Never have I seen such an unusual sight.
A huge gathering of gnomes. Yes the common garden gnome, sometimes ridiculed, sometimes loved, but here they all congregated in their thousands.
They have come, one assumes with human assistance, from all over Australia and even from New Zealand and other parts of the world. I noticed Germany, Holland, Canada, Ireland.
They are a magnet for tourists and in summer busloads descend on this tiny corner of the Ferguson Valley, just down the road from Donnybrook. Glades full of playful, naughty and sentimental Gnomes climbing logs, hanging out in trees, playing cricket, even flying planes! The parking is very limited and surprisingly there is no tourist shop to tempt you to buy memorabilia, not even a toilet… Just the gnomes…
So how, and why have all these gnomes congregated here?
It all started in 1995 when the council decided to alter the road and put in a round-about. Next day a gnome appeared in protest to the alterations, no one knew were he came from. As in the legend, it wasn’t long before other gnomes joined in this silent protest.
Visitors seem to love the opportunity to leave a part of themselves in this idyllic, rural wonderland. I followed along as Emma and Gino searched for a safe place to settle their 2 gnomes into the community.