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.


Browse all
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

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

Vaucluse House

Birrabirragal Country

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

Wentworth Mausoleum perimeter fence
Latest News

Renewed splendour for the Wentworth Mausoleum

The conservation works to the perimeter fence of the historic Wentworth Mausoleum have been successfully completed

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?

Horticulturalist Stephen Goldsworthy planting seedlings in the kitchen garden

Vaucluse House kitchen garden

The Vaucluse House kitchen garden recently underwent a significant rejuvenation project to preserve the site and allow it to continue to be used as a valuable educational resource

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

Learning program

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

(Vaucluse Bay) (c1880)

Dinghy and kayak registration at Vaucluse Bay

The historic 10-hectare Vaucluse House estate includes the beach paddock where dinghy racks and kayak spaces are located. We manage the registration of these areas through annual permits

Annual Giving 2023–24: engaging with history

Supporting children to discover history

Find out more