One of the more well know big things, the Big Merino is a huge ram made of concrete that stands 15.2 metres tall, 18 metres long and weights a whopping 97 tonnes. The brainchild of two Hungarian brothers, Attila and Louis Mokany, the attraction opened in September 1985 and is a monument to Goulburn and the district’s wool industry. It’s also known as Rambo by the locals, as it was modelled after a stud ram from a local property.
Within the Big Merino is a gift shop on the ground floor and a wool display on the second floor. You can also climb to the top and look through the Merino’s eyes!
In 1992, the Hume Highway was redirected to bypass Goulburn, and this resulted in a reduction of tourists. To remedy this, Rambo was moved in 2007 to the Hume Highway interchange at a petrol station 800m down the road. Their website has a great image of Rambo coming down the street!
Goulburn is a regional city in the southern tablelands of NSW and right in the heart of Capital Country; the area surrounding Canberra and the ACT. This area includes Bowral and Belangalo State forest in the north, Yass in the west and Braidwood in the east.
Goulburn is also known as Australia’s first inland city with the first recorded settler in 1825, and it has been proclaimed a city twice – once unofficially in 1863 by virtue of a Royal Letters Patent issued by Queen Victoria to establish the Diocese of Goulburn, and then again officially in 1885. Our visit featured the newly refurbished Goulburn War Memorial, which also offers a view over the city, and the Big Merino, before continuing on to Canberra.
Belanglo State Forest
If you didn’t know the story about Belanglo, then you’d think the campgrounds in the heart of the forest would be a great place to set up for the night. However, Dave had bought Juz a book about Ivan Milat, one of Australia’s worst serial killers who used to pick up hitch hikers and backpackers then brutally murder them and leave their bodies in Belanglo State Forest.
We drove through the forest and found the campground, but there was no way we were going to stay the night knowing what had happened there. We stayed for about 2 minutes and then left to drive 20km up the road to the next rest area.
That night, we were reading in the cabin and the light suddenly started to flicker before going out, leaving us in darkness. If that had happened while in Belanglo, Juz would have lost her shit.