Thursday, December 28, 2017


We still had issues with the electricals on the caravan, so we were not going anywhere until that was fixed.  Steve was at a loose end as to know what to do next so thought he would talk to the manager at the Caravan Park and see if he could recommend an auto electrician.  

We are blessed, it turned out that Luke the manager used to be an electrician in his old life before mongering caravan parks and he told Steve he would happily look at it for him, as it would cost him at least $100 just to call one out to the park even to look at our van.    Between Luke and Steve they accidentally located the problem and it was fixed in no time. 

I had a chiropractor’s appointment earlier in the morning, and the receptionist there had recommended a few places for us to visit in the Adelaide Hills, so we thought that we would explore some of these places on our way to Hahndorf… 

This weekend the special Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt were being held so we thought we would time our visit there whilst the markets were open.
Our first stop on our journey up the mountains was Newman’s Nursery and the Topiary Café.  Apparently the Topiary Café is one of Adelaide’s favourite places to eat and relax.  The setting is gorgeous, set in amongst a colourful nursery and there is a real feeling of home style comforts and hospitality.   It is situated at the at Tee Tree Gully which is in the foothills of the Adelaide Hills, and set in the stunning grounds of Newman’s Nursery.  The out door area of the café features a sandstone alfresco dining area with a flowering wisteria arbour, and views of some of the magnificent display gardens at the nursery….

The food is all made at the café and the scones and jam were fantastic.  Good servings and reasonably priced.  We loved our time here.
The Nursery  specializes in Camellias, Azaleas and Roses and they had a magnificent display of colourful flowering hydrangeas whilst we were there.  They had a lovely little gift shop and we certainly could have spent more time there than we had,  we were so pleased to have been told about it as I am sure it is not a place we would have thought to go and see ourselves…. Just goes to show there are lots of little hidden gems around every corner, and unless you hear about them, you miss out…
From the Cafe we took off up the range to visit “The Toy Factory” at Gumeracha
The World’s largest rocking house is housed here.   The structure weights 25 tonnes and stands at over 18metres tall, and is one of a number of Big Things in Australia designed to attract the attention of passing motorists.
To give you some idea of size, Steve is riding the small one rocking horse

In 1973, after opening a wooden toy factory in Gumeracha, owner Wal Wilkinson chose to incorporate a large roadside attraction to the site in order to attract passing traffic. The first of these was a large wooden giraffe which stood at approximately five metres in height.

This was subsequently replaced by a series of rocking horses: a three metre tall horse giving way to a five metre model, before the process culminated in the decision to build the Big Rocking Horse. The resulting 18.3 metre tall structure was designed by David McIntosh Taylor and it was opened in 1981 after eight months of construction and an investment of $100,000.  Hallweld Engineers P/L did the fabrication.

The Big Rocking Horse is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records!  The first viewing platform can be reached by steps.  However the next platform and the top of the head can only be reached by climbing a series of steel ladders.  In the past (before the trees became too big), the Horse was in fact used as a lookout by the local CFS! 

 There is a $2 to climb to the very top of the Rocking horse for excellent views of the area.  As we were a little time poor today we decided against doing this.  

Rockhampton even rated a mention and it was closer than Albany in WA where we had just come from
After checking out the rocking horse we noticed a sign post with the names of towns and distances not only around Australia but also the world and it was interesting for us to not that Rockhampton rated a mention on it.  In fact we are now closer to home than we are to Albany in WA.  It only seem like yesterday that we were there…
 We also had a look through the toy factory and watched a couple of workers at work within the toy factory.  All very interesting… We managed to do a little Christmas shopping for our grandchildren whilst we were there too.
 From here we set off to Lobethal but somehow got sidetracked along the way and ended up traveling down some dirt road, where we accidentally came across a cherry farm.  How could we resists freshly picked cherries, so that than became our next stop… We picked up a box of the sweetest cherries we have tasted since being in Denmark last year.

We drove through Lobethal as we wanted to come home again this way after dark so that we could see the Christmas Lights of Lobethal.  We were on a mission to get to the Melba Chocolate Factory at Woodside, but unfortunately for us ( or should I say fortunately) we ended up missing them as they closed up at 4.30pm and it was just after than when we got there.  Ah well we will have to leave that for another visit…. 
Coming into Hahndorf
Named after Chloe

Then it was into Hahndorf, and we were blown away by this gorgeous little German town from the moment we drove through the arches of trees to reach their main street.  The trees along the street are over 100 years old and add to the atmosphere of the village

Hahndorf is the oldest surviving German Village in Australia and is a popular tourist destination.  
The reason reason for Christmas- unto us a child is born...
We visited Art Galleries

 Many of the original buildings and traditions have been retained and Hahndorf's village atmosphere is complimented by a myriad  of cafes and speciality shops.
The founding of Hahndorf is a colourful piece of South Australian history. German immigrants, escaping religious persecution from Prussia arrived in the ship Zebra and established the village. It was named Hahndorf in honour of Captain Hahn, the ship’s captain. He had been sympathetic and had assisted them to become established in Hahndorf.

I am so glad that we happened to be in Hahndorf the weekend of the  Hahndorf Christkindlmarkt, which is a European-style Christmas market which captures the essence of community, celebration, fun, laughter and family all enjoying time together similar to what is found in many cities in Europe over the Christmas period, but this one has a warm Aussie setting….

The leather shop even had these rabbits there
He was very tempted to get this as a new fishing hat....

 The village was a buzz with people and there was a really great vibe about being up there.  There was music, laughter, good food, Christmas decorations, art, buskers, and you just felt really alive being amongst it all.  
 We grabbed some fish and chips  from this great little shop that was recommended to us and just sat in the outdoors listening to a buskers singing and making music.  After dinner we walked up to the markets and wandered around them,  there were people everywhere.  The market is organised and run by C3 Church Adelaide Hills, on their property, for the benefit of the Adelaide Hills Community and beyond and I must admit, a little like Lifepointe Baptist Church at Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast in Qld, they have well and truly engaged the community.
 We had a great time there.  After wandering through the markets for an hour or so, we then stoped at the No 5 Chocolate Café for a hot chocolate before heading home.    
 Initially we thought they were a bit expensive, but I have to say it is one of the best hot chocolates we have had, with the drink being made on melted European chocolate.  Divine…..
 We left Hahndorf around 9pm for the drive home.  We wanted to wait until the sun set so that we could drive back to Adelaide via Lobethal to see all the Christmas lights.    The little town was ablaze with colour as most residents here get involved with the lights.  
 Apparently they have been known for their Christmas lights for thirty years or more.  Whilst it was pretty,  we have been very spoilt with our lights back home, as Rocky residents really go to a lot of trouble and have beautiful displays.  Still it was a lovely way to end a beautiful day. 
The lights of Adelaide

Our drive back into Adelaide was down the same range we drove up, and the views of Adelaide and all the lights were truly spectacular  We didn’t get home till after 10pm and we were pretty exhausted, so it was a quick shower and straight into bed for us. 
Tomorrow we have another big day planned….


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