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Admiralty House

Admiralty House

Admiralty House

Admiralty House is the Sydney residence of the Governor-General and one of the most historic and important residences on Sydney Harbour.

The iconic property is used by the Governor-General as both a residence (when they are not at Government House, Canberra) and to host thousands of people every year at events ranging from celebrations of the work of community organisations and charities, to visits by Heads of State and royalty and investiture and swearing-in ceremonies.

In addition to these events, Admiralty House Open Days occur once a year in the Autumn.

The history of Admiralty House

Admiralty House stands on the traditional land of the Cammeraygal people.  The Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General pays respect to the Cammeraygal people and their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

The house – originally called ‘Wotonga’ – was built in the mid 1800’s by John George Nathaniel Gibbes, Collector of Customs for the Colony of New South Wales. It was renamed Admiralty House in 1885 when the colonial government purchased it as a residence for the Admiral of the Royal Navy’s Australian Squadron. In this period a second storey and the colonnaded verandah were added to the House.

Admiralty House was handed to the Commonwealth Government in October 1913 and became the official residence of the Governor-General. It served as the primary residence of the Governor-General until 1931 when Sir Isaac Isaacs became the first Governor-General to live permanently in Canberra. Since 1935, Admiralty House has served as the Sydney Residence for 17 Governors-General.

The Admiralty House precinct is also home to the Marine Barracks, which were built in the 1850s (during the Crimean War) and are one of two remaining historical fortifications on Sydney Harbour.

For more information about Admiralty House’s history, go to

Video tour of Admiralty House