Alright, it really looks more like this. You can visit the Big Cockroach on Port Wakefield Road, roughly near Lower Light and Two Wells, South Australia. It was erected by local farmer Stephen Jones in the 1990s. With its four meters, it is currently the biggest cockroach worldwide.
It has been saved from scrap metal by South Australia’s favorite host Andrew ‘Cosi’ Costello and one big social media campaign. Apparently, it found a temporary home in Adelaide’s down town shopping district, Rundle Mall, which nobody I’ve talked to seems to remember, and is now back north of the city. It is in the wonderful company of the Blowfly, Dunny, Lookout, Ned Kelly, Rat, Tin Man and UFO. All steel sculptures have been made of recycled materials.
It is a rather strange place to visit. The sculptures are next to the Highway, secured by an electric fence that has seen its better days. It is very, very quiet. While you’re trying to enjoy the art work, you spend most of the time watching out for snakes and road side garbage that could potentially kill you. It seems, as if the world already came to an end. Here, Ned Kelly is not a hero. I give the Big Things 2 brownie points for all the rust. My favorite is the Big Rat, for its subtle critique of capitalism. Originally protesting against the plans of the Liberal Government to build a garbage dumb, they are now raising awareness for the planned closure of the Repatriation General Hospital. Adelaide’s Repat, including its Hospice, specializes in the care of the elderly and Veterans (from the Southern area, which is not the … erm … most affluent). Who would’ve thought, this protest artwork would reach so many people? With artist and landowners being past retirement age, it is getting harder and harder for them to maintain the monuments. Maybe not in the too far future, the South Australian government will be responsible to look after this art, that protests against their own actions?
If you ever find yourself on Highway One to Yorke Peninsula, make sure to stop for a few photos. Wear closed shoes. If you like your Big Things closer to a visitor center of some sort, try the Big Lobster.
7 thoughts on “Australia’s Big Things – The Big Cockroach”
Your great tribute to things big in Australia reminds me of America’s obsession with big. Not just Texas, multi-pattied hamburgers, and 64 ounce cold drinks. No. My first thought was the world’s tallest thermometer. This stands along the Mojave Desert part of highway I-15 in Baker, California. For I don’t remember how many hundreds of miles of heat waves over tarmac, baked billboards along the highway tantalize micro-napping drivers, victims of highway hypnosis, to stay awake on the road so they don’t miss that big thermometer. It read somewhere around the 100 F. mark the two dry Julys I drove by.
Thank you. This is amazing!