Built by wool pioneer John Macarthur and his wife Elizabeth, this access-all-areas homestead is one of Australia’s oldest surviving European buildings. Relax on the shady verandah or stroll through the gorgeous 1830s garden, while the kids do the washing and play croquet. Then refuel with a refreshing Devonshire tea in the tearooms.
This restful homestead hides a dark and stormy past. Built for the young military couple John and Elizabeth Macarthur and their growing family, Elizabeth Farm has witnessed major events in the growth of the colony, from the toppling of governors and convict rebellion to the birth of the Australian wool industry. As the original cottage was transformed into a fine colonial bungalow, the family’s life was equally gripped with turmoil and drama. Today, set within a re-created 1830s garden, Elizabeth Farm is an ‘access all areas’ museum. There are no barriers, locked doors, delicate furnishings or untouchable ornaments. Australia’s oldest homestead is now our most hands-on ‘living’ house museum.