Government House has been home to 27 Governors from 1846 to 1996, and the first 5 Governor-Generals from 1901 to 1914.
Why go there
Government House has been home to 27 Governors from 1846 to 1996, and the first 5 Governor-Generals from 1901 to 1914. In marked contrast to the first Governor’s residence - the canvas tent Governor Phillip pitched in 1788, it is one of the finest examples of gothic revival architecture in NSW. Our current Governor, Professor Marie Bashir AC CVO, is the 37th Governor of NSW and is the first woman to occupy the office.
Visitors should undertake the tour to see:
- Government House’s magnificent State Rooms,
- The historic works of art which adorn the walls,
- Experience the opulence of Vice Regal furniture.
Access for all
Access around the gardens at Government House is on bitumen and firm sandstone paths. A portable ramp is provided for wheelchair access up the two wide steps into the foyer at Government House. The ground floor is then level. Access down to the terrace is via a permanent ramp and from the terrace to garden pathway another permanent ramp. This also leads to the Male and Female accessible toilets.
Ramped access to the ground floor only. Permanent ramps lead to the terrace and then down to a bitumen pathway which takes visitors into the gardens and to the accessible Male and Female toilets.
Tours and programs
The only way to visit the interior of Government House is on a free public tour of the ground floor State Rooms, available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10.30am and 3pm, commencing at the Gatehouse and lasting 45 minutes. Group bookings are available for Thursdays and Fridays on 02 9228 4111. Call in advance if you’d like to arrange an Auslan interpreted tour. Government House garden is open every day of the week between 10am and 4pm, but can be closed for vice-regal functions.
Eating and shopping
No onsite café. A small shop situated in the Gatehouse sells Government House guidebooks, souvenir postcards and other items of interest (Open on Fri, Sat and Sunday only). However, the Conservatorium of Music has a café and the Botanic gardens Café is about a five minute stroll away.
How to get there
The best access to Government House is through the Botanic Gardens or from Macquarie St adjacent to the Cahill Expressway footpath or from the roadway down from the Conservatorium of Music.
Public transport options are train, ferry or bus arriving at Circular Quay where there is a short but steep grade up to the Conservatorium. A lift at the east end of Circular Quay takes pedestrians up to a footpath alongside the Cahill Expressway. The path leads down to Macquarie St, then it's a block to the Conservatorium.
There is no accessible onsite parking or drop off area. The nearest commercial car spaces are expensive alternatives, the closest is The Opera House car park. Parking for people with a disability may be available upon request.
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Interactive map; http://maps.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/accessibility-map/