Elizabeth Farm – Sydney’s best all access museum

Elizabeth Farm front verandah

Elizabeth Farm front verandah

Some days you just got to get your historical on. And Elizabeth Farm is a great place to do this! I love this museum not only because it is known as Australia’s oldest colonial house but also because it is one of only a few ‘access all areas’ museum. 

An ‘access all areas’ museum means that everyone is welcome to experience the museum – sit on the chairs, lie on the beds, pick up the pots and pans. Go for a wander through the gardens or recline on the front verandah. Sit and imagine what it was like to be there in the 1800’s when Elizabeth Farm was in rural Sydney. Great for adults and kids alike! 

The house was built by John and Elizabeth Mccarthur after they received a 100 acre land grant. Building of the house first commenced in 1793 and it was then extended and renovated over the next three decades. It is amazing that the house still stands today and it is a lovely place to visit.

Take a tour

If you are keen to find out the in’s and out’s of this house then why not take the FREE guided tour. The tour leaves on the hour from the courtyard and offers up heaps of interesting facts on the house.

Or if tours aren’t your thing then you can grab an ipad from the front reception and embark on your own journey. The tour will take you through the buildings. Through the courtyard, servants quarters and laundry, the kitchen and the cellar.

Have a go at doing washing the old fashioned way. Or check out the old laundry, wonder at the old fashioned stove and have a go at making butter. Take some time to imagine yourself cooking in the kitchen and making use of the market garden.
There is also a media area where you can watch a film on the history of Elizabeth Farm.

Washing, oven, kitchen and cellar

The main house

After the kitchen make your way through to the main house. Here you will see where the family had dinner and some of the sleeping quarters. Look out for the bell pull which the family used to call the servants. Kids will love trying to find where the bells are ringing! Be amazed that you can sit on the lounge and take some time to admire the tea sets and serving ware.

Look out for the bell pull

The gardens

The gardens of Elizabeth House are of particular importance. They include some of the oldest exotic plants in Australia. Follow the rambling path through the vegetable garden and the more formal gardens. Look out for the Chinese Elm and Olive Trees.

Beautifully preserved garden

At the end of your visit enjoy a picnic on the lawns or next door at Elizabeth Farm Reserve. The Tearoom is open on weekends and is famous for its scones!

Options to enjoy the end of your day

Five reasons to visit Elizabeth Farm

  1. Take a tour of Australia’s oldest colonial house
  2. Wander the historic gardens
  3. Enjoy the opportunity to experience an all access museum
  4. Have a picnic next door at Elizabeth Farm Reserve
  5. Let the kids enjoy the interactive ipad experience.

Freedays summary

  • Entry: Entry costs apply
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Wheelchair friendly: Yes (some areas may not be accessible ie the cellar)
  • Free carparking: Yes (on-street only)
  • Free BBQ facilities: No
  • Time to spend here: 2 hours to all day
  • Food available: Yes (weekends only)
  • Address: 70 Alice Street, Rosehill NSW 2142
  • Further details: Visit Elizabeth Farm’s directory listing

More free things to do 

After exploring the house why not:

  • Relax at James Ruse Reserve and Water Park (just across the road)
  • Get another history fix at Experiment Farm Cottage
  • Visit Parramatta Park



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