The Old Parliament House Gardens were reconstructed by the National Capital Authority — with a view to recapturing their original glory and were reopened to the public in December 2004.
When the Australian Parliament opened in the provisional (now Old) Parliament House on 9 May 1927, Members and Senators were greeted with bare ground and a hedge, just half a metre high. There were no lawns, gardens or roses.
It took the perseverance of Robert Broinowski, Secretary of the Joint House Department, with the support of Sir Walter Kingsmill, President of the Senate, to get the idea of a garden started. 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. Despite the difficulties of the Depression era, Broinowski managed to complete the planting of the parliamentary gardens between 1932 and 1938.
Until 1989, the parliamentary gardens were not open to the public. They were used by Members, Senators and their staff as a retreat from the business of government. Today, the Old Parliament House Gardens are open for all Australians to enjoy their beautiful surrounds and unique history.
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.
Tours are available on the 1st Tuesday and 4th Friday of each month during Daylight Savings.
Guided walking tours are subject to availability. Bookings are essential.
For more information or bookings
Phone: (02) 6272 2902
Fax: (02) 6247 1875