Clare Valley Wine Region, South Australia
“One of the finest in the north” was how North Bundaleer was described when the house was completed in 1901, reflecting the wealth and optimism in the pastoral industry at the time. Situated just north of the Clare Valley, the country around Bundaleer has been farmed since 1841, and the property at Bundaleer was the first land settled in the area. Today its known for its sheep ranching and the nearby wine country of the Clare Valley.”
Set in 400 acres of bush and farmland on the edge of the Outback, your stay at North Bundaleer takes you back to an era of wealth and luxury no longer seen in rural Australia. Malcolm and Marianne Booth, your hosts, have restored the house to its former glory with an attention to detail and history that has earned them widespread recognition. From the ballroom (no longer in regular use!) to the library and the original William Morris décor in one of the four guest bedrooms, North Bundaleer is one of the very few federation homesteads in Australia to survive in its original style.
Although the surroundings may be grand, the ambience is casual and convivial. The Booths’ aim at North Bundaleer is to provide an environment in which to unwind and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Wander around to see the resident beef cattle, kangaroos, galahs and kookaburras, chooks, woolshed and olive grove. Archie and Tilly (the Booths’ Jack Russell Terriers) will do the guiding, in exchange for some stick-throwing. There are verandas on all sides of the house, so there is always a sunny or shady spot just for you to sit and enjoy the view of the surrounding countryside and extensive gardens on-site, including the 600-strong rose garden. Convene for pre-dinner drinks with Malcolm and Marianne in the Drawing Room before moving to the a four-course dinner paired with Clare Valley wines on the long Irish Georgian dining table in the Dining. A night-cap in the Library or under the amazing southern stars on our verandas marks the end of a perfect day.
To venture out, the Booths would advise some of the following activities: meander through some picturesque Clare Valley vineyards and pick the brains of a local winemaker; step into the world of the first immigrant miners at Burra, living and working, and sometimes being incarcerated, under the harsh Australian sun; explore gorges, remnants of lives destroyed by drought, and aboriginal caves decorated with primitive drawings.
Just over 2 hours from Adelaide, 30 minutes from the Clare Valley wine country, with views of unforgiving country from the verandas, ‘the sense of folly is intense – and completely exhilarating. Fabulous food, exceptionally friendly hosts – it’s a house party and Peter Carey novel all rolled into one.’
North Bundaleer Information
- Location:On the edge of Clare Valley, about 2 hours drive from Adelaide.
- Accommodation:4 Bedrooms.
- Facilities:Dining room, drawing room, library, gardens.
- Activities: Picnics, bush walks, Kangaroo spotting, bird-watching, sundowners on Maslin’s Lookout, mountain biking, fly fishing, wine tasting, horseback riding, other guided tours.
- Weather:Ideal to visit in spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May), hot summers between December to February and wet winters between June to August.