The setting

The Gumnuts is a traditional, snug, 1920s Blue Mountains timber cottage. It’s a ten-minute walk to the village of Blackheath and five minutes from the Popes Glen bushwalking track that takes you to Govett’s Leap, Pulpit Rock and the Grose Valley in the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains National Park.

The Gumnuts has been a beloved country retreat for 20 years. Here I have enjoyed a simpler life and read endless books, baked my heart out, stirred pans of marmalade, stitched blankets for loved ones and felt utterly content. The minute you arrive things suddenly seem all right in the world – the calls of white cockatoos, crimson rosellas, kookaburras and currawongs can be heard all day.

There’s no record of how the house got its name but perhaps it’s after those adorable little bush creatures Snugglepot and Cuddlepie created by the famous Australian children’s author May Gibbs. She has said that the inspiration for her illustrations came from the wildflowers she remembers from her childhood in WA and from trips to Blackheath…

Sunlight streams in the sitting room window in the morning. It’s heaven lingering over newspapers and a pot of tea on the front porch. And in the afternoon the kitchen is a sun trap where it’s lovely to cook and gaze out to the ridge of bushland beyond. A late afternoon glass of wine can be had on the back deck as the sun sets.

The Gumnuts is perfect for couples and friends who need to flee the city for a bit and breathe deeply of fresh air and Blue Mountains bliss.



Getting there

Blackheath is a 2-hour drive from the centre of Sydney or a train ride from Sydney’s Central Station of about 2½ hours. You can walk 10 minutes to The Gumnuts or call a local taxi on 02 4782 1311.



What will you find in the house?

To keep you warm as toast there is central heating or a wood burning combustion stove. In the summer months, fling the windows open and the house cools down. The elevation is 1065m so it’s not as hot in the Mountains as at sea level.

Two bedrooms, one with a queen bed and one with a double.

Each bed is made up with a down pillow top, electric blanket, doonas (or blankets on request) and linen sheets.

A sitting room with a comfortable linen-covered cane sofa, TV/DVD player with Bose sound bar and Chrome device for watching your own Netflix etc.

The dining table is dressed with a linen cloth & napkins and seats four. Champagne flutes, plenty of wine glasses and crockery are in the glass fronted dresser.

There is a library of lifestyle/cookbooks and current fiction titles to enjoy as well as DVDs, CDs and board games. Finska can be played on the back lawn. A knitted scarf kit from Hank and Pearl can be purchased if the mood takes you to do some stitching.

The kitchen belongs to a cook – with a food processor, Kitchen Aid stand mixer and all you need to make a slow dinner or bake scones (the scone makings supplied). You will find fresh milk, bread, eggs, butter and jam along with a Nespresso machine and pods, hot chocolate and plenty of organic Ovvio tea. Nolan’s Road olive oil, vinegar, verjuice, salt and pepper are on hand. There is a Miele dishwasher.

The bathroom has a claw-footed bath for long post-bushwalk soaks and a shower above. Bath salts are supplied along with shampoo, conditioner, gorgeous Bondi Wash soap and body lotion. There is a clothes washer and dryer.

A picnic rug and cushions are provided.

You can park your car in the driveway and there is plenty of street parking.

Floral artist Tracey Deep has created arrangements of native flowers especially for The Gumnuts.



About your host,
Julie Gibbs

I have worked in book publishing all my life (including 21 years at Penguin Books) and many books have been nurtured to life in this house. Old fashioned domestic arts matter to me and The Gumnuts has provided a perfect setting for reading, baking, preserving, needlework and the simpler things in life. I have a deep love of this unique landscape and the walking tracks.

 You can find me on Instagram @julie_gibbs and @the_gumnuts