Robertson is an idyllic little Australian town, about 130km from Sydney, perched on the edge of Macquarie Pass - a beautiful, twisting road which takes you down over 700 metres, passing from the edge of the Southern Highlands above, to the coastal areas near Wollongong and Kiama.

You may have heard of Robertson as the place where the movie Babe was filmed. It provided the lovely rural terrain for Babe - Robertson, being quite close to the coast, receives enough rain to keep the grass green and lush, being near the edge of a mountain range, it's quite undulating country. There are some spectacular views from parts of the town, looking out over the Pacific Ocean in the distance, farmland in between.

You may be mistaken for thinking that the filming of Babe is Robertson's main claim to fame - and this is understandable if you have never driven down its main road, and witnessed the magnificent structure that lies a short distance before the end of the town.

Australia is a land of big things. I don't know where it started, or why, but it seems that some people have a passion for building large versions of normally small things. The examples are strange, and the list is long - highlights include The Big Peanut, The Big Lawnmower, The Big Wool Bales, The Big Banana, and most puzzling of all, The Big Rock (why you need a Big Rock in the country that is home to Uluru / Ayers Rock, I will never know...) These are all impressive structures, however I doubt they could measure up to the magnificence of Robertson's Big Potato.

One of Robertson's distinctive features, although you may not notice this on a passing visit, is its soil. It is red volcanic basalt soil, and has even been given the name of Robertson Soil. Apparently, potatos love the stuff, because the Robertson area is the biggest potato growing region in New South Wales.

Naturally, given that the humble spud has been good to the town of Robertson, the town has chosen to pay homage to it. This is in the form of a large, potato shaped concrete object, painted brown. I believe there have been a few indentations made in the concrete - presumably to create eyes in the potato. Some splashes of what appears to be white paint are on the side - unfortunately I have to conclude that they are works of vandalism perpetuated by those who have less appreciation for the potato (I bet they buy fries from McDonald's though...). Surrounding the potato is at times grass, although the last time I passed by I believe it was simply dirt. Possibly potatoes have been planted there, in the hope that so close to man's altar to the Potato Gods, they will thrive and become A-Class specimens, worthy of entry in Country Shows and the like.

So if you're ever in the area, make an effort to visit Robertson, and gaze upon The Big Potato. You'll never look at a plate of mashed potato in quite the same way again.

If you feel the need to see this with your own eyes, there is a picture of The Big Potato in its grass surrounded days at this URL -

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