The Big Pineapple Has Reopened with a New Cafe and Viewing Platform After an Extensive Renovation

The train at the Sunshine Coast's giant piece of tropical fruit, which dates back to the 50s, has also been restored.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 12, 2024

For half a century, no trip to the Sunshine Coast has been complete without visiting a 16-metre-high pineapple. In 1983, even Princess Diana and the then-Prince Charles went there, as throngs of tourists have before and since. Stop by now and you'll still see a giant piece of tropical fruit, but one that's had a revamp, with the Queensland big thing officially reopening after undergoing renovations.

Plenty of changes have been floated for The Big Pineapple and its 165-hectare site over the years, with a craft brewery, water park, and places to stay via an RV park, an eco resort and a hotel all among the ideas under the attraction's master plan. For now, however, owner Peter Kendall and his company CMC Property have focused on repairing and restoring the main highlight itself, as well giving the location's train the same treatment. The Big Pineapple has also scored a new cafe, new viewing platform and new children's playground.

If the towering sight looks extra shiny — and ready to gleam in the obligatory snaps that everyone takes while they're in its presence — that's thanks to sandblasting, repairs and marine paint by the hundreds of litres. To get a good glimpse, that's where the new viewing platform comes in.

Dating back to the 50s, the train now has a similar sheen after a restoration process, including to its carriages and track.

"We are awaiting some final certification for the train and hope to start public train rides soon, providing rides across the property including access to Wildlife HQ," said Kendall, also mentioning the zoo with 200-plus species of animals that's been onsite since 2014.

Stopping by The Big Pineapple hasn't just been about its fibreglass namesake for some time, given that TreeTop Challenge Sunshine Coast and its high-ropes courses and ziplines also calls it home. So does coconut foods producer COYO, as well as Sunshine & Sons distillery.

Come October, The Big Pineapple Festival — the locale's music festival — will return for the first time since 2021. The fest started in 2013, then ran annually surrounded by pineapple fields until its present three-year break. Getting a ticket isn't just about seeing live tunes in the location's natural amphitheatres in such close proximity to The Big Pineapple, but also pitching a tent at event's 4000-person campground.

The Big Pineapple, Alpha via Flickr

"The Big Pineapple is undoubtedly the most-recognisable tourism icon of the Sunshine Coast and so I am very proud of the team's work to restore the pineapple to its original glory," said Kendall.

"This is just the first stage of the regeneration project. Our number-one priority was to reopen the main pineapple structure and cafe, and to get the train running again."

"Our next priority is to complete the renovations to the inside of the pineapple structure itself and we hope to reopen it for tours later on."

Anne and David via Flickr

Find The Big Pineapple at 76 Nambour Connection Road, Woombye, Queensland — open 8.30am–4pm daily. For more information, visit the attraction's website.

Published on June 12, 2024 by Sarah Ward
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