Since Government House was opened to the public in 1996, over 2 million people have joined the extraordinary rollcall of official guests and dignitaries to visit the magnificent State Rooms and gardens of one of this state’s most important buildings.
State Library of New South Wales DG 336
As the official residence of the Governor of NSW, Government House plays a central role in the official and ceremonial life of this city and state. It is used for a wide range of ceremonies, receptions and cultural and community events, and is open to the public three days a week. When it was completed in 1845, this ‘new’ Government House was the most ambitious and lavish building in NSW. Designed by the celebrated king’s architect Edward Blore, who had worked on Buckingham and Windsor palaces, it boldly announced the young colony’s readiness to shake off its convict past and be counted among the great centres of the British Empire. As commented by one newspaper of the day, as people arrived in Sydney, ‘They looked for a prison and beh[e]ld a palace!’