The Big Eagle is an iron sculpture that has been sitting at the top of Kirra Point since 1984, looking over the Coolangatta beaches below.
Known by locals as the “Rusty Chook”, it was intended to commemorate the Coolangatta centenary in 1984.
The Big Eagle is mounted on top of two large steel supports that lean out from the hill. The eagle’s wings are spread out and he looks over the famous surfing waves of Kirra Beach.
There is a picnic table with a decent sized shelter over it and two free BBQs near it. A first for me, there is also a Zip hot water unit offering ready to go boiling water to make a cuppa to enjoy while looking at the views.
The views are a stunning highlight of visiting The Big Eagle. Rusty Chook has the prime spot for views of Coolangatta Beach and Greenmount Beach to the east, and of Kirra Beach and beyond to the high rises of Surfers Paradise to the west and northwards.
Kirra Point also gives a great view over the popular surfing beach below. You can watch the surfers catching a few waves while you take in the rest of the views. At 8.30am, there were already quite a few there.
The Gold Coast Council funded the first $2000 and local real estate agent Adrian Maher provided another $8000 to ensure the big eagle was completed in 1984.
The sculpture is made from 6mm steel plate and weighs 2.4 tonnes. It was crafted by a renowned Coolangatta sculptor, Craig Medson, after proposing the idea in 1982.
I visited the Big Eagle in 2019. When writing up this big thing entry to the Brown Signs website, I discovered the “Rusty Chook” may be removed. It has only just made it onto the website and it was to disappear.
November 2020, the council made a decision to keep and preserve the rusty chook. Selecting one or three options proposed, one of which would have cost around $500,000 The Big Eagle will continue to look over Kirra Beach and attract big things tourists for another big thing selfy.
A plaque on the supporting structure has the following:
By Craig Medson
Gold Coast City Council
A. J. Maher & Family
Gold Coast City Council
Nucon Pty Ltd
With Special Thanks To:
T & J. Blundell
To get there:
Heading north on Pacific Hwy from NSW, take the Tugun exit onto the Gold Coast Hwy. Follow the Gold Coast Hwy for 1.5kms and turn right into Coolangatta Rd, then immediately veer left following the sign towards Coolangatta into Musgrave St. After 400m you will reach a roundabout. Continue straight ahead following along Kirra Beach for 1.4km to a set of lights. Continue straight ahead to a roundabout and go straight through into McLean St, then immediately turn right into Musgrave St. Follow Musgrave St for 150m and turn right into Garrick St. Drive up the hill for 250m with the parking area for The Big Eagle straight ahead.