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Government House
Open Day
White Hat
Free garden tour
Government House
Once a month

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The White Hat Guide to

Government House, Melbourne

Government House


Tours are available Monday and Thursdays. Reservations required Contact: National Trust Bookings Office on 03) 8663 7260 or
National Trust website

Government House


This grand house in stunning surroundings was designed by William Wardell and J. J. Clark  It took over as Government House from Toorak House which had served in that purpose from 1854 to 1876 and was Victoria's first purpose-built Government House. It was built as the residence for the Governor of the Colony of Victoria. With Federation in 1901, Melbourne became the de-facto capital of Australia until Canberra was built. As a result Melbourne's Parliament House became the Parliament House of Australia and Victoria's Government House became the Government House of Australia housing the Governor General. During this period Stonington Mansion was used as Victoria's Government House. In recent years Government House has been open to the public on Australia Day

Take tram no 8 in Swanston Street (heading south) and alight at stop 21 in Domain Road.

Government House Melbourne

Some forthcoming events at Government House:

Free Government House garden tour

Government House garden

Garden lovers can enjoy a free tour of the Government House gardens. Tours start at 11am and are free but bookings are essential.

The gardens feature magnificent lawns, specimen trees surrounded by large beds of trees and shrubs, and the Peace and Prosperity Kitchen Garden. The gardens also feature ceremonial trees planted by members of the Royal Family and previous Governors.

The tour goes for about one hour and you will need a general level of fitness. There are some steps, small hills and uneven surfaces.

While each tour caters for up to 30 people, there are no group bookings available.
Bookings close at 12 noon the day before the tour, or when the tour is full. Bookings can be made online through the official website

Wear casual clothes with sensible footwear. Bring photo ID (passport, drivers licence, student ID etc.,). Check in at the Government House Gatehouse 15 minutes before the tour starts.
Entry will involve passing through a security checkpoint and bag inspection.

You are encouraged to take public transport: Flinders Street Station is a 15 to 20-minute walk to Government House Take the St Kilda Rd/Coventry St tram - routes 3/3a, 5, 6,16, 64, 67 and 72 - and get off at the Grant Street - Police Memorial stop.

Parking is not available at the House. If you drive, there is metered parking on Linlithgow and Birdwood avenues.

Tours can be cancelled in extreme weather or for operational reasons.

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Government House Open Day

As part of Australia Day, citizens and visitors are invited to visit Government House, inspect many rooms not normally open to the public and enjoy a picnic on the lawns. Music and entertainment throughout the day. Last entry to the house will be at 4pm. Last entry to the gardens will be at 4:30pm.

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