Discover one of the most prestigious neighbourhoods in Sydney, where beautiful mansions and heritage homes serving high tea sit alongside spectacular coastal walks and harbour beaches. Vaucluse is exclusive, elegant and naturally stunning.
History & heritage
Vaucluse House is a colonial mansion-turned-museum, set in a picturesque garden estate. It began life as a cottage but when colonial explorer William Charles Wentworth bought it in 1827, he built it into a stately home. Take a guided tour of Australia’s first official house museum.
Vaucluse is known for its sheltered harbour beaches. Shark Beach in Nielsen Park is popular with families, home to an enclosed swimming area, park and cafe. Divers will want to head east towards Bottle and Glass Point.
Another wonderful walking track is the 5km Federation Cliff Walk along rugged sandstone cliffs, connecting Dover Heights and Watsons Bay, and providing postcard views of the Pacific Ocean. Stop along the way at Macquarie Lighthouse, Australia’s oldest lighthouse designed by convict architect Francis Greenway.
Nielsen Park is a great picnic spot, while The Nielsen comprises a waterfront restaurant and casual takeaway kiosk, located in the restored 1914 Nielsen Park Kiosk. The Botanica is a farm-to-table fine dining restaurant and home to Sol Spa, if you’re after some extra indulgence. For coffee and casual cafe fare, visit The Trail, Belle Cafe or The Grumpy Baker.
Located in Sydney’s east between Rose Bay and Watsons Bay, getting to Vaucluse is easy by public transport. Take a bus from the city centre or Bondi Beach. For fabulous views of Sydney Harbour, hop on a ferry from Circular Quay to Watsons Bay and then take a bus or walk south for around 30 minutes, via Parsley Bay’s 1910-built cable footbridge to Vaucluse House.
Destination NSW acknowledges and respects Aboriginal people as the state’s first people and nations and recognises Aboriginal people as the Traditional Owners and occupants of New South Wales land and water.