Elizabeth Farm was commenced in 1793 and contains part of the oldest surviving European dwelling in Australia. Built for John and Elizabeth Macarthur, the homestead once overlooked an agricultural estate of nearly 1000 acres, stretching from Parramatta Road to the Parramatta River.
John Macarthur’s military, business and political activities dominated early colonial life while his efforts to develop a colonial export market pioneered Australia’s wool industry. Elizabeth remained a loyal, though not always willing partner in her husband’s many ventures, managing a large family and busy household.
With its broad roof, shady verandahs and shuttered doors, this ‘Indian bungalow’ design pre-empted the classic Australian homestead. The Macarthur garden of native and exotic ornamentals, fruit trees and vegetables has been recreated around original plantings and archaeological features dating to the early 1800s. An unusual decision to allow furniture, documents and objects to be touched, used and experienced, gives a vivid impression of this once turbulent household.
Give yourself an hour or more to visit Elizabeth Farm. Afterwards, stroll in the garden, rest awhile on verandah chairs, play the piano or leaf through copies of Elizabeth Macarthur’s moving letters. Free guided tours are usually available on request.
The Museum Tearooms are open Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
There is timed street parking surrounding the property.
Elizabeth Farm @ 70 Alice Street, Rosehill
Adult $15; Child/Concession $12; Family $38; Members free
Tel: 9635 9488