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For at least a century and a half, the sleepy southern New South Wales township of Goulburn was one of the largest fine wool producing regions in Australia. Unless you were there for the agriculture, Victorian architecture, or to pay homage to the birthplace of George Lazenby, there wasn't any reason whatsoever to stop in Goulburn on the journey between Sydney and Melbourne. So naturally, Goulburn built a 3-story high concrete sheep.

According to the architects, the merino was completed in August 1985, and constructed from a composite of 2/3 cement and 1/3 fine sand aggregate reinforced with alkali-resistant glass fibre, around an engineered steel frame. This woolly monstrosity straddles a equally tawdry gift shop and diorama depicting Australia's proud history of sheep exploitation.

However, the real highlight is the opportunity to climb three stories into the sheep's head, and peer out through its eyes. There is something strangely menacing about surveying the parched Southern highlands from inside the head of giant animal; something bordering on scopophilia, or a literal inversion of the gaze. Its just like Being John Malkovich, only ovine.

Enough psychoanalytic theory...how do I get there?

Since Goulburn was bypassed by the Sydney-to-Canberra highway, few people accidentally stumble upon this veritable icon of Australian ingenuity. The sheep is located on the Hume Highway, 192 km south of Sydney and 95 km north of Canberra. Turn off the Hume Highway onto Hume St and follow it to the Canberra side of town. You can't miss it, it's three stories high. You won't be particularly disappointed.

  • http://www.glenn.com.au/big_merino_ram.htm
  • http://www.ronngle.com/bigthings/bigthings.htm

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