Elizabeth Farm
Elizabeth Farm
4.5
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 4:00 PM
About
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 or delicate furnishings. Australia’s oldest homestead is now our most immersive ‘living’ house museum.
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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles67 reviews
Excellent
35
Very good
28
Average
2
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Jeffry b
Essendon, Australia13,448 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Elizabeth Farm is a heritage building, dating from 1793, making it the oldest European building in Australia. The pioneering Macarthur family, founded by John and Elizabeth, lived here and raised their family. Elizabeth was instrumental in pioneering Australia's wool industry. It is said that "Australia rides on the sheep' back." Elizabeth farm is a public museum.
Written 6 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ShelleyW2806
7 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Couples
The guided tour was informative and really interesting for early Australian living. The Devonshire tea afterwards was one off the best I've had. Highly recommended.
Written 24 April 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mark C
Greater Sydney, Australia915 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Family
It’s worth spending an hour or more at Elizabeth Farm if in Parramatta (http://sydneylivingmuseums.com.au/elizabeth-farm). The farm holds the history of John and Elizabeth Macarthur from the 1800’s. The “museum” is different to most as it is interactive. That is you can touch items, sit on the furniture and even lay on the bed. There are no barriers or untouchable ornaments or furniture. The kids will love being able to wander through the house and around the gardens.
Elizabeth Farm is also suitable for wheelchair users with a little help, but the kitchen is not accessible. There is no accessible parking on site or on the street so this could cause some difficulty in access. The tour guides are great and enthusiastic about the site. Don’t forget to walk around the gardens and read up on some of the vegetation, some I had never seem growing before. Check before visiting as it is normally only open on weekends but could be open during school holidays.
Written 9 October 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

geographyguy_11
Brisbane, Queensland515 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I was a bit disappointed with Elizabeth Farm. Upon reflection, I think this is due to 2 reasons. Firstly, I was the only solo visitor on a guided tour full of families with little children who seemed more interested in running riot that learning some Australian history in one of the oldest buildings in the country. Secondly, the house is furnished with placeholder furniture which is designed to be touched/sat on/played with etc. While this makes the house more accessible, it also meant there was no real historic atmosphere or sense of connection to those days in the early 1800s when one of the most influential men in NSW lived here. I know it is important for heritage places to not just be old furniture gatehring dust behind barriers and display cases but I felt at Elizabeth Farm they have gone to the other extreme where it felt a bit fake to be honest. The staff were all lovely though; it just turned out not to be the attraction for me.
Written 23 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

UrbanPixel
Horton-in-Ribblesdale, UK69 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
I like technology but it would be nice to be able to talk to a real human being, only not listening to a monologue from a tablet whilst taking a tour of this awesome place. Council should make real effort in cleaning adjacent streets.
Written 9 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AverageBloke14
Sydney, Australia45 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Family
We took the Rivercat upstream from the "Admiral Collingwood" hotel's Drummoyne Wharf. It takes an hour, but fascinating river trip with the last eight or so Km surrounded by mangrove swamps.

It was easy to imagine the early Parramatta worthies being rowed up here 200 years ago: The mad bad, irascible Capt. John Macarthur, his charming (long-suffering?) wife Elizabeth, their extended family; the flogging parson, Sam Marsden; and Chief Magistrate, Clerk of the Legislative Council and Superintent of the Female Factory for Women, Dr Henry Grattan Douglass, accused by the Macarthur 'exclusivist' faction of " attempted to raise [a 'hansome'convict maid's] clothes and force her to comply with his wishes". Acquitted, Douglass went on successfully to sue for libel and later to found Sydney University. Macarthur had to leave his wife to run the farm for years, while he was sent to England to be a witness in the trial for the mutiny he instigated against Governor Bligh.

Although surrounded by quite a lot of 'drek' Elizabeth Farm itself is quite an interesting example rich man's Georgian dwelling, not as attractive as Wentworth's Vaucluse House, but attractively filled out by an iTablet guide.

Hint 1: Walk and visit nearby Hambledon Cottage, built by Macarthur for his daughter's governess and, in his later insanity, a refuge for female members of the family- it is in better condition than Elizabeth Farm and has enthusiastic guides.

Hint 2: Take the Parramatta River cat to get there.

Hint 3: Visit the Female Factory - a Francis Greenway designed building.

Hint 4: Visit Vaucluse House set in lovely parklands.
Written 8 October 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

vegasguy1943
Sydney, Australia93 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2013 • Couples
Get a sense of Sydney's history by taking The Cat from Circular Quay to visit Parramatta, the site of several of Sydney's most historic sites. Despite being swamped by suburbia, Elizabeth Farm, the Experimental Farm Cottage, and Old Government House are worth the visit. This suburb was the site of the first farm established in the colony less than a year after the arrival of the First Fleet. Take an hour or so to explore Elizabeth Farm, the oldest surviving house in the country, and then take a walk to the 18th century Old Government House in Parramatta Park ... the suburb also has a pub that claims to be the oldest in the country just across the road from the courthouse. These historic sites make great day out for heritage fans!
Written 16 March 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sharon K
Pendle Hill, Australia411 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Friends
Had a lovely afternoon going through this historic home.
If your interested in John Macarthur this is the place to go.

Written 11 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ian B
Brisbane, Australia334 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2019
I really enjoyed this, it wasn’t boring at all. The iPad tells you while you’re in each room, what has happened here, a daughter was quarantined here for scarlet fever, what happened in the next room? Sit down on the chairs and listen to Gary McDonald take you into another time and place, nothing stuffy or boring, quite fascinating and a few laughs.... can you find where the knuckle bones are? You can hold them, remember playing jacks at school....the old coal range and the large dining room. The many rooms, old high beds, all set up as a house, you can ring the servant bells, can you find where they all ring? Or sit on one of the beautiful patios in a cane chair, or marvel at the wooden wash buckets and old clothes in the courtyard. See the well worn pavers and wonder at the many feet that caused the beautiful paths in the stone.... Wander the gardens and soak in the atmosphere. Which child can find the prickly pear cacti? I’m so pleased I visited here, it wasn’t just another tour, it’s a memory I’ll have forever. Michel at the entrance used to be a tour guide and has a treasure of wonderful places to visit in Parramatta, Thanks Michel....
Written 12 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David L
Florida95 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2018 • Family
The farm was the first to be formed to aid in the feeding of the new Colony but the exhibit is all about the house and the family with no mention of the crops or the original workforce.
The farm is also difficult to reach from Sydney by public transportation and in reality requires a walk of about one mile each way from Parramatta station. The website sujests the river cat but it quits running when the river is low or harris station but that requires the slow train out of Sydney.
Written 29 December 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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ELIZABETH FARM (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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