Upcoming Events

Storyteller: From The Heart of Hyde Park  

Sunday 11 October 2020, 10.00am - 1.00pm

Hyde Park forms a green heart to the City of Sydney, circled by some of our most significant and beautiful historic buildings.  Join us - safely spread out in the Spring sunshine – as we saunter through the park appreciating St Mary’s Cathedral and the War Memorial, Sydney Grammar and the Australian Museum, the architectural triumphs of Greenway and Macquarie, and many others.  Follow the threads connecting us to people from our past, as Storyteller Jo Henwood shares stories behind the buildings we can see today, as well as what was there before.  The buildings might not speak – but we certainly can!

Storyteller: Paradise Lost, Paradise Found - Times Before Sydney Olympic Park  

Sunday 6 December 2020, 10.00am - 1.00pm

Read Sydney Olympic Park and think Olympics? That’s only the beginning! There is so much more to be revealed in this much-transformed site and this tour is your chance to wander across areas by foot and eras by imagination.

Storyteller Jo Henwood will share tales of the Blaxlands and the Wentworths, and the colonising farmers before them who, from 1788, claimed the tidal wetlands of the Wangal. We will be looking at a site that was often a place for things people didn’t want to see - the industrial workplaces of brickpit and abattoir, storage for explosives in the Armory and the infirm in the Hospital - as well as the Olympics structures that were built to be seen on a grand scale.

Walk: Yaralla – An Edwardian Estate and Parklands  


Visit Yaralla (the Dame Eadith Walker Estate) one of the last of the large nineteenth century estates in metropolitan Sydney. Starting with morning tea in the City of Canada Bay Museum, hear about the history of the Italianate style Yaralla Mansion designed for the Walker family by Edmund Blackett in the 1860s. Enjoy a guided tour of the Yaralla grounds and outbuildings including the squash courts, stables, parkland gardens along with a display of archival photographs.

NB. You will need your own transport from the City of Canada Bay Museum to Yaralla. 

Day Tour: Adaptive Re-use - Urban Sanctuary, Parklands and Monuments  


Starting out at the Grounds of Alexandria, a former warehouse transformed into a successful restaurant and event space, we walk across Sydney Park to hear about its built heritage and recent post industrial development from rubbish dump to parklands and urban wetlands.

We visit Heritage Stoneworks - one of the last few stoneworks yards that restores and repairs Sydney's sandstone facades and monuments to gain an insight into how the precious Pyrmont yellowblock is recycled, reused and quarried for maintaining public buildings around the CBD.

Stay Tour : The Forgotten Valley of the Hawkesbury


Too much to see for just a day tour!
Explore Wisemans Ferry and St Albans – the river communities of inns and pioneer homes. There are many fascinating sites on the itinerary providing bespoke experiences especially for the HHA. Hear from private owners and local historians as they take us on exclusive tours of historic properties and landscapes and tell the story of this remarkable hidden valley.
Highlights include Price Morris Cottage (1835 wattle and daub timber cottage), the Industrious Settler (former inn with 1820s slab cottage, outbuildings & Walters family settler graves); the delightful Settler’s Arms Inn (1840s two storey stone Georgian Inn) and St Joseph’s Church (restored 1839 sandstone Gothic Catholic church & cemetery and winner of the NSW National Trust 2013 Best Heritage Restoration Award). We will also have time on this two-day tour to visit Cobham Hall, the original home of Solomon Wiseman and other significant historic bridges, churches, houses and graveyards along the way.

Walk: Watsons Bay - The First Eastern Suburb  


For all its now upmarket edges, Watsons Bay retains a sense of its past as a small, isolated marine village of pilots, lighthouse keepers and fisherfolk. This is overlayed by an extensive history of soldiers, sailors, scientists, shipwrecks, suicides, submarine attack, coastal artillery, trams and fish and chips - all crammed into the narrow confines of one of Sydney’s most spectacular scenic settings. Join Graham Spindler to wander Watson’s beaches, cliffs, parkland and byways and explore some of the rich legacy of Sydney’s first ‘eastern suburb’.

RAHS / HHA Online Seminar – Playing Their Part: Vice-Regal Consorts of NSW  

Tuesday 28 October 2020, 2.00pm - 3.30pm

Join the RAHS and the HHA for a special online seminar about the vice-regal consorts of NSW.  In this seminar presenters will discuss the consorts’ contributions to the history of NSW and stories about their historic residence, Government House. 

Associate Professor Dr Carol Liston OA, Senior Vice President of the RAHS is the first speaker who will discuss what was expected of the vice regal consort in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with a brief look at the official residences.

Dr Bruce Baskerville, Associate Director, Centre for Western Australian History at UWA joins to discuss scandals in Government House and how they can reveal networks of influence.

The final speaker is Joy Hughes an historian whose research highlights the role of mid-century consorts and the changing of the guard since the end of World War II. 

Be Connected: Computer Skills Workshop 


The HHA is a Network Partner of Be Connected. Be Connected is an Australian government initiative committed to increasing the confidence, skills and online safety of older Australians.

Through the HHA you can improve your computer skills and get online. This will help you to keep up to date with what's happening at the HHA, find out the latest heritage news, and engage with like-minded communities both in Australia and around the world.

Hannah Clayton Atkin (Manager Communication, Membership and Development at the HHA) will support you through the first steps to using computers and the internet, and improving your digital skills.

Free workshop held at Customs House, Sydney.

The Vice-Regal Retreat: Southern Highlands Tour


This unique guided tour of the beautiful Southern Highlands, showcases its destination as a summer holiday resort during the 19th century. Once the NSW Governors came here for their holidays, the elite of Sydney followed, joining early grantees to form the idyllic lifestyle of summer hunts and hunt balls.


Judith Dunn OAM leads the tour and takes you into houses not usually open to the public (including Hopewood House, Throsby Park and Golden Vale Homestead). You will follow the ridge line of the Mittagong Range stud farms known as 'the nursery slopes of NSW’, enjoy exclusive fine dining experiences and curated tours including Joadja ghost town and Hillview. Other highlights: the rare surviving summer residence of 16 Governors and a beautiful vice-regal church.

Coffee Conversation: Carrawobitty - A Unique Interwar Homestead  


Constructed fully of concrete, in a very unique interwar architecture; Carrawobitty Homestead has a fascinating history of wealth and decline. Join Monica Wren, one of the current owners, and hear the story of the property; starting with the documented links to the First Australians, through colonisation, wealthy pastoralists, NSW Government, Soldier Settlements, and the long process of restoration.

Monica and her husband Ken had one goal in purchasing Carrawobitty - to restore her for the benefit of all and to ensure she has a vibrant and sustainable place in our future.   

NB. The venue for the Coffee Conversation is Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt Street, Sydney, 2000.

Walk: Gladesville Hospital Histories


Join Jennifer Farrar for a walk through the grounds of Australia's first purpose built mental health hospital designed by Mortimer Lewis in 1838. See the gardens planted to calm troubled minds and many of the elegant buildings built to reflect the new style of mental health treatment pioneered in Sydney by Dr Frederick Manning, the Gladesville Hospital's first Superintendent. 

Walk: Double Bay & Darling Point - A Celebrated Gardening Family    


Father and son Michael and William Guilfoyle had a huge influence on Australian horticulture. In this walk heritage landscape specialist Stuart Read outlines the story of the Guilfoyle family of nurserymen, horticulturists and landscape designers.

Concentrating on eastern Double Bay and sections of Darling Point, learn about the house of the key patron, Thomas Sutcliffe Mort’s mansion, Greenoakes (later, Bishopscourt) and glimpse remnant plantings from Guilfoyle’s Exotic Nursery, Sir John Hay’s experimental garden and Guilfoyle Park.

Storyteller: The Square, the River, and the Forger’s Foundations  

Sunday 8 November 2020, 10.00am - 1.00pm

Windsor is a sort of Eden for anyone who appreciates Australian history and heritage buildings.

Along of the banks of the Deerubbin that the English named Hawkesbury, ten British families arrived in 1794 to establish the village they called Green Hills - 'bread basket of the colony' - which was renamed Windsor as one of the Five Macquarie Towns. Here the farmers strove against floods and fire, here they rebelled against the Rum Corps, here they drank and danced, and here they were taught and married and buried. Their stories lie behind the buildings (including some of Greenway’s masterpieces), tombstones and place names, as Storyteller Jo Henwood will reveal as we wander, safely distanced, through this charming community.

Study: Stucco, Stone and Shingles - The Architecture of B J Waterhouse  


Regarded as one of the most outstanding residential architects working in Sydney in the early 20th century, Bertrand James Waterhouse (1876-1965) was initially influenced by the Arts & Crafts Movement and later the textures and stucco walls of the Mediterranean.

In this in-depth examination of Waterhouse's architectural career, led by architectural historian Robert Griffin, we begin with a lecture and morning tea at 'Nutcote' followed by a walking tour that takes in a range of properties.

Open House: Art Deco Inspired - Elizabeth Bay  


Dr Peter Sheridan AM and Jan Hatch are long term collectors of Art Deco inspired furniture, sculpture, ceramics and glass. Join them in their Elizabeth Bay home to hear how a unique and extensive private collection developed over time. View the furniture of Maurice Adams, Dominique, Eames, Wegner, Epstein, Hille and Halalballa. Enjoy designs by Lalique, Brandt, and Schneider along with artwork by Margaret Preston, Rover Thomas, Cressida Campbell and others. Bakelite and Catalin radios from the 1930s and 1940s will also be on display.

Coffee Conversation: Terragong - A Gentleman's Country Residence  


Join Terragong co-owner Simon Milner to hear about the extensive restoration work undertaken on this wonderful example of Colonial Georgian architecture. Built in 1858 as a gentleman’s county residence, Simon highlights the varied histories of the site – from the original slab hut (still standing today), through ownership by seven generations of the Marks family to its recreation by the current owners as a bespoke bed and breakfast with a focus on environmental sustainability.

NB. The venue for the Coffee Conversation is Pitt Street Uniting Church, 264 Pitt Street, Sydney, 2000.

Day Tour: All Aboard! The Dome and the Double Decker


Our tour starts at the site of the original Sydney Markets – now the Queen Victoria Building. Step aboard a double decker heritage bus for a bus ride to the 100-year-old Leichhardt Tramshed and explore the extensive collection of bus and transport memorabilia. We return to the QVB for a grand tour of this Victorian-Federation era wonder, saved from becoming a car park by public outcry. Learn about the history of the building from design and conception and the changes along the way including the Art Deco 'remodelling' that occurred during the 1930s. From the ground floor to level 2 we will climb up the spiral staircase for an HHA exclusive viewing of the majestic stained-glass inner and copper-sheath of the central dome.

Covid-19: Staff have undertaken the Australian Government infection control training. Event numbers will be limited and all participants will need to practise physical distancing of 1.5m from each other. All participants are to supply their own mask and wear it for the duration of the event. Only participants wearing masks will be able to attend the event. In line with our Covid-19 safety plan full participant (including guest) contact details will be required at the point of ticket purchase.

Pre-Sale tickets: a limited number of pre-sale tickets may be released for certain events. The final allocation will be released to coincide with the publication of the quarterly newsletter.

Tickets are not refundable. You have the right to a refund if the event to which you purchased a ticket is cancelled, rescheduled (and you cannot attend the rescheduled event) or significantly relocated. We are unable to offer refunds under any other circumstances including changing your mind, sickness or holidays.


Tickets are transferable. Please advise the office if you wish for someone else to attend using your ticket. Tickets are not transferable between events.

Contact Us

Historic Houses Association of Australia Limited
1A Carthona Avenue, Darling Point,

NSW, 2027 
enquiries@hha.net.au     02 9252 5554

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ABN: 40 282 275 317

© 2020 by Historic Houses Association of Australia Ltd


The Historic Houses Association of Australia is an independent registered charity.

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