The phrase “the bigger, the better” might become a reality for Chinchilla locals and visitors, with campaign The Big Melon becoming a finalist in travel company Wotif’s Next Big Thing competition. The decision now resting in the hands of the public after a two-week nationwide search that saw thousands of Australians submit their ideas to make holiday history.

The Big Melon was submitted to highlight Chinchilla’s melon production and home of the popular Melon Fest. Deputy Mayor Andrew Smith said he was excited that there were two Queensland options in the final four. “It’s State of Origin all over again! There’s us (Chinchilla) and Kingaroy up the road up against Glenn Innes and Mittagong in New South Wales,” he said. “Domestic tourism is something we strive to keep improving here in Western Downs, to attract visitors to our region and support our local businesses, and we have a reputation for putting great events such as the Chinchilla Melon Festival every two years. It would be a terrific draw card because we know how popular all the ‘big’ things are, not just in Queensland, but everywhere, so fingers crossed for the Big Melon.”

Also shortlisted is The Big Kilt in the Glen Innes Highlands, highlighting the towns early Scottish settlers and Celtic history, The Big Peanut for the peanut capital of Australia Kingaroy with the town’s unique soil making it one of the world’s most ideal places to grow peanuts, and Mittagong’s The Big Tulip as a gateway to one of Australia’s oldest floral festivals Tulip Time, which results in the planting of over 100,000 tulips in the area each spring.

The winner will be announced in mid-November, with the community encouraged to submit their vote before 9 October.

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