Luxury Trains

    Golden Eagle Luxury Trains presents an exclusive itinerary to Uzbekistan with ensuite cabins, a personal cabin attendant, and off-train excursions. Travelling aboard the opulent Golden Eagle train, with ensuite cabins, guests will dive deep into Uzbekistan’s spectacularly global cultural identity. A personal cabin attendant, all porterage and gratuities and all off train excursions are included […]