The Big Rocking Horse is a tourist attraction located in the town of Gumeracha, South Australia. Designed by David McIntosh, the structure weighs 25 tonnes and stands at over 18 metres tall, and is one of a number of Big Things in Australia designed to attract the attention of passing motorists. It is part of a larger complex that includes a wooden toy factory, wildlife park and café. Owned by the Wilkinson family since the early 1970s, the complex was sold in 2004 and continues to operate today.
Design and Construction:
The Big Rocking Horse is 18.3 metres in height and 17 metres in length. Made of steel, the structure weighs 25 tonnes, and it is set in 80 tonnes of concrete to prevent rocking. The steel frame was fabricated by Halwell Engineering in Adelaide and transported by road to the site, after which the steel cladding was attached. Stairs incorporated inside the rocking horse lead to three viewing platforms: one at the head, one on the saddle, and a third on the "rocker bows" near the base of the structure.
The Big Rocking Horse is part of a larger complex incorporating the Toy Factory, a cafe and a wildlife park. The factory sells a large range of wooden toys and souvenirs, while the wildlife park (which covers approximately seven acres), features a number of native and introduced species, including emus and kangaroos.