Thursday, December 17, 2015

Big Windmill – Coffs Harbour

The Big Windmill is one of those Big Things where you have to question, it’s big thing merit, I means windmills are pretty big already! But to give it credit, it's an exceptionally big windmill with a restaurant inside and a horrific back story too :(

In 1968 Mr Franz de Keever, a Dutch architect working in Melbourne and his wife Rie purchased the six acre site with a view to building a motel and authentic Dutch restaurant. After completing ten motel units, construction on the Windmill Restaurant started in 1972. Originally the most difficult problem was finding the eight timber poles of the same size and width to support the structure. Finally after a long search Mr De Keever found what he was looking for in forests near Kempsey. However tragedy struck in 1974 when half way through the construction Mr De Keever fell while working on the frame of the mill.  A small brass commemoration plaque with his initials “F.D.” is located outside at the base of the mill. 

The site remained half finished until 1977 when Hans Eecen and his family called in to stay at “De Windmolen” as it was then named. After long discussions with Rie De Keever they purchased the motel and Hans set about completing the windmill. The blades or “wieken” were made in Holland by Harry Dercke who came out to assist with the assembly. It was officially opened in 1982 by the Ambassador from the Netherlands – a tribute to two very determined Dutchmen. Hans continued building onto the motel to complete the present 43 rooms. – source 

So go visit it and pay respects to someone who believed in the Big Thing vision :) 

Year: 1982
Size: 15m x 7m (guess-timation!)
Address: Comfort Inn Big Windmill 168 Pacific Hwy, Coffs Harbour, New South Wales, Australia 2450
Photo Taken: Jan 2014 

Size *****
Accessibility**** (restaurant was closed when we passed by so no going in for us!)
Aesthetics ***
13/25 stars

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