Town in the Adelaide Hills famous for the Big Rocking Horse
Gumeracha is famous as the home to the Big Rocking Horse, a huge toy rocking horse which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records (the largest rocking horse in the world) and is part of the family-based attractions at the Toy Factory. Today Gumeracha, which is surrounded by vineyards, dairy cattle, orchards and market gardening, is quiet little township which winds through the valley. It is known for its floral displays and immaculately kept gardens.
Gumeracha is located 37 km east of Adelaide and 354 metres above sea level on the edge of the Adelaide Hills.^ TOP
Origin of Name
It is said that the town's name is a corruption of the Peramangk Aboriginal word 'umeracha' which indicated a good water hole on the River Torrens.^ TOP
Things to See and Do
The Big Rocking Horse & The Toy Factory
The Big Rocking Horse and the Toy Factory is located at 452 Torrens Valley Road. It is now a four-part family attraction with the World's Biggest Rocking Horse, a wooden toy factory, a small 'Meet the Animals' zoo and a pleasant picnic area with a cafe and restaurant.
The Big Rocking Horse is made of steel, set in 80 tonnes of concrete, weighs 25 tonnes, and stands 18.3 metres high and 17 metres long. It was designed by David McIntosh Taylor, fabricated by Hallwood Engineers and opened in 1981.
A toy factory was opened on the site in 1973 by Wal Wilkinson. Between 1973-1981 he tried to attract customers with a variety of attractions which, at one point, included a five metre tall giraffe and a three metre tall rocking horse.
The Wooden Toy Factory sells a range of wooden toys including, of course, model rocking horses. The 'Meet the Animals' enclosure includes kangaroos, peacocks, wallabies, corellas, Guinea fowl, sheep, goats and Alpacas and there is an attractive picnic area with a cafe and restaurant.
It is possible to climb to the top of the Rocking Horse. You get a certificate for your labours. Tel: (08) 8389 1085 or check out https://thetoyfactory.com.au.
Other Attractions in the Area
Wineries in the Area
In areas like the Gumeracha district, where there are a number of cellar doors, it is best to refer to the specific knowledge by the wine experts. Find a Winery, an excellent site (check out http://www.findawinery.com/505prg.html) has extensive information about the wineries in the region.
* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area was home to the Peramangk Aboriginal people.
* The well-known miller, William Beavis Randell, settled at Kenton Park in 1837.
* By 1838 the area had been explored when Dr George Imlay and John Hill passed through.
* By the 1840s Randell had built a flour mill at Kenton Park.
* In 1846 the Salem Baptist Church was built on land donated by Randell.
* In 1852 William Richard Randell, son of William Beavis, built a paddlesteamer which he eventually sailed on the Murray River.
* In 1853 the District Council of Talunga was established.
* In 1855 Randell dedicated land for the establishment of a town.
* By 1860 Randell had sold some of the land and the town of Gumeracha had been created.
* The local Court House was built in 1864.
* A district butter factory was operational by 1889.
* A Town Hall was opened in 1909.
* In 1935 the District Council of Gumeracha was formed.
* In 1973 Wal Wilkinson opened a wooden toy factory in the town.
* The Big Rocking Horse was opened in 1981.^ TOP
The closest visitor information centre is the Adelaide Hills Visitor Information Centre, 68 Mount Barker Street, Hahndorf, tel: (08) 8393 7600.^ TOP
There is a dedicated website for Gumeracha - check out http://www.gumeracha.com.au.^ TOP