Sunshine Coast’s Big Pineapple gets ‘parfait’ boost
Sunshine Coast’s legendary tourism landmark and home of the famed pineapple parfait, the Big Pineapple, received a major boost with the announcement that leading organic coconut yoghurt producer, COYO, would establish their national headquarters at the Big Pineapple.
Sunshine Coast-based COYO will relocate to the refurbished, former Macadamia Nut Factory, and is part of the Big Pineapple Renewal Project, which is designed to re-establish the precinct as one of Queensland’s most innovative agritourism precincts.
In its heyday, the Big Pineapple attracted over one million visitors annually, including Prince Charles and Princess Diana, but was temporarily closed following the GFC. However, with new ownership and the approval of the Big Pineapple Master Plan, a major push is on to regenerate the 162 hectare site as a showcase for Sunshine Coast produce, complemented by camping and glamping-style accommodation, family recreational activities, food outlets, and events spaces.
Big Pineapple Renewal Project Director, Jim Costello, said the relocation and expansion of COYO’s production at the Big Pineapple was another exciting chapter in the renewal of the Sunshine Coast’s most famous icon.
“The announcement of COYO’s new tenancy follows recent confirmation of the Treetop Challenge adventure course at the Big Pineapple, which will shortly be under construction, and comes on the back of The Big Pineapple Music Festival being named Queensland’s best music festival,” he said.
“We also see the site as a hub and destination for micro-breweries and distilleries, and becoming a major production centre, with added food tourism and education opportunities.
“In the months ahead, visitors will be able to drop into the Wildlife Zoo after they progress through the many experiences of the TreeTop Challenge, and then take in a concert in the evening, after a selfie with the Big Pineapple.“
“The return of the Big Pineapple is a major undertaking, and we will keep chipping away, adding new attractions and employment generating tenancies, just like COYO, to deliver our master plan vision over the months and years ahead.”
The Big Pineapple is located prominently on the Nambour Connection Road in Woombye, on the road between the coast and Nambour.
The Big Pineapple was originally developed in 1971 by Bill and Lyn Taylor, who created the Sunshine Plantation as a new concept in agri-tourism, using the region’s rich agricultural heritage to attract tourists. The pineapple farm became an agri-tourism showcase featuring over 40 varieties of fruits, nuts, spices and sugar cane, complemented by restaurants, shop, market, plantation rail tour, and children’s activities. At its peak, the Big Pineapple attracted over one million visitors annually.
After temporarily closing in 2010, the facilities were used for large-scale concerts, and in 2017 the Big Pineapple master plan was approved, which aims to re-establish the Big Pineapple as a food manufacturing hub and food tourism precinct with events space, educational facilities, eco-tourism activities, and eco-style accommodation to enhance the iconic site’s natural assets and tourism experience.