The Big Cow, a landmark in Yandina since 1976 was removed on January 10th 2020, and taken in two pieces to Highfields Pioneer Village Museum and Park (18km north of Toowoomba). There was much angst from the locals at Kulangoor, but she was gone before there was time to organise a going away party.
The Big Cow is modelled on an Ayrshire called ‘Ada’, a breed noted for its distinctive brown and white colouring, lyre-shaped horns and a good milk supply; they were the first dairy breed to arrive in Australia from Scotland.
The Big Cow stood at the entrance to what was Sunshine Coast Dairy, later Country World, established by Des and Barbara Scanlan. The large concrete sculpture even gave its name to its address at Ayrshire Rd.
At 3.5m wide, 12m long, 5.7m at the shoulders and 7.9m high, she weighs 12 tonnes. Sculptor Hugh Anderson used a technique of applying concrete render to a wire sub-structure to create life-like images including five of Rockhampton’s famous Big Bulls and a gold mining monument transported from his Alexandra Headland studio to Charters Towers as a bicentennial project in 1988, now at the Gold Panner Motor Inn at Bathurst.
Sunshine Coast Dairy with the Big Cow as its star attraction was officially opened by deputy Prime Minister Doug Anthony on September 10, 1976, so she is now 44 years old.
Like the Big Pineapple, which had opened on the southern side of Nambour five years earlier on August 15, 1971, it was right on the Bruce Highway capturing the attention of passing motorists. Both suffered when the Nambour bypass was completed, and they found themselves on the Nambour Connection Rd.
The Scanlans sold Sunshine Coast Dairy in the 1980s, but the Big Cow remained in its commanding position overlooking the old Bruce Highway.
In March 2016, it was reported as having fallen into disrepair and last year, the site’s current owners, Barry and Margaret Barnes, donated it to the Highfields Pioneer Village.
Its departure marks the end of an era for the Sunshine Coast but volunteers at Highfields have restored the grand old Ayrshire to its former glory. She will also be renamed ‘Clivia’ after the entrepreneur Mr. Clive Berghofer AM who generously donated the funds to remove and restore the Cow for the future enjoyment of thousands of tourists travelling to the Darling Downs Region. Her interior now features a museum of her making, where visitors can see photos of her construction and a collection of her earlier souvenirs.
The Big Cow will be officially opened this Sunday the 20th September at 10:30am , and will then be open to the public from 10am to 4pm daily. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, bookings online are essential. All those planning to attend are advised TICKETS MUST BE PRE-PURCHASED online prior to attending. You can buy your tickets here: https://www.trybooking.com/book/sessions?eid=626511
Highfields Pioneer Village
73 Wirraglen Road, Highfields
Ph 07 4696 6309