Camden is famous for being the ‘Birthplace of the Nation’s Wealth’ and is on the traditional land of the Dharawal and Gundungurra people. It is where much of Australia’s contemporary agriculture began from wool to wheat to wine to dairy, you name it, so much was first grown and developed in this idyllic township. At the heart of all of this is one family, one house, and one estate: Camden Park House.
This stunning Georgian period mansion remains privately owned by the descendants of the family that began it all; the Macarthurs, descended from John and Elizabeth. And once a year, for just one weekend in September, the house and garden are opened to the public.
The Camden Park House Spring Open Weekend is always a must-see experience that allows you to visit this most incredible home, garden, stables and surrounding landscape. You can explore the historically significant Camden Park Collection which includes acquisitions, books, historical records, original portraits, and furniture many dating back to the early 1800s. The library collection is regarded as one of the best-preserved examples of a 19th Century home library as many books date back to the early days of the colony.
This house and family are of incredible historical importance, with John and Edwina Macarthur-Stanham now welcoming you and sharing with you their home and their history- all with a dose of classic country hospitality.
The township of Camden was once entirely owned by the Macarthur family and many of the historic buildings trace back to managers and worker cottages on the farm. Make your way to Camden and grab a coffee from one of the many busy cafes in Argyle Street. There is a local self-guided walking tour you can undertake by dropping into the Camden Visitor Information Centre as you approach Camden to help you explore, discover and learn about the town’s rich colonial history.
The homestead itself is nestle less than five minutes south-east from the town centre and is set on 1 000 acres, easily accessible by car. As you approach on Elizabeth MacArthur Avenue, you will drive past Belgenny Farm, once the original dwelling and farm facilities of the Macarthur family. This is now state government owned and preserved for educational and historical purposes, including a herd of Merino sheep descended from the original Merino sheep Elizabeth Macarther bred.
Meander through the country road up to Camden Park House and take in commanding views over the pastoral landscape. You can’t miss where to go, as no doubt on Open Weekend there is a steady flow of visitors.
If you are looking to tour the house, book your tickets prior as it’s a must-do for history buffs and the curious alike. The quality, content, and beauty of this Georgian mansion is unsurpassed and stunning. It’s quite hard to describe just how breathtaking, interesting, and genuinely unique the house is.
As for the garden, it’s equally a great place to explore. Home of the first commercial nursery in Australia during the golden age of plant hunters and collectors, the expansive garden is a botanical marvel. The red 'waratah camellia' was the first camellia introduced to Australia and Camden Park House is famously the home to several of these original bushes that bloom beautifully in Spring. Of course, the entire parkland style garden is beautiful for wandering and exploring. Kids will absolutely love it.
On Open Day Weekend the grand lawn is decked with country goods, Devonshire tea, coffees, and an array of gifts from Camden Park for you to take home. The garden is very accessible and a great place to wander for several hours exploring and discovering things like the gardener’s cottage, the glasshouses, the stables complex, and grand old trees. The field of daffodils is a highlight, and the spring flush of colour is the icing on the cake.
Camden Park House is a glorious day out, one not to miss.
Spring Open Weekend is held 16-17 September 2023
Book online at https://www.camdenparkhouse.com.au/