You see some strange things beside the road in country Australia. A big fibreglass banana (Coffs Harbour), a giant concrete sheep (Goulburn), monster golden guitars (Tamworth) and even big boxing crocodiles (Humpty Doo). But if quantity counts for more than size, the Tin Horse Highway wins.
Deep in the southern wheatfields of WA, Kulin’s local farmers have spent the past decade and a half trying to outdo each other by decorating a 20km stretch of roadside with more than 60 tin horses.
The last time I drove this stretch of road, there was a tin horse flying a full-sized aeroplane; another was sitting on an outback dunny, reading a copy of Playhorse magazine. Just down the road there was an equine wonder made from Emu lager cans, another one being rescued from the top of a water tank, and four huge beasts pulling a wagon, also made of tin.
But drive down the same stretch of road this spring and who knows what you’ll see, because each year, in the lead-up to the October Kulin Bush Races, the local farmers try to one-up each other by erecting new horses – each bigger, better and definitely wackier than the last, and all usually made in secrecy behind closed shed doors and erected under cover of darkness in the middle of the night.
The first one mysteriously appeared at the turn-off to the racetrack in 1994. Now, the friendly rivalry has grown into a contest that attracts new entrants each year, all competing for instant fame – at least around Kulin.
Distance // About 20km.