Paddington’s Government House Celebrates the Coronation of King Charles III and Queen Camilla

As the United Kingdom crowns King Charles III and Queen Camilla, the Government House in Paddington, under the Commonwealth of Australia, will also celebrate this historical event with an Open Day. 

On Saturday, 6 May 2023, the gates of Government House Estate will open to the public from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. to commemorate the coronation. The event promises plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy.

Attendees can celebrate this historic day by donning a Government House costume crown and walking down the red carpet to sit upon the “royal throne” for a photo opportunity. Selfie sticks at the ready!

In addition to the crown festivities, there will be activities to keep children entertained, including face painting, tennis, and a scavenger hunt. Visitors are encouraged to explore the Estate, which will be riddled with trivia, and bring their answers to the friendly volunteers at the Information Hub to collect a limited edition Coronation Coin.

Knowledgeable volunteer guides will be on hand to talk about the history of the house and the constitutional, ceremonial, and community duties of the Governor. Guided garden tours led by the Horticultural Team will depart from The Queen’s Statue at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. A moderate level of fitness and comfortable walking shoes are recommended.

Visitors can experience the thrill of the RAAF Super Hornet flyover at 1:00 p.m. and enjoy the pomp and ceremony of the local Town Crier’s decree at 1:15 p.m.

Food options include a British-style lunch from London Spudss, sweet treats from King of Cakes, and a liquid refreshment from the Tim Adams Specialty Coffee van. Live music will be provided by the Brisbane Excelsior Band and Queensland Police Service Pipes and Drums.

As one of the Governor’s patronage organizations, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland (RACQ) will also be onsite.

While the event is free, registration is required, and street parking will be available on Fernberg Road and surrounding streets. No pets (assistance dogs excepted) or alcohol will be permitted.

Published 4-May-2023

Government House in Paddington Opens to Public to Commemorate Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

The historic Government House in Paddington will be holding an Open Day as part of the year-long celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The special Open Day will take place on Saturday, 13 March 2022, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The guests may tour parts of Government House and enjoy the picturesque, heritage-listed gardens of the Fernberg estate.   

The year-long celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was officially launched on Sunday, 6 Feb 2022, when Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne following the death of her father,  King George VI.

Since 1910, the Government House is the official home of the Queensland Governors, the personal representative of Her Majesty The Queen. Currently, Her Excellency the Honourable Dr Jeannette Young PSM, Governor of Queensland, and her husband  Professor Graeme Nimmo RFD are the 17th vice-regal couple to have resided in the estate. She was sworn into office in November 2021 and is the 12th personal representative of Queen Elizabeth II.

Every year, the Open Days welcome school kids and tour groups as well as Christmas revelers during the holidays. This year, all visitors are expected to be fully vaccinated to join the Open Day.

Visitors to the Paddington landmark may use the Fernberg Road gate’s pedestrian access, where staff members will be ready to assist the people. On-street parking spaces are available on Fernberg Road. 

The taking of videos is not permitted during Government House Functions or photography within the house. As a matter of courtesy, guests are requested to turn their mobile phones off or to silent mode. 

New Statue of Queen Elizabeth Proposed For Platinum Jubilee

A new statue of Queen Elizabeth II has been proposed, in celebration of her 2022 Platinum Jubilee. The statue will be the state’s second monument of Her Majesty, which will complement the sculpture of her at the Government House in Paddington.

The idea was broached by MP Jarrod Bleijie to the State Government as the 95-year-old Queen marks her Platinum Jubilee this year. She is the longest-reigning monarch of the United Kingdom and the 53 members of the Commonwealth, including Australia.

Mr Bleijie believes that Queen Elizabeth’s new statue should stand in a prominent place, accessible for all Queenslanders to see. He is hopeful the state has begun discussions with Buckingham Palace regarding the new sculpture.

Statue at Government House

In September 1986, the Honourable Sir Walter Campbell unveiled Queen Elizabeth’s first statue in Queensland at the corner of George and Alice Streets at the Queen’s Place in the CBD. It is one of two bronze sculptures of Her Majesty as created by South Australian artist Dr John Dowie.

Photo Credit: Australians for Constitutional Monarchy/Facebook

The statue depicts Queen Elizabeth in her 50s. It was subsequently relocated from the CBD to the Government House in Paddington in May 2016. 

“The statue is emblematic both of the central role the Crown plays in our constitutional arrangements, as she looks back from here towards Parliament House and the Executive Building, and of the enduring, warm affection and high regard in which Her Majesty is held by Queenslanders,” former Governor of Queensland Paul de Jersey said during the 2016 move.

“It is now my great honour to unveil this plaque, marking the relocation of the statue of Her Majesty The Queen to its new home here, in the grounds of “the peoples’ house”, where I know it will be enjoyed and marvelled at by the many thousands of people who visit each year!” 

Here’s When to See the Annual Christmas Lights at Paddington’s Government House

For a lot of families, cruising the neighbourhood at night to admire some dazzling Christmas lights is a cherished holiday tradition. If you’re looking for the best display in Paddington, then plan a trip to the Government House this December. 

From the 13th to 20th of Dec 2019, the Government House will be open to the public for its annual Christmas lights spectacle. The heritage-listed mansion will be lit from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

For the first time in this long-held tradition, visitors may come inside to view the gorgeous Christmas tree in the Drawing Room. Expectedly, Gavel the Vice-Regal dog will be greeting the visitors but the verdict is still out on whether the pup is in a Christmas costume or his usual police uniform. 

Photo Credit: Governor of Queensland/Facebook

Also another first — the garden lights on display will be three times bigger for 2019. Sections that haven’t been illuminated before will be lit up with colourful lights. 

2016 Christmas Lights Display

2017 Christmas Lights Display

2018 Christmas Lights Display

This is a free event that families or groups must take advantage of. This joyous season is a time to make treasured memories, especially with impressionable kids. 

The Government House was built in 1865 as the official residence for the Governor of Queensland, who is also the representative of the monarchy of Australia. Over the years, this mansion hosted parties and celebrations during the party season of December, especially when members of the royal family are in the country.

Photo Credit: Old Government House Brisbane/Facebook

Visitors will be asked to take the pedestrian access gate at 168 Fernberg Road as there will be no on-site parking available.  

In lieu of paying fees, visitors may make gold coin donations to the QCWA Public Rural Crisis Fund.

Tour the Fernberg Government House in Paddington for Free

The Government House, located at 170 Fernberg Road in Paddington, opens its doors at least twice a year to the general public.

On Saturday, the 1st of June, the heritage-listed site, which is also known as the Fernberg, will be hosting another Open Day and guided tour from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Visitors to the Government House will have the opportunity to see parts of the property up close for free. Guests will also be allowed to take videos or photos (no flash) of the premises for their keepsakes.

Vendors will be present on the grounds to sell food and drinks during the Open Day. However, guests are also encouraged to bring their own snacks if they want to have a picnic in the gardens. The Australian Army Band Brisbane will be there to provide the music and entertainment.

Since 1910, the governors of Queensland have made the Fernberg their temporary residence. Leaders and royalties of other counties have dined and held meetings at this mansion with Australian officials.

The family of His Excellency, the Honourable Paul de Jersey, has been living at the Government House since 2014. And while visitors might not be able to personally see the governor this Saturday, Gavel, the Vice-Regal Dog, will be there to welcome the public. He’ll also be roaming the grounds all day to greet or play with the guests.

Photo Credit: Governor of Queensland/Facebook

This Open Day will be quite special as Queensland is observing its 160th anniversary of independence from New South Wales.

Visitors are expected to enter at the gates at either 168 Fernberg Road or by the Norman Buchan Park in Baroona Road.

The Government House in Paddington Lights Up & You’re Invited To View It For Ten Nights!

On 8th December to 17th December, drop by the Government House in Paddington for a spectacular show of Christmas lights display.

Everybody is welcome to visit from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. to view the light display this year, which highlights some parts of the house and the Estate gardens. The property boasts of 1,750m lights and over 12,000 bulbs.

Bring your loved ones with you and take in the magnificent sight. Don’t forget to take photos as well with such a beautiful backdrop that is perfect to send as postcards or to have framed in your home and become one of your beautiful Christmas memorabilia.

Entrance is free.

Government House in Paddington To Hold Open Day

Paddington’s Government House, Brisbane’s premier heritage site, is opening its gates on the 3rd of June for its annual Open Day. During this yearly event, visitors get to tour parts of the Governor’s official residence and learn about the history of the place. The event will start at 12:00 p.m. and end at 4:00 p.m.


Remembering Fernberg

Built in 1865, this 19th-century structure was previously known as Fernberg. The house was originally owned by Johann Heussler, a German immigrant who moved to Australia and then finally settled in Brisbane due to his poor health. He commissioned architect Benjamin Backhouse to design the house.

John Stevenson purchased the house from Mr. Heussler in the mid 1880s when the latter fell into financial difficulties. He asked architect Richard Gailey to design additions and make alterations to the house.

The house was transformed into a mansion with the thoughtful addition of new sections like a gentleman’s room, a gymnasium, an aviary, a five-stall stable, a bush house, a glass house, and an asphalt tennis court. However, the economic recession affected Mr Stevenson so badly that he had to sell the house.


A House Reborn

In 1911, the government purchased the beleaguered property and declared it as a permanent government house. Renovations and alterations immediately took place, such as the installation of new floor coverings, rolling of roadways, and installation of fencing.

The event is free. Visitors are invited to come and appreciate the heritage site, plus spend a pleasant afternoon on the grounds.

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