The Old Parliament House Gardens are located in the heart of the Parliamentary Zone on either side of Old Parliament House. The Gardens have been restored to their former glory, enhanced with the introduction of features such as seating pavilions, pergolas, rose arbours, pathways, gateways and the refurbishment of the tennis courts and bowling green.
When Members and Senators arrived in Canberra for the opening of Provisional (Old) Parliament House in 1927 they were met with bare ground and a hedge, just half a metre high, planted by the Superintendent of Parkes and Gardens, Charles Weston. Sporting facilities - a bowling green, tennis courts and a cricket pitch - were quickly established in the gardens for the exclusive use of parliamentarians.
The idea of a garden languished for several years until Robert Broinowski, Secretary of the Joint House Department, took up the cause. With the assistance of the National Rose Society of New South Wales, Broinowski initiated the design and planting of an open garden based on patterned rose and annuals display beds, set in lawns and with a minimum of trees. Many of the roses were donated by rose societies, companies and individuals, and Parliament House staff.
The Old Parliament House Gardens are comprised of two separate gardens, within each are located two rose gardens:
- House of Representatives Garden
- Senate Garden
The Old Parliament House Gardens are open to the public year round:
- Summer hours (during daylight savings): 7am to 8pm
- Winter hours: 7am to 5pm
Old Parliament House Gardens Guided Walking Tours
Enjoy the history, significance and stunning beauty of the Old Parliament House Gardens on a guided walking tour.
Guided walking tours are subject to availability. Bookings are essential.
The Gardens are available for public and corporate functions by contacting the National Capital Authority on 02 6272 2901 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information can be found under Venues on National Land.
The tennis courts in the House of Representatives and Senate Gardens are available for public hire. Contact Tennis Canberra on email@example.com.
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