Experiment Farm Cottage is one of Australia's oldest residences, and now educates us about the lifestyles and dwellings of early English Settlers. You can visit Experiment Farm Cottage and join with a tour to learn about the cottage's history and the way of life the colony's early days. To help protect and care for the historic building, unaccompanied visits to the cottage are not allowed.
The site of Experiment Farm Cottage was part of the first land grant in Australia, which was given in 1789 by Governor Phillip to the ex-convict James Ruse. Ruse farmed the land and used the site as an experiment in self-sufficiency. He wanted to prove that an ex-convict could provide for his family in the new and foreign land with little external assistance. In 1793, the land was sold to a surgeon named John Harris, and he built a residence in the style of an Indian bungalow. This is the property that stands today. In the year 2000, The National Trust used historic artworks and sketches of the cottage to landscape the surrounding area in order to best recreate the original gardens and landscaping. The cottage is also furnished appropriately in the style preferred by John Harris. In the basement, The National Trust has also set up displays about the different residents of the property and the history of the land when it was owned by indigenous Australians.
While you are in the area you can also visit other buildings in the local historical precinct, including Hambledon Cottage, Elizabeth Farm
and the Queen's Wharf. It is easy to walk between all of these buildings which date back to the late 1700s and early 1800s. Address: 9 Ruse Street, Parramatta, NSW, 2150.