View of the front facade, Elizabeth Bay House.

Elizabeth Bay House

Top choice in Kings Cross & Potts Point

Now dwarfed by 20th-century apartments, Colonial Secretary Alexander Macleay's elegant Greek Revival mansion was one of the finest houses in the colony when it was completed in 1839. The architectural highlight is an exquisite oval saloon with a curved and cantilevered staircase. There are lovely views over the harbour from the upstairs rooms. Drop down to the twin cellars for an introductory audiovisual with a weird beginning.

The grounds – a sort of botanical garden for Macleay, who collected plants from around the world – extended from the harbour all the way up the hill to Kings Cross. Traces remain, including a little hidden grotto reached by taking a path leading between 16 and 18 Onslow Ave.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kings Cross & Potts Point attractions

1. The Cross Arts Projects

0.18 MILES

This little commercial gallery stages interesting curated shows, including lots of Aboriginal art.

2. Fitzroy Gardens

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3. McElhone Stairs

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4. Embarkation Park

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5. Artspace

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6. Woolloomooloo Wharf

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7. Coca-Cola Sign

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8. Rushcutters Bay Park

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