Australia’s oldest remaining building?

The oldest remaining building in Australia is Wiebbe Hayes’ fort in the Houtman-Abrolhos Islands off Geraldton in Western Australia. Other, more intact contenders include Cooks’ Cottage in Melbourne and Elizabeth Farm in Parramatta.

There is a degree of controversy over the oldest building in Australia. Many people erroneously think it’s Cadmans Cottage in the Rocks, Sydney. Built in 1816, it has undergone many uses, including a water police HQ and a tourist information centre. Cadmans Cottage now opens for tours on the first and third Sunday of every month.

The oldest building in Australia: Elizabeth Farm?

Cadmans Cottage isn’t even the oldest heritage building in Sydney, however. That honour goes to Elizabeth Farm in the suburb of Parramatta. 22km west of Sydney CBD, Elizabeth Farm is best visited on the Parramatta ferry. Built in 1793 (although significantly altered since then), Elizabeth Farm was the home of John Macarthur.

The oldest building in Australia

It is widely believed that the oldest building in Sydney and Australia’s oldest building is Elizabeth Farm in the Sydney suburb of Rosehill. Built in 1793 by John Macarthur, it originally served as a property for Macarthur and his family, making it the oldest house in Australia. Still in use today, the historic home is now open to the public as a museum from Wednesday to Sunday each week.  

Macarthur was an extremely colourful character. He dabbled in politics mainly through organising plots to overthrow governors. Macarthur also managed to kick off the enormous Australian wool industry.

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