The Gums at McLaren Vale, on Stump Hill overlooking McLaren Vale, is a beautiful place to stay. It has a wonderful view of the Vale, and set on 11 gum-studded acres, it is secluded and private yet walking distance to the township, a short spin to the Shiraz Bike trail and only 1 hour from the Adelaide CBD.
The Gums was built by my parents Ron and Beryl Smith in 1982. Dad ran a native plant nursery and the place was always busy with customers from all over the State visiting to buy trees. Dad planted the originally bare paddocks with trees he grew from seed to create the lovely arboretum it is today. He wanted to show people how the trees they bought from the nursery would eventually look. His favourite species was the Eucalypt – the Gum tree – and that’s why the place has its name. Dad unfortunately didn’t live long enough to see the trees he planted grow to maturity. But our family has lovingly looked after his legacy these past 30 odd years. We’ve seen a lot of good times here. There have been many dinner parties, sitting around the open fires, enjoying a glass of the local red.
But now it’s time for others to enjoy our spot on the hill overlooking beautiful McLaren Vale. While the house has all the modern comforts, we have kept many elements of years gone by. There’s a record player with a stack of vinyl to play. There’s a library full of interesting books. Almost every wall has original artwork . There is the odd family antique and quirky artefacts from various travels.
The Gums is situated half way along the Shiraz trail bike trail but there are also many back roads through the vines you can explore and end up at some of the best wineries in the country. I love nothing more than the sight of the Vale as you come over Stump Hill, the rolling green hills, the rows of vines and then pulling in to the driveway to be greeted by a mob of Kangaroos grazing on the lawn. I still feel the energy of my father in this place. Sometimes I fancy his soul watches over the house and his gum trees, now tall and swaying in the wind. We love The Gums. We hope you do too.
I asked my daughter, now grown up, what she thought made The Gums special. She said, “It’s secluded, the nature – the kangaroos, the birds (especially the black cockatoos), and because it’s “Vintage.”
The centrepiece of each of the living rooms is the combustion stove and open fire with firewood all sustainably grown and cut from our property.