Walking into the Bendigo tourist curiosity Confectionery Capers, you encounter a room where everything moves.
Every item along the walls, on tables and hanging from the ceiling is jiggling and jaggling in some way courtesy of an endless series of chains, sprockets, pumps, levers, belts, pulleys - it's an overload of the senses.
There's nodding dogs, twirling birds, giant butterflies, balls floating on air, rotating cakes, slithering snakes, there's Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too, and a model train chugging around a 60m track - and that doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of what's on show.
It all stems from the busy and creative mind of Campbell Smith who wanted to share his lifelong love of applied mechanics and a lifelong passion for the English language to anyone and everyone.
He taught both subjects during his career as a school teacher before taking early retirement in the era of school closures under Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett in the early 1990s.
More news: VCAT denies dog, horse breeding facility
Despite no longer being in the classroom, Mr Smith still had that passion to share his fascination with 18th century applied mechanics and extol the wonders of the Industrial Revolution.
"All the modern high tech, it's all based on this - it's just evolved over the last couple of hundred years," Mr Smith said.
His mission to teach the younger generations about applied mechanics saw him set up Confectionery Capers in a shed on the McIvor Highway in Junortoun in 1994.
While originally targeting schoolchildren from pre-school age through to Year 12 on pre-arranged visits, the arrival of bus groups prompted Mr Smith to open to the public in 2003.
Walking around there is always something for the customer to do, pull a lever, push a button, turn a handle.
It all helps to show why small pulleys and larger pulleys are needed to work in unison and the difference between a crossed belt and an open belt.
It was all just a hobby for Mr Smith initially. His wife called it a 'boondoggle', an American term for a self indulgent and unnecessary project, but it has grown into a must-see tourist attraction which has amazed and fascinated Bendigo residents and visitors for a generation.
Unfortunately, time is catching up with Mr Smith and he and wife Lorna are looking to retire by the end of this year.
And if a new owner for the business cannot be found, Confectionery Capers will be no more.
The Smiths have put their house and land up for sale and the business comes with the package at no extra cost.
"I'm trying to retire but my customers won't let me," Mr Smith said.
"Three years ago just before COVID hit my wife and I decided to retire. We had 13 real estate agents come through, and a few more since, and not one was able to categorise this business.
"They say it's atypical. They said it could be worth zero or $5 million."
Atypical is right. How do you categorise such a smorgasbord of moving mechanical parts and silly puns?
Such as the radio hanging from the roof under a sign which reads: "It may be a wireless but there is a string attached" with the added touch of the label 'radio active'.
Then there's the Looney Tunes character Wile E. Coyote under a sign: "If you want to turn the tables on the coyote, press button 64". In doing so, a round table on the coyote's belly turns at alarming speed.
The English language is taken to a new level. The dipthong display (a play on 'diphthong') has a thong being dipped into a tub of water.
Near the front entrance is a pair of metronomes (garden gnomes wearing signs 'I live in Melbourne' and 'I live in Sydney').
Mr Smith points to the Flywheel Fandangle as one of his favourites, a large contraption of moving belts and pulleys which powers a tiny toy of a fox and baby in a motor car.
"It's just plain ridiculous," Mr Smith said, and with a great sense of pride.
Confectionery Capers maybe in its 30th year, but it is the culmination of 44 years of fiddling, experimenting and Mr Smith's ability to dream up schemes and machines.
And it all started when he got a toy Meccano set at the age of six, the remnants of which can be found on the Mechanical Maze display.
The constant noise doesn't worry Mr Smith. It's the noises he can't hear that worries him as he scurries through the thousands of gadgets and gizmos to find the problem.
He has a phobia of something not working but incredibly has had very few problems over his 30-year career as a tourism operator.
"I've been religious in maintaining it and that's the key," he said.
Sadly, the future of this unique tourism attraction is now in serious doubt.
"I'm nearly 80 and my eyes are not as good as they were, my fine motor skills are not as good as they were and I don't like climbing ladders anymore," Mr Smith said.
"I've loved it for 29 years but the 30th year has become a bugbear and this is it.
"It (retirement) has got to happen this year."
Mr Smith said if the business was properly managed, promoted and maintained, it could be lucrative for the right person.
"There's no 'high tech' involved in its operation," Mr Smith said.
"The new owner would just need to have good basic workshop skills."
Mr Smith said one sector of the community that has "certainly responded" to Confectionery Capers in recent times has been seniors and Probus groups.
"Everybody reacts differently to it," he said.
Mr Smith realises whoever buys the land may just do away with the tourist attraction.
"It could be gutted and become just a shed and that would kill me but I can't asset strip it myself," he said.
"It has paid for itself many times over.
"I still believe if the right person was here, it could thrive."
The property is on 2.6 hectares (7.5 acres) with a three-bedroom home, established garden and cleared fertile land.
Anyone interested should contact Bill Williams at Real Estate Bendigo on 0428 502 663.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.