The Big Pineapple Reopens: An Iconic Revival on the Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast’s most iconic landmark, the Big Pineapple, has officially reopened today, marking the completion of the first stage of a significant regeneration project.

Standing tall at 16 metres, the Big Pineapple has undergone extensive renovations spearheaded by owner Peter Kendall and his company, CMC Property. The relaunch features a new café, children’s playground, viewing platform, and a fully restored train, promising a fresh and exciting experience for visitors.

The rejuvenation project involved comprehensive sandblasting, repairs, and the application of hundreds of litres of two-pack marine paint, ensuring the Big Pineapple’s vibrant facade remains bright and inviting for many years to come. Additionally, the Plantation Train, along with its carriages and track, has been restored to meet current safety standards and certification requirements.

Originally launched on August 15, 1971, in Woombye, the Big Pineapple quickly became a symbol of Queensland’s exceptional produce, attracting over one million visitors annually at its peak. Notable visitors included Prince Charles and Princess Diana in 1983. Today, the 165-hectare site continues to diversify, hosting attractions such as Wildlife HQ Zoo, the TreeTop Challenge high ropes and zipline course, COYO coconut foods, and the Sunshine & Sons distillery. It also serves as the venue for the popular Big Pineapple Music Festival, set to return in October.

Peter Kendall expressed his pride in the team’s efforts to restore the Big Pineapple to its former glory. “The Big Pineapple is undoubtedly the most recognisable tourism icon of the Sunshine Coast, and I am very proud of the team’s work to restore it,” Kendall said. “This is just the first stage of the regeneration project. Our number one priority was to reopen the main Pineapple structure and café, and to get the train running again.”

Kendall also mentioned that they are awaiting final certification for the train and hope to start public rides soon, providing access across the property, including to Wildlife HQ. The new café will offer fresh home-style food and premium coffee, while the new children’s playground ensures entertainment for all ages. The next phase will focus on renovating the interior of the pineapple structure, with plans to reopen it for tours in the near future.

The Big Pineapple has a storied history, having opened as part of the Sunshine Plantation, an early example of agricultural tourism inspired by local farming practices. Bill and Lyn Taylor purchased a pineapple farm and established it as a tourist attraction showcasing tropical produce. In its heyday during the 1980s, the Big Pineapple attracted 800,000 visitors annually and featured attractions like the Nutmobile tour and an exhibition of Queensland minerals and gems.

Over the years, ownership of the Big Pineapple changed hands multiple times, with various additions and renovations, including a rainforest walk, animal nursery, and arts and crafts gallery. Despite facing financial difficulties and going into receivership in 2009, the Big Pineapple was heritage-listed the same year and has continued to operate as a beloved tourist destination.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Rosanna Natoli praised the restoration efforts, highlighting the Big Pineapple’s nostalgic value and its significance to the tourism industry. “Many of us have fond memories of visiting the Big Pineapple, tasting local produce, and of course, riding the train. It was always a highlight of my childhood holidays,” Mayor Natoli said. “Today’s relaunch is a win for our tourism industry and means locals and visitors can enjoy, in both old and new ways, what is a quintessential icon for the Sunshine Coast.”

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO, Matt Stoeckel, echoed the excitement surrounding the Big Pineapple’s revival. “Sunshine is an integral part of our identity, and nothing shines more brightly than the Big Pineapple,” he said. “Australians are so endeared to the Big Pineapple, and we are thrilled that it is operating as a tourism attraction once again. It also emphasises our history as an agri-tourism destination and highlights that we truly are Queensland’s Sunshine Pantry.”

With its grand reopening, the Big Pineapple is set to reclaim its status as a beloved destination, inviting new generations to create memories and celebrate Queensland’s rich agricultural heritage.


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