Adelaide Accommodation

Historic and Stately Homes

In and around Adelaide some of history’s homes have been preserved and are now open to the public. Built mostly in the nineteenth- and early-twentieth centuries by wealthy graziers and mining magnates, the houses reflect a grandeur and elegance typical of their time.

  • Ayers House, dating from 1855, is the last of the grand nineteenth-century houses that lined North Terrace. Now open for tours by the National Trust, Ayers House has large ornate rooms and elegant furnishings reflecting the wealth of its owner, Sir Henry Ayers. A function centre now occupies the east wing and the stables, while the west wing is a museum of antique furniture and paintings (www.nationaltrust.org.au/properties/ayers.htm).

  • Collingrove Homestead, near Angaston in the Barossa Valley, was built in 1856 by John Howard Angas, and now operates as a very comfortable bed-and-breakfast. This beautiful house, with all its original splendour, is now heritage-listed.

  • Carrick Hill, in the Adelaide foothills, fortunately remains largely intact in both its contents and grounds. Open to the public, Carrick Hill is a must-see grand house and superb garden such as is rarely seen in Australia (www.carrickhill.sa.gov.au). Although the house dates from 1939, some of the interior fittings are much older, having been brought from older houses in England. Carrick Hill now hosts art exhibitions.

  • Yallum Park, built between 1878 and 1880, is especially interesting due to its large collection of William Morris wallpapers. It contains eleven Italian marble mantelpieces and has the reputation of having hosted Adam Lindsay Gordon and Anthony Trollope, as well an erstwhile Duke of Cornwall. Yallum Park is situated near Penola, and is now a private residence open only by appointment (08) 8737 2435.

  • Marble Hill, once the summer house of the governors of South Australia, was almost totally destroyed by fire in 1955, luckily with no loss of life, despite the presence of the governor, his wife, children and staff. The skeletal remains and the garden are now open to the public once a month (on the second Sunday: 08 8387 0581).

  • Olivewood, built in the 1880s at Renmark, is now operated by the National Trust and is open to the public from Thursday to Monday. It includes a small museum and the still-working orangery and orchards, including the famous olive trees. The house is furnished according to its period.

  • Wilpena Station, at Wilpena Pound in the Flinders Ranges, is of major historical significance, and tells a story of grazing and the battles with droughts and floods so characteristic of Australia. The SA National Parks and Wildlife Service and the Friends of the Flinders Ranges National Park have undertaken the restoration of the homestead and outbuildings.

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