Looking like a cross between a medieval castle and an elaborate Gothic-style cathedral, this rather magnificent sandstone mansion (built between 1837 and 1847) is the official residence of the Governor of New South Wales. The thoroughly regal looking building is said to be one of Australia’s finest examples of Gothic Revival architecture. The building was largely the concept of one of Queen Victoria’s royal architects, Edward Blore, who also designed parts of Buckingham Palace.
Set amid the sprawling grounds of the Domain, right alongside the Opera House and the Royal Botanical Gardens, it’s arguable that Government House occupies one of the most spectacular slices of real estate of just about anywhere in Sydney.
Although the Governor and his family do officially reside within Government House during their stays in Sydney, the building and grounds are also under the care of the Historic Houses Trust and is open free to the public on certain days of the year (check the official website for details).
If you’re lucky enough to take a tour inside the exquisitely restored historic interiors, be sure to spend some time admiring the hand-painted stencil ceilings and the grand reception area, a richly decorated two-storey hall with a musician’s gallery.
The ground floor state rooms also house an outstanding collection of 19th and 20th century art, furnishings, decorations and state memorabilia.
Surrounded by beautifully landscaped formal gardens, with sparkling views over Farm Cove, the loggia captures an unusual perspective of the Sydney Opera House which lies just a few hundred metres to the north.