'Nala' unveiled for Hervey Bay
WHALES are big in Hervey Bay, and now Hervey Bay has the Big Whale.
The 22-tonne sculpture of "Nala" was unveiled by Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell on the corner of Main St and Old Maryborough Rd in Pialba.
"Hervey Bay is the best place in the country to go whale watching and what better way to say we are the home of whale watching in Australia than a magnificent sculpture of a whale breaching?" he asked.
Cr O'Connell said the wood and stainless steel sculpture would become an attraction for tourists to photograph, similar to other "big" attractions across Australia, such as the Big Banana or the Big Pineapple.
The sculpture was designed to be the "mother" of the smaller humpback built into the roundabout at the intersection of Main St and the Esplanade.
Councillor Stuart Taylor said the name Nala was chosen to recognise one of the region's most beloved whales.
The real Nala is a female humpback who has returned to Hervey Bay every year since 1992.
Ross Bradbury, the artist behind the sculpture, said at least 250 hours of work had gone into carving the local ironbark timber alone. "I feel really lucky to be a part of it," he said.
Width: 14.8m (including flippers)
9.5 tonnes of timber
3.5 tonnes of stainless steel
9 tonnes of steel framework