Elizabeth Bay House

Elizabeth Bay House, Sydney: Hours, Address, Elizabeth Bay House Reviews: 4.5/5

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Elizabeth Bay House

Elizabeth Bay House
4.5
Temporarily closedClosed until further notice
About
With commanding views over Sydney Harbour, Elizabeth Bay House gleams like a Greek temple. Once surrounded by famous landscaped gardens, it is one of the most splendid private houses ever built in Australia and still arouses our delight and astonishment. Its elegant rooms and fine proportions, sweeping staircase and lavish furnishings reveal the tastes and aspirations of its original owner, Alexander Macleay, after the governor, the most important public official in colonial Sydney. But it was his magnificent gardens which most keenly expressed his tastes and passions, and in the economic downturn of the 1840s pushed him towards ruin. Elizabeth Bay House is an iconic Sydney home, with an iconic Sydney back-story of obsession for property and position stretched beyond means and undone by changing financial times. Explore the house on your own or ask for a guided tour. Note that if you are making a special trip for a guided tour, please call to ensure there is a guide available.
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The area
Address
Neighbourhood: City East
How to get there
  • Kings Cross • 9 min walk

4.5
71 reviews
Excellent
37
Very good
26
Average
6
Poor
0
Terrible
2

Michael N
Lawson, Australia1,160 contributions
Dec. 2019
The architecture of this building is outstanding and compares well with Vaucluse House although from a slightly different period. The furniture is appropriate for the building and beautifully displayed. There are a series of information plaques on the second floor.The view of the harbour is spectacular and you can only imagine what it must have been like when the house had it's full curtilage.
Cheap entry for seniors and the young lady at the counter was very welcoming and helpful. Take the documentation for the self guided tour which gives you time to take in the splendour of the place at your own pace.
A real "must see" when you visit Sydney.
Written 5 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Kirkcaldylad
North Lanarkshire, UK1,706 contributions
Nov. 2019 • Couples
This is as fine a country house as you will find anywhere and it is beautifully displayed after sensitive restoration and decoration. The self-guided tour is easy to follow and staff are helpful Do not miss the two cellars. Try to imagine it in its heyday before the vast acreage of land associated with it was subdivide and sold off. You will not, therefore, find a kitchen with lots of copper and brass. The video is old (1987) but it tells the story of the original owners. The descriptive boards in a couple of unfurnished rooms are excellent. Best way financially to see this is with the museum pass or it is $15 for adults. Remember to ask directions to the grotto. It is worth the short detour.
Written 10 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Peter
Glasgow, UK2,892 contributions
Nov. 2019 • Couples
Great job architect John Verge particularly inside. The exterior colonnade was never built and the separate kitchen building and virtually all the extensive garden are lost.
Do not miss the fantastic cellars and the remaining garden Grotto, get directions, tricky to find. What a shame no one cleans it up just a bit!
Use your imagination and you will find one of the best houses, best harbour views,and gardens ever built in Australia.
Written 10 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Eli B
Sydney, Australia3,697 contributions
May 2019 • Couples
Holding court over boats bobbing in the bay is this heritage-listed building, once coinsidered the finest home in the colony. The gardens across the road, complete with carp ponds, are a lovely spot to sit and ponder. Check out the veggie plots behind the house. They grow tree same species of veg that was grown in the colony’s infancy.
Written 9 July 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MartinG_53
Rochford, UK378 contributions
Apr. 2019 • Couples
We arrived here by bus and by luck more than judgement alighted at the nearest stop to the house. One instant disappointment is that the house is surrounded by and overlooked by more recent developments built on the once large estate. The house itself is a fascinating mixture of opulence and other rooms fashioned to suit the financial restraints that the owner found forced upon him. The central room with the curving staircase is breath taking as is the view of the harbour from both the reception and breakfast rooms. Upstairs is far more austere. So much did the owner overspend that he had very few years in the property before he was 'evicted' by his son. With all the development now around the house it is very difficult to imagine the area in its heyday.
Written 8 May 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

MN_Walkers
Minneapolis, MN483 contributions
Apr. 2019 • Couples
A beautiful, architect-designed home overlooking Elizabeth Bay, with a very interesting family history to go along with it. The house really is impressive and is in outstanding condition. The guide gave us (and others who were there at the same time) a comprehensive tour with detailed information about the house and the Macleay family who had it built. There is also a video about the house and the family that runs for about 15-20 minutes; the video is well done and gives a number of excerpts from letters written from Sydney by the eldest Macleay daughter.

This is one of the Sydney Living Museum (SLM) properties. Admission to this site for an adult is A$12 but the SLM sells a Sydney Museums Pass (available at all SLM sites) that covers Elizabeth Bay House and 11 other properties (including Vaucluse House, Susannah Place Museum and the Museum of Sydney) for A$24. The pass is good for a month.
Written 21 April 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Nalini N
Greater Sydney, Australia381 contributions
Jan. 2019 • Solo
A beautiful heritage listed home, now a museum with a magnificent harbour view. I went during my lunch break & didn’t have a lot of time, however 1 of the guides very kindly took me on a quick tour instead of the usual 50 minute one. I was privy to some interesting anecdotes about the family and life in Australia at the time. Some beautiful pieces and architecture. A couple of worthwhile hours to be spent in the home & garden in front.
Written 20 January 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jasmine38Chichester UK
Chichester, UK1,586 contributions
Nov. 2018 • Couples
As one of the oldest and grandest mansions in Sydney it is well worth a visit. We enjoyed the introductory video about the building of the house by the family that then occupied it even if it was made in the 80s and rather grainy.

Most of the rooms in the house are open and furnished as they would have been. The unusual staircase and domed ceiling is especially interesting. Shame there is little left of what were extensive gardens but the views over the Bay from the house are still magnificent.

Worth getting the Sydney museum pass for extra $12 if you plan to visit Vaucluse House, Hyde Park Barracks and any of the other properties included.
Written 17 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Jordi F
164 contributions
Nov. 2018 • Couples
Walk into the house and enjoy an excellent display of furniture, works of art and the fascinating lives of several generations of inhabitants of this mansion. The screen showing the introductory film could be larger, and the display about the man and women of the house in the adjacent room could be more than panels, but it’s still a great house museum.
Written 1 November 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

gatormotherof2
Washington DC, DC371 contributions
Oct. 2018 • Solo
I had the pleasure of staying in the Elizabeth Bay Area and was within walking distance of Elizabeth Bay House. There is a short historical film to view and the home has been well maintained to reflect its original design. It offers weekend visits only, so if you’re staying in downtown Sydney you could combine your visit with the Kings Cross market and visiting the Potts Point area.
Written 23 October 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Elizabeth Bay House

Elizabeth Bay House is open:
  • Fri - Sun 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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