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.

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