Picnic Sundays at Government House
The grounds of Government House are regularly opened for members of the public to have picnics on the manicured lawns. The next Picnic Sunday will be held in conjunction with a special Open Day on Sunday 16 October from 11am to 3pm, to acknowledge the succession of our new Sovereign, King Charles III.
Entry is free, and no registration is required.
History of the formal gardens
Formal gardens have been part of the estate from the time of Fernberg’s construction in 1865.
Botanist, John Bailey, and horticulturist, Ernest Bick, worked closely together to create the first Government House gardens and lawns in 1910 when the estate became the official residence of Queensland’s Governors.
Their successors have respected the original plan and the integrity of the site after carefully considering the potential impact on the overall character of the site and its heritage value.
Beds of brightly flowering annuals have maintained the cottage garden tradition, and impeccable lawns have been an important feature of Government House since 1910, enabling Governors to host garden receptions and ceremonies.
Rose rockeries, featuring almost 100 plants, have been preserved since the early twentieth century when rose trees, imported from France for Old Government House, were transplanted to Fernberg.
Roses also line the remnant carriage drive which once encircled the House. Among the tropical species which have thrived on the site are significant feature trees, including the magnificent cedar (Cedrela odorata) which has shaded the lawns at the front of the House for well over a century.