Government House Sydney

Government House - The little castle in the city

Government House - A castle in the city
Government House - A castle in the city cc licensed photo by Flying Cloud

Government house in Sydney is a beautiful stately building surrounded by just over 12 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds adjoining the Royal Botanic Gardens. It sits just behind the Sydney Opera House overlooking Farm Cove on Sydney Harbour. With its gothic revival architecture and many turrets, it is more like a small castle than a house.

You can enjoy a free tour of this fascinating house and property between Friday and Sunday, but you must still obtain a ticket from the gatehouse for access which is only by guided tour

Construction of Government House in Sydney, which replaced the Old Government House in Parramatta, began in 1837. The architect, Edward Blore, was also very much involved in the design of Buckingham Palace in London. In 1845 the first resident, Governor George Gipps, moved in. Except for a period of time between 1996 and 2011 the house has always been the residence of the Governor or Governor-General. Beginning in 1996 the house was managed by the Historic Houses Trust. They continue to manage the property to this day carrying out a rigorous program of restoration and maintenance. In 2011, after much public protest, it was decided that the Governor should once again take up official residence in Government House as it was realized that it was actually costing more to maintain the property without the Governor residing there.

Government House hosts many functions throughout the year, including state functions, concerts, festivals, exhibitions and as many as 250 Vice Regal functions.

Nearby attractions include : Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney Opera House, Customs House, Justice and Police Museum and the Museum of Sydney.

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: No

Government House Hours:
Opening hours may differ on holidays

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday: Closed
  • Wednesday: Closed
  • Thursday: Closed
  • Friday: 10:30 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Saturday: 10:30 AM – 3:00 PM
  • Sunday: 10:30 AM – 3:00 PM

Address: Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: (02) 9228 4111

Official Website: Government House

Government House Reviews

Rated 4.5 out of 5 Star Rating

4 Star Rating I recently had the chance to visit Government House in Sydney, and it was a truly unique experience. While I wasn't lucky enough to snag a tour of the inside (those fill up fast!), I still felt transported back in time as I wandered the grounds. The grand sandstone building is undeniably impressive, especially when contrasted with the lush greenery of the Royal Botanic Gardens. It felt almost surreal to be standing in the shadow of such a historic landmark, knowing all the important figures who had walked those same paths. While I couldn't explore the interior, I did enjoy peeking through the windows and catching glimpses of the grand rooms. It sparked my imagination, and I couldn't help but wonder what stories those walls held. Even without a tour, it was a worthwhile visit. The location itself is beautiful, offering stunning views of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House. It's a peaceful escape from the bustling city center, and a perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely stroll. If you're ever in Sydney, I highly recommend checking out Government House, even if you can't score a tour. It's a chance to connect with the city's rich history and soak in the grandeur of a bygone era. Just be sure to book your tour well in advance, as they tend to fill up quickly!
Thanh Hảo Lê - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating Definitely worth a visit. The guide was very knowledgeable and was happy to answer any questions we had. We were not allowed to take any photos inside which was a shame but we could take as many as we wanted outside. It was great to visit such an iconic piece of Sydney’s history. A Very interesting visit.
Nerine Cummins - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating Highly recommend! Great experience! Very good tour, well organized.
Viktorija Ilioska - a week ago

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5 Star Rating A beautiful house set in the Botanical Gardens. It is only open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tickets are free but are provided on a first come, first served basis. Tickets are available from the Gatehouse, which is next to the main gate. You need ID when registering for the tour. For tourists, this means your passport. On the day I went, the house had been opened to celebrate the coronation of King Charles, so I did not do the tour. I was able to see a number of the rooms and the gardens. Staff were happy to discuss the rooms and answer any questions. The tours accommodate the needs of people who have a disability. This includes people with vision loss or blindness. You are asked to advise the guides, at the time of booking, of your additional needs.
Shelley Clack - 2 months ago

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5 Star Rating An interesting place; beautiful house, steeped in history and well worth a visit. Go for a guided tour if you get the chance, as our guide was a fountain of knowledge and easily answered any questions we had. Highly recommended, if you want to take in some culture while in Sydney.
DR77 - 7 months ago

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Directions

Train Line Nearest Station Walking Time
L2, T2, T3, T8 or Sydney FerriesCircular Quay10 minutes

How to get to Government House by Train

By Train or Ferry: exit at Circular Quay Station and proceed west on Alfred Street then left on Albert Street and right on Macquarie Street. Enter the park by the horse and rider statue and follow the signs to Government House.

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