Government House

As the official residence of the Governor of NSW, Government House plays a central role in the official and ceremonial life of this city and state. It is used for a wide range of ceremonies, receptions and cultural and community events, and is open to the public three days a week.

Government House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Lower Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW
KIDsize Vibe


When it was completed in 1845, this ‘new’ Government House was the most ambitious and lavish building in NSW. Designed by the celebrated king’s architect Edward Blore, who had worked on Buckingham and Windsor palaces, it boldly announced the young colony’s readiness to shake off its convict past and be counted among the great centres of the British Empire.

Find out more about it's fascinating history here.


Children can enjoy exploring the extensive gardens and discovering the 160-year-old Moreton Bay fig tree, which was planted around the same time as the house was built. The house itself is an adventure to look at, with its elaborate castle-like architecture and lavish interiors, but note that you must be part of a guided tour to go inside. Government House is located within the Royal Botanic Gardens.


Free 45-minute tours of the State Rooms run every half hour from 10.30am to 3.00pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and on certain public holidays. Tickets are available 30 minutes before the starting time from the gatehouse at the main entrance. Please note that ID is required when taking a tour.


The nearest cafe is at the Conservatorium of Music (open Monday to Friday) or at the Royal Botanic Gardens Cafe. 


The closest entry point is through the gates next to the Conservatorium of Music on Macquarie Street, and from there it's a short walk to the main entry gates to Government House. 

Visitors can use the stairs from East Circular Quay to Macquarie Street, or use the lift to the Cahill Expressway walkway, and then enter the Royal Botanic Gardens. Follow the signs to Government House. From either Wynyard or Martin Place stations, Government House is a 20-minute walk.

SYDNEY EXPLORER BUS: Stop 10, ;Macquarie St, bus bay near roundabout

TRAIN: Circular Quay is the closest train station and a 10-minute walk to Government House.

BUS There are regular bus services to Phillip Street and Circular Quay. The 200 bus, which runs between Chatswood and Bondi Junction train stations on Mondays to Fridays only, stops on Macquarie Street.

FERRY: Circular Quay ferries are a 10-minute walk to Government House.

PARKING: There is very limited street parking in the area. The best open is the undercover parking is available at the Domain Car Park with a $10 flat rate on weekends

For more places to visit and eat out check out our "Visiting The Rocks with Kids' Guide click here!

All bags must be cloaked and photography is not allowed inside Government House.
There are public toilets at Government House but there is nowhere to buy food or drinks.
There are 8 steps to the gatehouse. During house open hours, you can ring the buzzer put out at the base of the stairs to call the guide down to help you. There are 3 more steps into the house, but no other stairs during the tour.
Age Group
All Ages
Location and Details
Government House, Royal Botanic Gardens, Lower Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW
House: Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10.30 am - 3:00 pm
Free admission by guided tour only
Grounds: Open daily 10.00 am - 4:00 pm
02 9228 4111