Australia is home to more than just a couple of big things. The big country, it has been said, has a love of similarly-oversized objects. The Big Murray Cod is only one of a loosely related set of about 150 sculptures and large structures sprinkled across the country. Most of these, the Big Murray Cod included, serve as some of the country’s top tourist traps and can be found along major roads and highways or between prominent travel destinations.
The Big Murray Cod in Tocumwal, New South Wales, is one of the earliest big things anywhere in the country. Installed back in 1968, the cod - or Goodoo, the Aboriginal name for the fish - represents what this area of Australia is most famous for. In 1967, the Women’s Auxiliary of Tocumwal Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture decided that the town needed something to put it on the map. Several of the women held dances, card nights, and more to raise the money to build and install the giant fish.
Made by the Duralite Company in Melbourne, the Big Murray Cod is made of Fiberglas and required an eight-piece mold to get the design right. Inside, the skeleton is made of steel truss and strutting, holding the outer shell in place. The exterior was spray painted and then the small details were added by hand.
Though installed in 1968, the Big Murray Cod first sat next to an old swimming pool and was only later moved to its current location on the foreshore. Surrounding the 20-foot-long fish are picnic facilities and a playground for children. Many people visit the area to enjoy an afternoon out and experience the lovely river view and the views of the old and new bridges tying New South Wales to Victoria.