Park Ranger Drives 12 Hours To Remove Fake McDonald’s “Opening Soon” Sign From Middle Of Australian Desert

Like some kind of fast food mirage rising from the middle of an Australian desert, a McDonald’s sign sat towering over the emptiness, beckoning travelers with the promise implied in its golden arches. Upon closer inspection, the sign noted that a restaurant would be “opening soon.” But almost a month after pranksters installed the sign 124 miles from the edge of the desert, the South Australian government says it sent a park ranger on a 12-hour trip to take it down.

Last month, a Melbourne artist claimed responsibility for erecting the 50-foot sign 327 miles from the nearest McDonald’s, inside the Simpson Desert Regional Reserve. The artist told The New Daily at the time that it’d taken him and some “mates” 12 months of careful planning to install the sign.

The government dispatched a ranger from Port Augusta who then made the 12-hour trek into the desert to take it down recently, SA Environment Minister Ian Hunter told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. Hunter pointed out that it’s illegal to put a structure in a reserve without permission, but admitted that the agency sees how it could be funny.

“It is very humorous but we particularly don’t want people searching for a sign off the tracks, damaging the fragile landscape and putting themselves potentially at risk in a very remote location,” he explained.

The sign will now live as a tourist attraction outside of a pub and hotel not too far away. The main lure there before now was the bar, but a rep from the hotel said that could change soon.

“Now I reckon the Maccas sign is the number one picture. People just stand under it or stand in the bus stop with the Maccas sign above them and yeah, it’s a good laugh,” he says.

McDonald’s prank sign removed from the Simpson Desert by South Australian Government [Australian Broadcast Corp.]