After a two year hiatus, the Gumnut Fair is back at Nutcote in Neutral Bay this Sunday, 13 November.

By TAYLOR RYAN

After a two-year hiatus, the lower north shore’s famous Gumnut Fair is back at Nutcote in Neutral Bay.

The fete, held in the grounds of May Gibbs’ magical home on the shores of Sydney Harbour, will welcome families on Sunday, 13 November from 11 am.

Organisers say visitors can purchase home-made arts and crafts and delightful treats, including Nutcote’s renowned tea and scones, fresh cakes, jams and savouries.

The grounds of Nutcote will come alive this weekend, with food and craft stalls plus Christmas shopping for local residents.

“We have a home-baked cake stall, with everything cooked and donated by locals, volunteers, and supporters of Nutcote,” Megan Sadler told Mosman Collective, “and there’s also homemade lemonade plus a classic Aussie sausage sizzle happening.”

“Volunteers who look after the garden have been taking cuttings over the past few months and will have plants for sale too, so that you can take home a little piece of Nutcote.

“It’s a beautiful day for our local community, and we’re so pleased the Gumnut Fair is back in 2022.”

Home made cakes are one of the most popular stalls at the Gumnut Fair.

A wide range of crafts and even plants will be for sale.

The gift shop will offer early Christmas shopping, Ms Sadler said, with May Gibb’s cards, Christmas decorations and books, and Australian-themed gifts for sale.

“My favourite part of the fair this year will be seeing the garden full of fans of May’s work and children dressed up as their favourite May Gibbs characters,” she said.

“Fundraising has been a large part of saving Nutcote, and the fair was a way to celebrate saving the property while opening the historic home to visitors.”

Nutcote’s tea rooms will be open on Sunday.

Cecilia May Gibbs (1877-1969) is best known for her iconic children’s story, The Complete Adventures of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, featuring two gumnut babies and their escape from the big bad Banksia men.

“May’s famous characters, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, are gumnut babies, so the Fair is named after these magical fairy creatures inspired by the native bush of Australia.”

“Nutcote is a hidden gem on Sydney’s foreshore,” Ms Sadler said, “If you haven’t been before, the open day is a chance to discover the world of May Gibbs and anything you purchase on the day goes towards keeping us open to the public.”

May Gibbs pictured at work in her Neutral Bay home. Image: State Library NSW.

This year’s fair will see the launch of a May Gibbs Nutcote gingerbread house.

“These limited-edition houses have been designed to look like a miniature Nutcote and all proceeds will go towards our Centenary Celebration in 2025,” Ms Sadler said.

Prizes in the fundraiser raffle include Gumnut baby dress-ups, May Gibbs 2023 Calendars, notepads, bookmarks, puzzles, books and wall decals.

Nutcote was one of the first historic homes to receive a NSW Heritage “Blue Plaque” in 2022.

There will also be Ensemble Theatre vouchers, picnic hampers, a Nutcote Gingerbread house, and a gumnut baby cake, donated by These have been donated by local businesses.

May Gibbs’ Nutcote thanks its generous sponsors Blue Island Press, The Good Apple Group, Scholastic Australia, Ensemble Theatre, Journey of Something, Cara Jane Fairy Girls, Walnut Melbourne, and Smashing Cakes.

Tickets for the fundraiser can be purchased at the fair or in advance from the gift shop. They can also be purchased online at HERE. Winners will be notified by email or phone and can be posted if local pick-up is not available.

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