Subject: Re: Kitschy Travel
Hi Lucy

Although it's understandable that you on the North American continent may believe you have some of the best kitsch in the world you should realise that no one does kitsch like we do in Australia.

Whilst your childhood memories are of increasing degreees of kitschery as you travelled south, our world is of course upside down so the kitsch gets better the further north you go.

Here in Sydney, New South Wales we are known by our northern neighbours in the sunny state of Queensland to be effete sippers of lattes and swillers of chardonay, while up there real men drink 4X beer, swat mosquitoes and wrestle crocodiles while wearing only tee shirts and shorts. Not only that - they actually recycle one of your own native animals, Bufo marinus, the Cane Toad (a native of southern USA and Central America and a major pest in Queensland) as a range of kitsh products which includes ashtrays, sun visors, mobile phone cases, laptop computer carriers, personalised stubby (beer bottle) holders and many other kitsch essentials for the (wo)man who already has everything. Check them out for yourself at sites like

As you drive north from Sydney you will be captivated by the mumber of BIG things that demand your attention and the further north you drive the more size matters. First there's the BIG OYSTER at Taree, a mere few hours from our wimpy state capital, it doubles as a secondhand car-yard nowadays so you can change your mind if the oysters are off and buy a car instead. Then up at Coffs Harbour you'll find the BIG BANANA and you will love to know what it's like right inside a banana - I bet you've always wondered.

On to Ballina where the BIG PRAWN awaits your pleasure and soon you'll be in Queensland. By now you won't be surprised to have your breath taken away by the BIG COW at Nambour, one of the most impressive works of kitsch in the world and recently declared a world heritage site. My children were always particularly fascinated by the mode of entry, which was (and probably still is) at the business end of the cow.

Space doesn't permit me to list the rest of our national BIG collection but I'm sure all Ziners will soon be dashing down here to see it. By the way there are a few BIGS south of Sydney like the BIG MERINO at Goulburn but who wants to see a BIG sheep? There's also the BIG EGG near Albury, in Victoria, believed to be an even more effete state than New South Wales. Far better to go really far north to Darwin and have a look at the BIG VB(beer)CAN and the BIG BUFFALO.

All these icons can be seen at - truly a site to remember.

And - US Ziners - don't tell us that you have all these things and they're even BIGGER over there - we went metric over 30 years ago and a metre is more than 3 times as BIG as a foot, so you haven't got a leg to stand on.

Michael in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia