Hooray! BIG THINGS!
This time, we were visiting the Big Rocking Horse in Gumeracha. Built over 8 months, it was opened in 1981 and is made entirely out of steel and is anchored in over 80 tonnes of concrete set in rock. The Rocking Horse weighs about 25 tonnes, stands 18.3 meters tall and has three observation platforms. The head platform was closed for maintenance so we hung around the saddle platform.
It’s a 20:1 up-scaling of the stock made rocking horse produced by the adjacent Toy Factory, which is the largest wooden toy factory in Australia and is owned and operated by the Gous family, who migrated from South Africa and purchased the business in 2009. They also manage a wildlife park that is free to enter. However, if you want to have a good time, purchase a bag of food for $2.
Inside the park is an array of animals. There are several peacocks strutting about, fanning out their display, shaking their tail feathers and hissing if you get too close. There are also ibis birds, emus, ducks and geese, Chinese chickens that look like they have their brains on the outside of their heads, and spotted turkeys. In terms of mammals, there were pretty-eyed wallabies and manly kangaroos, friendly sheep, dopey alpacas, lazy goats and a black pony with icy blue eyes called Trippy.
The food bag made us very popular and you can quite easily spend an hour in the park, getting hugs and kisses from the animals as they feed out of your cupped hand. Dave has a few experiences that were a bit special. Whilst feeding a small wallaby, it gently wrapped its paw around Dave’s finger and wouldn’t let go until his hand was empty. There was also a grey kangaroo – the biggest of the mob – that was very friendly and put his paws around Dave’s waist as he sniffed out the bag of food. The kangaroo would have been as tall as Dave, with biceps and pectoral muscles to match, so that encounter was a little intimidating.
Feeding the birds was fun. In most cases, Dave had to distract the sheep that were following us around the park (like…sheep) so that Juz could get some poultry time. The ducks would frantically pluck the food pellets out of your hand, gently pinching at the skin. It didn’t hurt; it was almost ticklish, but very cute and we giggled. The peacock was a little scary but still approached for a nibble. The only bird that we were afraid to feed was the emu. Dave filled his Barmah Hat with pellets but neither he nor the emu were sure about each other and it was an anti-climatic event.
All in all, we had a great time at this BIG THING location and we absolutely recommend the attraction to everyone of all ages!