Historic View
Experience | history | Sydney | New South Wales

Historic View

Mrs Macquarie’s Point

by Susie Baber  |  5 February 2022

The end of Macquarie Point, overlooking the Harbour, is one of the best vantage points to enjoy the sights of Sydney. The peninsula sits between Garden Island to the east, and Bennelong Point (where the Sydney Opera House resides) to the west and is home to some great Sydney history.

The Chair and the Road

On the end of the point, with panoramic views across the harbour, is Mrs Macquarie’s chair. Commissioned by Governor Macquarie for his wife Elizabeth, the chair was hand carved out of a sandstone rock ledge by convicts in 1810. Mrs Macquarie was fond of spending time at what was then known as ‘Yurong’ or ‘Anson’s Point’, she often took harbourside strolls and this spot was one of her favourite places to relax. Above the chair is an inscription recording the completion of Mrs. Macquarie’s Road on 13th June 1816. The road ran from the original Government House to the end of the point, and remnants of it were discovered during excavations for the extension of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music in the1990s.

Elizabeth and her husband shared a vision to transform Sydney into a prosperous colony. With a keen interest in architecture, gardening and agriculture she had an influence on the design of many buildings constructed during her husband’s governorship as well as the design of the newly created Royal Botanical Gardens.

The Gardens and the Wall

Macquarie Point is part of the Royal Botanic Gardens which occupy 30 hectares of land wrapped around Sydney Harbour, in one of Sydney’s most spectacular positions, and is the oldest scientific institution in the country. Part of the original garden layout included a wall to separate the Governor’s private garden from the rest of the Domain. A small section of the convict built Macquarie Wall can be seen near the Gardens Shop in the Botanic Gardens, near here you can walk across the oldest culvert in Australia. The new road ran alongside the new wall and if you walk on the harbour side of the wall you will be treading the path of the original Mrs Macquarie’s Road.

Mrs Macquarie’s Point is an easy stroll from Circular Quay, past the Opera House and through the Botanic Gardens. From this vantage point you can admire the harbour bridge and the rising mountains in the distance, Kirribilli House on the opposite shore, Pinchgut Island and the Navy dockyards at Woolloomooloo.

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