The Big Gumboot (officially called the Golden Gumboot) is located in Tully, about 50km south of Innisfail.
The story behind the Big Gumboot involves a long standing battle between Tully and Babinda to the north, for the title of ‘wettest town in Australia’. Since 1970, the town that received the most rainfall that year would receive a rubber golden gumboot. Tully currently holds the record for the highest annual rainfall in an Australian town, which was 7.9 metres of rain in 1950. However, in recent years, Babinda has been receiving more rain.
On a rainy day in May 2003, Tully unveiled the Golden Gumboot, which stands 7.9 metres high to represent the record amount of rainfall for Tully. It was constructed in Millaa Millaa by sculpture Brian Newell, and is made of bronzed fibreglass. There’s a spiral staircase inside that leads visitors up to a viewing platform at the top and there is also a mechanical rain gauge that runs from the heel up the calf of the boot. The white-lipped green tree frog climbing up the gumboot was carved by Roger Chandler. Altogether, the Big Gumboot cost about $90,000 to make and transport, with $3000 coming from the Bata Shoe Company for the branding of the boot.
Due to their higher annual rainfall and general annoyance, Babinda residents threatened to build a big umbrella to one-up the folks in Tully. Unfortunately, they never got around to it – probably because it was raining.