Harbourside retreat

When an Irish knight was caught kidnapping a local heiress, his punishment was swift: exile to a single-storey cottage in NSW. Over five decades, new owners transformed the cottage into a large and picturesque estate. By the 1830s, the gardens and grounds covered most of the present-day suburb of Vaucluse but the main house of the family’s dreams was still unfinished. In 1915 Vaucluse House became Australia’s first official house museum, and continues today to delight and intrigue visitors with its stories and still-secluded grounds.

Wentworth Road, Vaucluse NSW 2030. Phone +61 2 9388 7922

Vaucluse House

Wentworth Road, Vaucluse NSW 2030. Phone +61 2 9388 7922
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Plan your visit


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image of painting showing a dramatic panoramic view of harbour surrounded by natural bushland with Vaucluse estate in the foreground.
Museum stories

Not a lovelier site

‘There is not a lovelier site in the known world’, wrote the Sydney-born barrister and novelist John Lang about the Wentworth family’s estate of Vaucluse

Dairy, Vaucluse House

The coolest room in the house

What practical techniques can we learn from historical building design to minimise heat and energy consumption in our homes today?

Photo of the Wentworth mausoleum with tabled light coming through the trees

Wentworth Mausoleum perimeter fence conservation

MHNSW is undertaking the first comprehensive conservation works to the fence surrounding the 1870s resting place of William Charles Wentworth

Window seat, c1840

Designed with intent: colonial vs modernist chairs

This selection of furniture juxtaposes the old with the new: early 19th-century colonial seating and modernist styles made over a hundred years later

Plant your history

Beautiful bountiful bamboo

One of the most recognisable plants growing at Museums of History NSW today is bamboo. This colourful plant has a long history in colonial gardens

Learning program

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Child placing skittles on a flat surface on lawn in garden setting.

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

Annual Giving 2023–24: engaging with history

Supporting children to discover history

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