Now and Then

About the program

As students are guided through the property, they discover that the Macarthurs and their hardworking servants lived without the benefits of running water, bathrooms, electricity, appliances or paved roads. They experience what it was like to do the laundry by hand, see what’s growing in the kitchen garden and discuss seasonal eating and life without supermarkets. They also practise writing with a quill pen and ink by signing their name on a bookplate which they take home.

They explore the colonial kitchen to observe how different it is from their own kitchens at home. How did the cook keep food fresh without a fridge, and how were foods preserved?

In the drawing room, students investigate how the Macarthur family and their guests relaxed and amused themselves, and how the servants were summoned. How was the house kept cool in summer and heated in winter? Why was Mr Macarthur’s bed so high, and where was the toilet hidden? In the pleasure garden, students play 19th-century children’s games including hoops, skittles, quoits, and cup and ball.

Prepare your group for a visit with an 'Excursion Introduction' listed under Resources. These introductions are suitable for teachers of children with ASD in integrated classrooms.

70 Alice Street, Rosehill NSW 2142. Phone +61 2 9635 9488

Elizabeth Farm

70 Alice Street, Rosehill NSW 2142. Phone +61 2 9635 9488
  • Wheelchair accessible
Cost (GST free)
From $200 for up to 20 students

See page for cost scale details

1 hour 30 minutes
Session offered
Monday to Friday
Maximum students
60 per session
Supervision ratios

The supervision ratio is 1:10 for primary groups and 1:15 for secondary groups. Teachers and parents attend free of charge at these ratios. One carer per student with special needs will be admitted free of charge

Additional visitor costs

Each additional visitor will be charged at the concession rate of $12

Browse all
Students wearing dress up costumes and laughing in the nursery.

Child's Play

Students learn about what it was like to live at Vaucluse House for the wealthy family of William Charles and Sarah Wentworth, with their ten children and many servants