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HOT: Australia Day at Government House, Melbourne

Every year on Australia Day 26 January, the official residence of Victoria’s Governor-General, Government House, opens its doors and the gardens to the public.

Australia Day Government House

It’s one of the best things to do with kids on Australia Day and all the activities are free!

Australia Day Government House Victoria

This is the one opportunity for the community to visit the historic house and its extensive gardens and so the lineup can be long ahead of the gates opening at 10:30am.

Australia Day Government House

My tip is to get there around 30 minutes before with snacks and sunscreen – there’s normally someone handing out balloons along the queue and street entertainment.

Australia Day Government House

Generally, the forecourt area host displays from community services such as the Royal Flying Doctor Service and Country Fire Authority.

Australia Day Government House

Kids can have the opportunity to visit the inside of a RFD plane and to ride a CFA fire engine.

Australia Day Government House

On our visit Collingwood Children’s Farm have a penned area to pet some of the animals.

Australia Day Government House

Inside the building Inside the Brick set up an amazing Lego display of Government House as well as free Lego play. That is the only part of Government House we see as the kids are not so interested in touring the building. You can access it from the side entrance without having to go through all of the house.


Find Hotels and Airbnbs near Government House Drive, Melbourne, Australia


Australia Day Government House

Various sporting clubs also have try-out activities, include croquet and tennis and AFL plus free face painting.

Australia Day Government House

Australia Day Government House

For refreshments, there are various food trucks and cheap and delicious scones from the Country Women’s Association. Otherwise BYO picnic and enjoy the live music throughout the day on the West Lawn.

Australia Day Government House

Just outside Government House other Australia Day festivities include the multicultural Australia Day Parade down Swanston St/St Kilda Road and the RACV Australia Day Festival in Kings Domain.

Australia Day Government House

Australia Day Government House

Click here for all Australia Day events in Melbourne

Tips for Australia Day at Government House:

  • Government House is 1.5 kilometres and a 20-minute walk from Flinders Street Station. There is no vehicle access to Government House;
  • Parking is limited and parts of St Kilda Road are closed off for the Australia Day parade. If you arrive early you may find a paid parking spot further down St Kilda Road or surrounding streets. There is limited metered parking on Linlithgow and Birdwood Avenues;
  • Bring hat, sunscreen, water as there’s not a lot of shade;
  • Arrive 30 minutes before to beat the queues;
  • You will need to pass through a security checkpoint and bag inspection at entry;
  • Free entry;
  • Free activities;
  • BYO picnic to enjoy on the Western Lawn or buy something from a range of food vendors; and
  • Access is pram friendly.

This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase using the links there is no extra cost to you and I earn a small commission that helps me to provide free, valuable and useful information for you! Thanks Joyce

cropped Kristyna Hess Lockdown Portraits x

Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

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