Peace and quiet among the gums

An Ade­laide Hills site would suit an en­er­getic young fam­ily, writes Ben Hyde.

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THE quin­tes­sen­tial Aus­tralian coun­try­side at­tracted English ex­pa­tri­ates Gra­ham and Beth Jones to Ash­bourne when they re­lo­cated five years ago. Mrs Jones says they had not orig­i­nally planned on buy­ing in the Ade­laide Hills.

‘‘We saw it a week af­ter we landed here and we just fell for it,’’ she says.

‘‘It wasn’t the kind of prop­erty we were look­ing for at all but it was on its own: there were no neigh­bours and the space was great.

‘‘There were cat­tle at the bot­tom of the gar­den, kan­ga­roos bounc­ing around, echid­nas . . .we just fell for it in about half an hour.’’

The Jone­ses quickly found them­selves at home among the 4ha of gen­tly un­du­lat­ing, gum-stud­ded land on the out­skirts of Ash­bourne.

The lime­stone house built 12 years ago has up to four bed­rooms – or three and a gen­er­ous study – in­clud­ing the mas­ter with a walk-in wardrobe and en­suite with a spa bath.

A cen­tral, open-plan liv­ing area fea­tures a lounge with a slow­com­bus­tion heater, din­ing area, tim­ber kitchen and a meals area sur­rounded by glass, giv­ing views over the prop­erty.

Mrs Jones says the house’s abil­ity to cap­ture views from ev­ery room is one of its great­est at­tributes.

‘‘You can wash up and watch kan­ga­roos play­ing down by the dam,’’ she says.

‘‘There are also of­ten echid­nas walk­ing past the bed­room win­dow.

‘‘We keep binoc­u­lars by the kitchen win­dow be­cause of all the birds that land on the dam.’’

Mrs Jones says plenty of time was spent im­prov­ing the prop­erty’s grounds. ‘‘We’ve im­proved the gar­dens. . .the land was very rough when we came here,’’ she says. ‘‘We also put in the swim­ming pool and it’s look­ing much bet­ter now.’’

The prop­erty, which is named Sun­dew, has been a haven for the Jone­ses’ grand­chil­dren.

‘‘We came over here from Eng­land be­cause we have a daugh­ter, son-in-law and three grand­chil­dren liv­ing here,’’ Mrs Jones says.

‘‘The grounds have been ideal for the chil­dren, with mo­tor­bikes and play­ing in the boat on the dam.

‘‘It’s a kids’ par­adise. It would be great for peo­ple with kids but, on the other hand, it’s just as good for peo­ple who don’t have kids.’’

Mrs Jones says the cheap run­ning costs of the prop­erty, tight-knit com­mu­nity at­mos­phere and peace and quiet will be missed.

‘‘We won’t be mov­ing from the Hills, just go­ing to some­where a bit smaller,’’ she says. Fea­tures: Three-bed­room, strata-ti­tled home. Mas­ter bed­room with an en­suite and built-in robes, for­mal kitchen and meals with sep­a­rate lounge and din­ing.

157 Hamp­ton Rd, Biggs Flat Agent: First National Pope Nitschke, ph 8391 5004, Jo-Ann Heath 0439 886 792.

Open: 1pm to 1.40pm to­mor­row. Fea­tures: The solid brick four-bed­room home is set on al­most 1.5ha of land and boasts views of the coun­try from many rooms.

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