How did a Dharug word for an Australian native plant come to be associated with a Chinese camellia in the greenhouses of Georgian England? Vaucluse House’s ‘waratah’ camellia tells the story of an age of botanical discovery and exchange.
Every November, jacarandas rain a shower of purple on Sydney’s streets. This gorgeous flowering tree has such a firm hold on the city and its imagination that few of us could imagine it any other way. But the Brazilian native was once considered as rare as it was beautiful.
Many visitors returning to Vaucluse House ask us about displays at the house remembered from years past; most often, the three coaches that were once in the stables, a story going back about 100 years.
Sometimes good music takes a while to be appreciated. For the first time, on the 11th of October, a lively dance tune published in Sydney over 160 years ago will be performed at Vaucluse House as part of its centenary celebrations.
Trade catalogues, published to illustrate the products for sale from a manufacturer, wholesaler or retailer, reveal the surprising wealth of choice available to Australian consumers in the 19th century
A century after the honorary board of trustees voted to form Vaucluse House as a museum, we celebrate their vision and pay tribute to the role Sydney Living Museums has played in preservation, conservation and interpretation.