Historic Homes in Brisbane

Be transported to the Brisbane of yesteryear with a visit to a grand historical house.

Newstead House

Just a few kilometres north of the CBD, Brisbane’s oldest surviving residence Newstead House dates from 1846. Originally built for Patrick Leslie, over the years it has evolved from a simple colonial Georgian cottage into a sprawling homestead with intricate balustrade, spacious verandahs and a vista that incorporates the Brisbane River, undulating parkland, elements of the Breakfast Creek Heritage Precinct and the changing suburbs of Hamilton, Bowen Hills, Bulimba and Newstead.

Today the homestead is painted and furnished in the exuberant style of the late-Victorian period. It is open Tuesday to Friday from 10am-4pm, Saturday for private events only, and Sunday from 2-5pm. Entry is adults $6, concession $5, child $4, family (two adults and their children) $15. Groups are also welcome.

Newstead House

Wolston House

Wolston House, the oldest surviving residential farmhouse in Brisbane, is just a 25-minute drive from the CBD. A pre-Separation structure commenced in brick and completed in stone, the home is a great example of quality techniques and workmanship of the 19th century. The home is open to visit from Wednesday-Sunday, 10am-4pm, and enjoy a bite to eat at the Tea Terrace Cafe. 

Ormiston House

Another of Queensland's finest examples of heritage-listed colonial architecture is Ormiston House. On Brisbane’s southern bayside, it is surrounded by 5.6ha of equally historic grounds and gardens overlooking Moreton Bay. There is a vast history behind the carefully restored, heritage-listed Ormiston House that can be heard every Sunday from noon to 4pm, while you enjoy a Devonshire tea on the wide verandahs. 

Ormiston House

Parliament House

While it is not exactly a homestead, behind the doors of Parliament House, history is being made every day. The palacial building’s construction started in 1864 and was finally completed 25 years later in 1889. Parliamentary attendants conduct tours of Parliament House from 1-4pm during the week on days when the Parliament is not sitting. On days that Parliament is sitting, one tour runs at 2pm and the public are also welcome to view Parliament in session from the Legislative Assembly public gallery. 

Old Government House

Old Government House was the hub of colonial life in the early days of Brisbane. Completed in 1862, shortly after Queensland separated from New South Wales, the House was Queensland's first public building. The House was both a private residence and official state office for Governor Bowen, the colony's first governor, and continued to be the home of Queensland's governors until 1910.

In 2002, the Queensland University of Technology accepted custodial responsibility for the House and undertook a lengthy restoration project. Old Government House was reopened to the public in 2009 as a historic house museum, a gallery housing the works of renowned Australian artist William Robinson and an elegant venue for hire. The home is open to visitors every day except Saturday, 10am-4pm.

Old Government House

Government House

Built in 1864, it wasn’t until 1910 that Government House became, well, Government House. Originally called Fernberg, the home was meant to be a temporary residence for the then Governor, but after more than a century the property has retained it as a permanent title. Home to the current Queensland Governor, Government House in Paddington is only open to the public on special days such as Australia Day and Queensland Day. Check online for the next open day.

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