The post-colonial history of Yarralumla
Government House stands on the traditional land of the Ngunnawal people. The Office of the Official Secretary to the Governor-General pays respect to the Ngunnawal people and their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This section details the post-colonial history of Yarralumla – acknowledging that Ngunnawal connection to the land extends back thousands of years.
Yarralumla prior to being the Governor-General’s residence
The first evidence of post-colonial settlement is in 1825. In 1833, a hunting lodge was built and in 1837 gardens began being established. The Deodar Cedar was planted in 1841.
In 1881, Fredrick Campbell purchased the property. Under his ownership, the property grew to 39,000acres (15,800 Ha) grazing 40,000 sheep. In 1891, Campbell demolished the old house and built the front double gabled section. The Campbell crest can be seen under the gable.
In 1912, the Federal Government acquired Yarralumla after Canberra was chosen as the national capital site. Between 1912 and 1921 Thomas Weston had become responsible for the grounds of Yarralumla and presented a design to government for the development of the grounds. The trees lining what is now Dunrossil Drive were planted in 1918.
In 1921, the house became a hostel for members of parliament visiting the new capital.
In 1925, major modifications to the house and gardens began in preparation for the arrival of the Duke and Duchess of York when they came in 1927 to open Parliament. In 1927, Lord and Lady Stonehaven became the first Vice-Regal copy to live at Government House.