Big Pineapple ploughing begins as plans bear fruit

Big Pineapple ploughing begins as plans bear fruit
Big Pineapple ploughing begins as plans bear fruit

A two-year program to restore the plantations and orchards surrounding Sunshine Coast’s much-loved Big Pineapple kicks off today with the ploughing of pineapple fields and the replanting of pineapples plants. 

The 16-metre-high Big Pineapple, which perches on the coast side of the Bruce Highway at Nambour, was sold by receivers along with 165 hectares of orchards on 15 titles to a pineapple-friendly consortium called Big Pineapple Corp Pty for $5.8 million in August this year

Since acquiring the icon, stage one of the restoration program has been completed, with Saturday produce markets attracting about to 3,000 people every weekend.

The restoration of the plantations and orchards are part of a major clean-up program aimed at reclaiming the 165-hectare site after years of neglect. 

It includes reopening the Pineapple itself, fixing the sugar cane train, which takes passengers on a tour of the plantation, and “developing the master-plan proper”. 

“The vision for The Big Pineapple is to re-establish it as a leading agri-tourism operation – which was its role originally. This will be delivered in a contemporary context, showcasing sustainable agriculture and production,” says The Big Pineapple general manager Paul Ziebarth. 

The Big Pineapple was officially opened by Queensland Minister for Labour and Tourism John Herbert on August 15, 1971 as a tourist location and working farm. 

It burnt down in 1978 but was rebuilt later that year. 

Previous owners have included Queensland Press Ltd, owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. 

Ziebarth says pineapple planting material from the original fields will be available for sale at the markets over the Christmas weekend. 

“The future of Australia’s favourite tourist icon, The Big Pineapple, gets sweeter and sweeter – tomorrow marks the official ploughing of the pineapple plantation fields and replanting of pineapples, signalling the beginning of a whole new growing era,” he says.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer

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