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the_worker

Big pineapple

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Took these photos. from the old river ride building. I took this the other day. was just looking around. it interested me how it is rotting away slowly! Do many people remember it? why did it close? Anyone here operate it?

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Edited by the_worker

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Ah, the old Harvest Boat ride. I rode back in 02, and it was quite possibly the lamest ride that I've ever been on. Truth be told, it was so lame it was worth more then we paid to ride. It was basically a 20min educational boat ride through a greenhouse, teaching its riders about plants and growing techniques. I recall hearing that the ride cost something crazy like $3million to build in the late 80s. To put that in context just how amazing that is, Sea World built Lasseter's Lost Mine around the same time for the about the same amount. Not long after my last visit Big Pineapple filed for bankruptcy. I don't know what the story with the place is now except it was recently heritage listed, which I'm sure is causing a headache as now the place legally must be maintained. :P:unsure:

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Damn Joz, got in before I could! I saw on the news, probably a month or so ago that the current owner/ Operator was pretty upset that the site has been heritage listed. I last went in 04 or there abouts. The place wasn't in a too bad of a shape, but was on the verge of looking sad. Not long after that things changed, the place filed bankruptcy. Not sure what happened between then and now, but I can imagine the place looking pretty sad. Which is a shame really. It and the Big Banana were probably our best "Big Things" as tourist attractions, but now they are sort of screwed and looking sad. The Big Banana used to have a really awesome Banana plantation tour (and even had some awesome space exhibit on the tour) but now that's all SBNO, the 2 tracked monorail has been turned into a footpath in some area's for a paid walking tour of the site, most of the plantation has been ripped out etc, you get the picture. It's just sad that these places were once really good, but have just been neglected for soo long.

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I'm so sad to hear all this! I used to LOVE these places as a kid. I also remember when they installed the 'Tomorrow's Harvest Boat Ride' and I think it was around the early 1990's. I believe the Big Pineapple was quite successful as a tourist destination and in an attempt to add more attractions and begin to develop a sort of mini theme park they added this boat ride. I remember thinking it wasn't particularly exciting but I still enjoyed it in a way as I've always liked any kind of water ride. There was a dark section of the ride where you went into a tunnel/building. I remember an animatronic crocodile lunging out at the boat. That was probably the most exciting effect, if you can call it that. I also remember a rotating model of the planet earth. I'm still shocked that it has closed down. Surely the park is still successful with tourists - is the train and macadamia trucks still running? The Big Banana's plantation tour monorail was always a bit strange. I remember a large animatronic bunyip rising out of the billabong as you passed it and then on the hill you passed a man eating flower with a half dead guy hanging out of it. Then there was the space station at the end of the journey. Whoever created this attraction must have been on drugs. Still I was also surprised to hear this closed too, regardless of how odd it was

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According to Wikipedia, the Tomorrow Harvest ride opened in 1988. In 1991 the building suffered damage from a mini tornado, closing it for 7 weeks for temporary repairs, and was finally fixed in 1993, the tornado-damaged roof was replaced, the displays upgraded and 'Robbie the Robot' was 'born'. 2003 it seems is when the financial troubles started. The Big Banana now has a water-park with Inflatable slides, they ofcourse still have the Toboggan, the Ice Skating. They also have a "Space Race" which supposedly opened in easter. http://www.bigbanana.com/Space%20Race.pdf This space thing, does anyone remember what it was about? Last time I went on the monorail thing they had we didn't stop in the space chamber or get out (it was like it vanished into outer space!) and the time I remember being involved with the space thing was way too long ago.

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The Big Pineapple was Doomed once the Highway Bypassed it Its customer Base then became tourists only Before the relocation of the highway it was a great stop with the kids and a good break from the traffic when travelling

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The Big Pineapple was Doomed once the Highway Bypassed it Its customer Base then became tourists only Before the relocation of the highway it was a great stop with the kids and a good break from the traffic when travelling
the big pineapple is good but the big prawn is soooooo much better

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Was at the Big Pineapple yesterday the whole place ios run down, need a big pick me up the. The river ride roof is all torn and weather damaged, was realy sad to see how much the whole place had fallen apart. Noticed it was up for sale as a whole or in bit so will be interesting to see if it will survive in the end.

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Ok just noticed this but it's majorly dodgy on the part of the Big Banana - So T-Bone mentioned the Space Race ride at BB by mentioning this PDF that is on the big banana web site -

The Big Banana now has a water-park with Inflatable slides, they ofcourse still have the Toboggan, the Ice Skating. They also have a "Space Race" which supposedly opened in easter. http://www.bigbanana.com/Space%20Race.pdf
Now, look closely at the space ship in the pdf above. Then have a look at this image from the Virgin Galactic web site: 11_VirginGalacticLL_500x437.jpg Can anyone else see the world's most blatant copyright violation, not to mention possibly the worst Photoshopping job of all time?! Actually, I'm not going to even call this a Photoshop job, I'm going to call it an MS Paint job. Rich Edited by nev

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Queensland's historic Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast for sale with overseas buyers keen From: AAP November 26, 2009 12:00AM Source QUEENSLAND'S historic Big Pineapple could be sold to an overseas buyer after the close of tenders this week. Overseas groups were among those interested in the more than 170ha of land for sale surrounding the Sunshine Coast tourism icon. The theme park - featuring a 16m-tall fibreglass pineapple - has been a fixture of Queensland tourism since 1971, drawing families with its train rides and a range of delicious sundaes. The site comprises 16 allotments on 15 titles, and is divided into a 78.6 hectare parcel where the the Big Pineapple is and a 91.9 hectare-southern parcel of land being used for rural purposes. Existing facilities on the site include the main building, functions rooms, offices, shop, confectionary factory, macadamia nut factory and car parks. But pulling down the pineapple would contravene heritage listing. The park was added to the Queensland state heritage register earlier this year, ranking it alongside the state's top historic buildings and cultural sites.
So the Big Pineapple itself is safe but that doesn't go for the rest of the park. Bussy

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I was driving past the Big Pineapple today and decided to drop in to see its current state. I hadn't been there since about 1995 and clearly remember it from the mid 80's. The side attraction, called Tomorrow's Harvest or something similar, is in a total state of disrepair. Also, the Big Macadamia is closed. The main building is as I remember it. It looks like it has not been changed since the 90's. It's not beyond repair but needs some serious TLC. I was talking to a staff member who was telling me that the main building, the farm and the Pineapple itself is now heritage listed. It's a pity to see it like this. l hope that a new owner is able to inject some life into this icon. post-3333-1285938646_thumb.jpg post-3333-1285938747_thumb.jpg post-3333-1285938982_thumb.jpg post-3333-1285939890_thumb.jpg post-3333-1285940084_thumb.jpg post-3333-1285940277_thumb.jpg

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Thanks so much for the photos. I love looking at defunct fun park pics. Although I'm a bit sad in this case as the Big Pineapple was always such a great attraction for kids and families and was always an important stop off on our Queensland holidays. I personally think the attraction was/is a good thing for the state. Amazing how bad the condition of the Tomorrow's Harvest Boat Ride is.... I mean it's not THAT old

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I think we all see enough of this in any industry and I'd just put it down to average management. It follows the same old story of trying to streamline and simplify a product or an experience to cut costs and in the process the business loses charm and the whole package that made it what it was. I'm curious to hear what the owner thinks. My personal opinion is that if you expect to have long term attendance you don't make short term decisions like cutting thin on maintenance and turning your guest's experience into what feels like a two-bit operation, which is what is how it feels in its present stage. Would've loved to see this in action for shits and giggles. Would've paid more if the ride's soundtrack ripped off "It's a small world" or any Disney attraction during the ride. ;)

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I believe the ownership of the park has changed a number of times too, which is another consideration. I get the sense that the current owners are more interested in knocking the place down and building apartments but they are restricted by the heritage listing

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In yesterdays courier mail:

VISITORS to one of Queensland's "big" tourism venues were turned away after the heritage-listed Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast was sold by receivers. It wasn't until the steady stream of families and the odd employee arrived at the Woombye theme park's entrance that security guards told them the historic icon – which opened in 1971 – had shut its doors "indefinitely". Amber Swaine and Manea Kaye, both from Coolum, were among those turned away who said they would have liked more notice. "I'm really disappointed because the kids were looking forward to feeding the animals," Ms Kaye said. "I just wish I'd seen it advertised somewhere that it would be closed." Ms Swaine, who had taken her daughter to the theme park five times, was shocked after purchasing an annual-season pass less than three months ago. Start of sidebar. Skip to end of sidebar. Related Coverage Pictures: Big things dot the landscape Icon status: Big Pineapple on heritage list End of sidebar. Return to start of sidebar. A casual employee who arrived for her shift yesterday morning was also refused entry. "Nobody knew (it had been sold), not even managers," she said. "It was a shock when we all got here. It was meant to be a normal work day." Receivers and managers PPB took control of property from Graham Hayes' family in 2009 but the Australian Taxation Office had been pushing for the property to be wound up since 2003, when it was revealed it owed the ATO $533,700. A PPB spokesman said the property had been sold to a prominent local family for an undisclosed amount and that the new owners planned to renovate before reopening as a commercial operation. Marketing agent Mark Creevey from Ray White Special Projects said the sale, which excluded the current business operation, had attracted interest from local and international tourism operators, land developers and property investors. Sources say a wealthy and well-known Sunshine Coast family is the buyer of the land – last year valued at $20 million – and its heritage-listed 16m-tall fibreglass pineapple. Among those who have expressed strong interest in the property is the Bowden family – known for their $25 million rare car collection and car-care product business. However, Dan Bowden yesterday played down speculation his family were involved in purchasing the 170-hectare property, which includes wildlife, a train and fruit plantations. The property also boasts two factories, nine houses, office and retail space, function rooms, a restaurant and parking for more than 700 cars. Most staff were believed to be casual employees and a number will continue working to care for the koalas and reptiles until alternative arrangements are made for the animals. Security guards said they would guard the site around the clock until further notice.
And the upcoming plans for the site:
One of Queensland’s tourist icons is set to be reconditioned as a motor racing museum. The new owners of Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast will use the site to showcase their collection of Australian motor vehicles. The Bowden family, of Buderim, will house a number of classic racing cars within buildings next to the 16-metre fibreglass tropical fruit. Several of the traditional drawcards of the Woombye landmark will remain, including the heritage-listed pineapple and its famed sundaes. The property has been on the market since July last year, when long-time owner Graham Hayes placed it in receivership. The Bowdens have promised to returning the Big Pineapple to its former glory. ‘‘Our current plans move along the lines of giving the site a much needed birthday [party] and restoring it back to something I can recall from my childhood,’’ Chris Bowden told ABC Radio this morning. Patriarch David Bowden, a former share trade adviser, has built up Australia’s finest collection of racing vehicles, according to the Sunshine Coast Daily. The collection includes Allan Moffat’s famous bright red Coca-Cola 302 Trans-Am Mustang, first raced in 1969. The vehicle Dick Johnson was driving when he hit a rock in the 1980 Bathurst race is also a part of the collection. Councillor Anna Grosskreutz, Sunshine Coast Cultural Heritage Reference Group Chair, today said she was excited to learn the icon would be restored to its 1970s heyday. ‘‘We definitely need a new tourist attraction on the Sunshine Coast,’’ she said. ‘‘This will bring motoring enthusiasts to the Sunshine Coast.’’ However, Cr Grosskreutz was disappointed to learn employees had reportedly only discovered yesterday morning they no longer had a job. ‘‘I do hope those people can find a job elsewhere,’’ she said. Several employees have been retained to look after a number of animals housed on the property. The famed pineapple hosted Prince Charles and Princess Diana when they visited Australia in 1983.

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I'm not loving this. The Big Pineapple was all about celebrating the Sunshine Coast and the beautiful tropical plantations of the region. Cars don't really fit with this theme. Still, I guess it's better than having the place close down. It was such a big tourist attraction in the early 80's and 90's... what has changed?? Surely the Sunshine Coast is getting just as many tourists passing through as it used to?!

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what has changed?? Surely the Sunshine Coast is getting just as many tourists passing through as it used to?!
That would be it then...The Nambour bypass opened in the early 90s, so it was no longer 'on the way' for people heading north.

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