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Big Banana & The Coffs Harbour Bypass

Big Banana & The Coffs Harbour Bypass  

18 members have voted

  1. 1. When the Bypass opens, would you still visit The Big Banana when travelling by motor vehicle via Coffs Harbour?

    • Not anymore
    • Occasionally
    • All the time
  2. 2. When the Bypass opens, what would encourage you the most to head to The Big Banana?

    • Certain new attractions that aren't any of the options below
    • Certain new rides
    • Expanded family entertainment centre
    • Certain new animal exhibits
    • Certain new food & beverage outlets
    • Certain new shops
    • On-site accommodation
    • More affordable pricing strategies
    • More marketing to remind me it is there
    • Nothing - I always visit The Big Banana when near Coffs Harbour
    • Nothing - Never visited The Big Banana, never will
  3. 3. When the Bypass opens, how much of an effect do you think it will have on The Big Banana?

    • More visitation
    • Same amount of visitation
    • Less visitation

9 posts in this topic

From the Australian Broadcasting Corporation:


Budget 2018: Big Banana preparing for new future after Treasurer announces funding for bypass

By Meghna Bali and Benjamin Shuhyta

Man in blue collared shirt stands in front of the Big Banana - a big yellow house-sized banana.

PHOTO: Big Banana manager Michael Lockman is upbeat about the future, despite losing highway traffic. (ABC News: Meghna Bali)

One of Australia's best-known highway stops is reconsidering its future following the announcement of a highway bypass.

The Federal Government has allocated $970 million in the 2018 budget to redirect the Pacific Highway around the city of Coffs Harbour.

It will leave the Big Banana about 1 kilometre away from holiday makers and tourists using the main highway.

General manager Michael Lockman said his team had already been preparing for the day the traffic disappeared.

"We knew the bypass was coming. The land had been acquired some time ago, so we've been working on it for five years and we'll continue to work on it," he said.

Mr Lockman said the focus now was on making the Big Banana a destination in itself.

"We've basically been focusing on really lifting the standards so it makes it a must-stop for people, somewhere they can break that trip whether there's a bypass or not," he said.

Long history in region

Originally built in 1964, the Big Banana was redeveloped in 1989 at a cost of $30 million.

The attraction brings up to 900,000 visitors a year and includes plantation tours, an ice rink and a water park.

The Coffs Harbour Visitor Information Centre moved to the site in 2014 to help market the rest of the region to tourists.

The Federal Government's early budget announcement drew generally positive feelings from locals.

"There have been innumerable accidents at the Big Banana because it's a big sweeping bend," Coffs Harbour resident Elaine Sparrow said.

"Lots of trucks go over that and turn over and lose their load … it's a bad corner."

Phil Caldercott said the road was dangerous.

"Getting trucks out of the middle of Coffs Harbour is really important," he said.

The proposed route of the 14km bypass was agreed in 2004, but not all residents agree it is the best way to bypass the town.

Traffic delays through Coffs Harbour, NSW (File photograph)

PHOTO: Tourists have been avoiding Coffs Harbour due to heavy traffic, but the budget allocates nearly $1 billion for a bypass. (Supplied: ozroads.com.au)


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It used to have a monorail... sort of.

I don't stop there because of whats there. I have family in coffs, so we're usually going through the town to see them anyway - the bypass would be convenient, but its a nice 'almost halfway' stop between brisbane and sydney, and we usually plan to stop in coffs for that reason. Eliminating the trucking traffic through the town is a positive, but the tourism aspect shouldn't suffer as much as places like the Macadamia Castle, because it is actually a waypoint on the journey.

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I agree Alex. 

Removing some traffic out of the town will make Coffs more pleasant to visit.  Whenever I have driven through Coffs it’s been a traffic nightmare and all I've wanted to do is get out of Coffs as quick as I can.

Kingscliff and Hasting Point are great places to visit now because of bypass roads.

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You can't have the second most important highway in the country run through a 'small town' with traffic lights and roundabouts. Simple as that. It's an embarrassment the way it is now and this combined with the already existing bypass work that's going on is going to make the Brisbane to Sydney drive an absolutely screamer. 

It's a shame to see the interesting parts of the drive slowly fade away as everything is bypassed but it's well needed.

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