Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Big Pineapple

Today we half heartedly decided to go to The Big Pineapple.
The website, didn't elicit much excitement from either Rob or myself.
But we decided to give it a go and dropped in on the way to Kawana for some shopping.
Rob and I visited about 7 or 8 years ago, before children. Back then we browsed the gift store & shared a banana split on the verandah, overlooking the pineapple fields and animal farm.
We thought we'd just do that again today.

Upon arrival we read the prices of the tours and thought they probably wouldn't be worth it. So we took advantage of the free entry and went and ordered a banana split (which we couldn't finish between the four of us).

We saw the train coming toward the station and Rob said, "What if we spend our whole lives wishing we went on the train at the Big Pineapple?"

So he went back and bought tickets for us all for the train ride to the animal farm. We thought $43 ($16/adult, $11/children over 4) was a bit much but discovered it was totally worth it.

Waiting for the train
Here it comes!
All aboard...
The train driver actually had some personality, spoke to us live over the speakers (no pre-recorded voice overs) and looked a little Robbie Williams-ish.

The train driver
We saw fruit trees and forests, and hopped off at Koala Station to see the animals.


There were so many animals...koalas, kangaroos, parrots, cockatoos, owls, a peacock, emus, lizards, turtles, pademelons, pigs, chickens, mice, guinea pigs, goats, alpacas, a donkey, geese, ducks, turkeys, dingos, Italian sheep dogs and a python.



Ava was very excited to see a pink bird

barn owl

red kangaroo





a cool donkey

a goat

more goats

another goat

sleeping ducks (Isaac asked if they were 'night journal')

the farmyard

We bought a 50c pack of animal food and the kids (and Rob) happily feed all the animals they wanted.  It was all very up close and personal.

Today I heard two things I'd never heard before, creaking bamboo (that was 150 years old)...

It sounded like massive creaking floorboards
...and barking owls.  Seriously, it said, "Woof woof." I laughed at it so much that it got quite cranky with me!
The barking owl flew into its box to escape us. Sorry Mr Owl, we were laughing with you not at you.
Then we caught the train back up to the Big Pineapple, climbed to the top and looked out over the whole place.
back on the train
climbing to the top
view from the top
inside The Big Pineapple

Ava's highlight of the day was the choo choo train.

Isaac's was the train ride.

Thea's were the glimpse of a peacock, the creaking bamboo and the barking owl.

And Rob's were the train driver, the bamboo and the cool donkey (especially the cool donkey).

We went with very low expectations but it was a really lovely family day out.
Overall we very, very pleasantly surprised.
We've been to Australia Zoo three times in the past three years and that's like the Big Pineapple on steroids.
It's much more publicised and commercial.
The Big Pineapple isn't as spotlessly clean as Australia Zoo and it is a bit run down, but it was also much more relaxed, not crowded, beautiful, really easy and fun with the kids and did I say it has a cool donkey?  With some better marketing (especially the website) and more funds for maintenance it might just return to the superstar is was in the 70's.  Although, perhaps it's better just the way it is, low key.

It's a big thumbs up from the Smith family.
Especially for the cool donkey.


  1. Wow looks great! I look forward to visiting day!! Xx

  2. Have always wanted to visit there but been back & forth about going there. Might go there just to have the banana split, can you remember how much that cost?

  3. Wow, I am so surprised! Might just have to take a trip up the coast and check it out! (Of course I just want to meet the cool donkey)