Dating from 1827, Vaucluse House consists of the principal, turreted house and its outbuildings scattered throughout grounds created by Wentworth and his wife, Sarah. Visitors choose to explore independently or on in-house tours to see the entertaining rooms, bedrooms, and servants’ areas—all dressed with period furnishings and original Wentworth pieces—before strolling the gardens.
The museum tends to feature on Sydney tours that bundle the city’s quintessential sights with some of its lower-profile sights, bringing them all together with handy door-to-door transportation. These tours typically include a stop outside the house with visits to Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House, and outlying spots such as Watson’s Bay and Manly Beach.
Things to know before you go
- Vaucluse House is ticketed but the gardens can be explored for free.
- Wheelchair-users can only access the ground floor of the house and some areas of the garden. Strollers are not permitted inside the house but can be left at reception.
- On-site amenities include a restaurant, shop, and rest rooms.
How to get there
Vaucluse House lies 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Sydney’s CBD. For convenience, take a sightseeing tour that showcases the house or self-drive from the CBD via the Cross City Tunnel and New South Head Road onto Wentworth Road—the site of the free parking lot. The #325 bus from Sydney CBD and Edgecliff station stop outside the gate and also at nearby Watson’s Bay Ferry Terminal—a docking point for ferries from Sydney’s Circular Quay.
When to get there
The museum is open daily during NSW school holidays and Wednesday to Sunday during term times, although it’s closed on Good Friday and Christmas Day. The gardens are open daily, year-round. To explore when it’s quiet, plan to visit on weekdays or early on weekends.
The Gardens at Vaucluse House
Vaucluse’s gardens cover 26 acres (10.5 hectares), but once stretched further over much of Sydney’s Vaucluse district. Reserve time for a stroll and bring a picnic. Admire the 1860s fountain, explore the kitchen garden, take the kids to the waterfall, beach, and farmyard, and spot wildlife such as kookaburras and water dragons.
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