Government House and Gardens


Completed in 1863, the present Government House was designed in the Gothic Revival style of the Victorian period by the Comptroller-General of Convicts, Captain Edmund Yeamans Walcott Henderson.

The architecture incorporates square mullioned windows, decorated gables and ogival capped turrets.

The buildings and gardens are listed on the State Heritage Register.


The Entrance Hall is the main entrance to the House and is used for official callers and guests.

It features a chequerboard floor of Welsh slate and Cornish or York stone imported from Britain in the 1860’s, an armorial window, and oak beamed ceiling with shield decorations.

The stained glass window above the first stair landing bears the coat of arms of Queen Victoria and is an excellent example of armorial stained glass from the Victorian era.

Drawing Room and Music Room

The Drawing Room is where the Governor receives most ‘callers’ including meetings with community leaders, and visiting dignitaries.

The Music Room, complete with Bechstein boudoir grand piano (c. 1876) was originally designed as a library and was separated from the Drawing Room by a wall. It is used for smaller receptions.

Royal Room and Terrace

The Royal Room is used for receptions, roundtables, and other events, and includes a beautiful outdoor Terrace.

It was constructed in 1897-1899 as a part of a major addition to the House comprising the Billiard Room (now the Dining Room) and Ballroom.

Dining and Executive Council Room

This room is used for formal and relaxed dining, and was formerly the Billiard Room.

It is also where the Executive Council meets every fortnight, and convenes for special meetings when requested by the Premier.


The Ballroom is a large space and includes a Supper Room of equal size on the lower floor, and outside terraced areas looking out onto the Government House Gardens.


The layout of the gardens dates largely from 1850’s and 1860’s when the present House was constructed.

The lower gardens date back to the 1880’s and 1890’s when the river still lapped the lower boundary of the site along the line of the present lake. The present boundary was established in 1904 with the reclamation of the river foreshore.

The gardens today comprise 3.2 hectares in the Arcadian landscape style used by the English in the 18th and 19th centuries.

There are some excellent original plantings in the grounds and a mixture of exotic and native species.

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