The Gardens

The Government House Gardens sit across 3.2 hectares and have been open to the public since the 1960’s. They were originally the site for the first government-owned garden in Perth, with the layout dating back to the 1850’s.

Originally the banks of the Derbarl Yerrigan (Swan River) were located where the lower lake is now, before land was reclaimed to expand the gardens and river foreshore. The ‘ravine’ located immediately in front of the Government House forecourt used to be a creek that provided fresh water to the gardens as it ran down to the river. In winter you will sometimes see water still seeping from deep below.

The Gardens feature a mix of native and introduced plants and trees, including a a nearly 200-year-old Olive Tree, a magnificent rose garden, a wide array of trees planted by various members of the Royal Family as well as new areas that are actively being regenerated to incorporate an array of native flowers and bushes, as well as bush tucker plants for use in the Government House kitchen.

The Lodge located near the Vehicle Gate was originally built as a guard house in 1904, but today is used for offices.

Near the Government House vehicle entrance you will find a statue dedicated to Balbuk Yooreel, considered the most important Whadjuk woman of the 19th century. Passionate about protecting her land and country from colonial settlers, her knowledge of Whadjuk country, recorded by Daisy Bates in the early 1900’s, helped to inform the Native Title Claim of 2006. She would fiercely defend Whadjuk Land as it was fenced by settlers, and she would often stand at the gates of Government House protesting the blocking of her access onto country where she and her family had hunted and gathered for generations.

The Government House Gardens are currently open to the public every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 12pm and 2pm.

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