Big Banana - Coffs Harbour

The Big Banana is a tourist attraction in the city of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia, featuring a large walk-through banana. Banana-related products are shown or sold, and the grounds of the building are a banana plantation, a souvenir shop and restaurant. Built in 1964, it was one of the first of Australia's Big Things.
The original Big Banana has been copied by the Big Bananas at Carnarvon, Western Australia.
Other area attractions include a downhill toboggan ride, ice skating, a waterslide, and a World of Bananas educational experience and plantation tour.

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Some Statistics
-About 12,000 hectares of Australia is currently under bananas.
-Most bananas are grown in North Queensland (about 80%), approx. 15% in NSW and the remainder in the Northern Territory and Western Australia.
-The most common variety grown is Cavendish.-Lady Finger bananas grow better in cooler subtropical climates. Of the 977 hectares of bananas grown
in South East Queensland, over half are dedicated to Lady Finger. In NSW, 2/3 of bananas grown are Lady Finger. There are also some small holdings of
new hybrid Goldfinger and old favourite Ducasse.-There are approx. 2,500 growers in Australia, with around 1000 in Queensland.
- The industry provides around 5000 direct Jobs.

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-  Average farm size in NQLD is around 14 hectares compared with around 3 hectares in South East Queensland and Northern NSW. Only a handful of southern plantations are over 30 hectares.
- Topography: the plantations of North Queensland are generally on flat to sloping land, whereas in southern regions, they occupy steep land with a northerly aspect, to get above the frost line.
- Crop cycle times: 12-18 months in the sub tropic plantations and 12 months in the tropics.
- The North Queensland industry has expanded rapidly over the past 10-20 years, due to ever increasing consumption levels. More recently, low world prices for sugar and high banana prices induced by crop losses due to cyclone activity have seen many sugar cane growers switch over to banana.

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Cavendish Banana Cavendish is the most common type of banana accounting for around 85% of the total bananas sold in australia. Its generally large in size, with smaller varieties also available. Being a desert banana it is ready to be eaten when bright yellow (that's when its starch has been converted to sugar and it tastes sweet). It can be eaten fresh, cooked or dried therefore one of the most versatile of all Fruit.
Lady Finger Banana Lady Finger is small and sweet tasting, making it ideal for salads, as it doesn't brown when cut. A change in colour turning yellow with black flecks indicates its ripening period and is ready to be eaten.

Plantain Banana Plantain is a large cooking banana. it has green thick skin and is internally characterised by a starch flesh. Its starch flesh is used as a replacement of potatoes and rice by Asian/African/Pacific cultures. For this reason, it is growing in popularity in Australia, as we are a country of diverse culture.
Red Dacca Banana Red Dacca is a large cooking banana. It is purple-red coloured thick skin and is internally characterised by starchy flesh. They taste sweet and creamy. Some peopie think they taste like a cross between a Cavendish banana and a strawberry.

Source: on site information board