Home Australia Nothing rough about royally loved Vast Pineapple as the icon turns 50

Nothing rough about royally loved Vast Pineapple as the icon turns 50

Nothing rough about royally loved Vast Pineapple as the icon turns 50

The Vast Pineapple began as an agricultural showpiece, designed to point out the fruits and other assemble that flourished in the tropics — nevertheless it grew into something fully diversified. 

Key facets:

  • The Vast Pineapple opened on August 15, 1971, as Sunshine Plantation
  • At its peak, the Vast Pineapple attracted bigger than a million guests a 365 days
  • The Vast Pineapple has had a revival and now capabilities a zoo and an annual tune festival

A huge pineapple structure with a door at the bottom and people looking in

Early Newspaper
The Vast Pineappple celebrates its 50th anniversary on Sunday.(

ABC News


At its peak, the Pineapple, which opened 50 years ago the next day as Sunshine Plantation, developed such pulling vitality it became a destination for royalty.

Patsy Flint, 92, was at the decent opening and there another time bigger than 10 years later when Prince Charles and Princess Diana came to confer with with in 1983.

The royal pair famously hopped aboard the rumbling green and yellow carriages that shuttled guests around the park on an 11-minute spherical-day out.

Trevor Loats drove the educate that day, and had to bear sure their consult with didn’t dawdle off the rails.

“Pretty about a folks verbalize I encourage bragging — my wife keeps asserting, ‘Will you stay showing those who photograph’.”

Man in bright hawaiian shirt beside Princess Di and Prince Charles

Trevor Loats on the educate platform with Prince Diana and Prince Charles. He composed carries this photograph in his pockets.(

Equipped: Trevor Loats


Nevertheless past the brush with royalty, what both Ms Flint and Mr Loats be aware most about the tourist appeal is the mountainous option of exasperated guests descending on the Pineapple and its surrounds.

Mr Loats describes watching 52 buses stuffed with guests pulling up in a single day after he began in 1982.

At its peak in the 1980s, about a million folks would consult with a 365 days — satisfactory to match the visitor numbers of Dreamworld on the Gold Coast even now.

Mr Loats stated powerful of the attract guests, both local and from in another country, was the pineapple farm that spanned the grounds.

Grey-haired woman, with man in cap

Patsy Flint, 92, was working the retail counter at the Vast Pineapple when it opened 50 years ago, and Trevor Loats drove the educate when Princess Diana and Prince Charles visited in 1983.(

ABC News: Owen Jacques


“They would climb up the high of the Vast Pineapple and survey over the entire farm from there,” he stated.

“I grew up in a southern relate so I didn’t accumulate pineapples rising at my doorstep.

Can no longer encourage a correct pineapple down

A protracted time after its hello-day, the Vast Pineapple went into receivership in 2009, closed in 2010 and the famous Nutmobile was offered off and moved to the macadamia-rising town of Bauple, north of Gympie.

Nevertheless magnificent as pineapple plants can die back then assemble another generation, the Vast Pineapple returned after being purchased by a consortium in 2011.

It is now been home to the Vast Pineapple Song Competition since 2013.

A photo of the main stage of Big Pineapple Music Festival at night

The Vast Pineapple Song Competition has revived the situation.(

Equipped: Charlie Hardy


The festival was no doubt one of the few to circulate forward in 2021, as powerful of the country bounced internal and out of lockdowns as a results of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The property has also grown to consist of a excessive-ropes and zipline route, and the relocation of the Alma Park Zoo, which has been recreated as Natural world HQ.

On high of that, it’s home to a yoghurt producer and the Diablo Ginger Beer Distillery.

Carriage match for a princess

It was distillery proprietor Dimitris Limnatitis’s love of Princess Diana and native history that led to a really crucial piece of Vast Pineapple memorabilia being unearthed earlier than its 50th anniversary.

Man on train carriage, pointing at plaque on side

Diablo Ginger Beer Distillery proprietor Dimitris Limnatitis chanced on the disused royal carriage and helped assign it on point out at the Vast Pineapple.(

ABC News: Owen Jacques


After watching a documentary on the princess, which featured a snippet of her 1983 consult with to the situation and her day out on Mr Loats’ educate, Mr Limnatitis suspected the royal carriage needed to be on the grounds somewhere.

After a bit of of sleuthing, he chanced on it,  below conceal but lengthy forgotten and surrounded by bush.

“I didn’t realise it was a explicit [carriage] until I indubitably chanced on the plaque,” he stated.

Plaque on the side of a train

The disued carriage was rediscovered on the Vast Pineapple property, and restored earlier than the Pineapple’s 50th anniversary on Sunday.(

ABC News: Owen Jacques


The carriage has been cleaned up, the plaque polished, and it now sits proudly on point out.

“The Vast Pineapple is an historic attach — no longer magnificent for the Sunshine Coast or for Queensland, but the entire country and the entire world knows about the Vast Pineapple,” Mr Limnatitis stated.

“I create no longer mediate I’ve met a particular person on this country that hasn’t been to the Vast Pineapple, and each person’s purchased a memory to point out.”

The Vast Pineapple will trace its 50th anniversary on Sunday with a rustic tune match on the grounds.

Posted , updated 

Nothing rough about royally loved Vast Pineapple as the icon turns 50