Historic Sydney Harbour cottages reopen their doors for guests

historic cottages

Maybe it’s because we’ve been overloaded with staid CBD hotel stays over the years, but lately we’ve been hankering for character and charm when it comes to our city accommodation choices.

So, when news landed this week from NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service that two of their heritage cottages on Sydney Harbour have been repurposed for guests, well, you can imagine the excitement.

We’ve been unabashed fans of heritage stays since our recent weekend escape to the Q Station in Manly, just 20 minutes’ drive from the 50 So What office, but a world away from the stresses of city life.

Whether you’re a local like us looking for a staycation with a difference, or a visitor to the city looking for the best of both worlds, you can now add Gardeners Cottage, in Vaucluse, and Middle Head Officers Quarters, in Mosman, to your options.

Beautifully restored with the help of two prominent Sydney heritage architects, the cottages now provide boutique accommodation in some of the city’s most prestigious suburbs and allow guests to experience the natural beauty of Sydney Harbour National Park.

Gardeners Cottage, Vaucluse
historic cottage
Pic credit: John Spencer

This State Heritage-listed sandstone cottage, built in the early 1850s in the picturesque Victorian Gothic Revival style, is nestled in the peaceful, leafy surrounds of beautiful Nielsen Park, Vaucluse.

The self-contained cottage has two bedrooms and sleeps up to four people, making it an ideal choice for two couples or a small family.

Pic credit: John Spencer

Guests can enjoy a range of nearby activities including a stroll along the Hermitage Foreshore track with stunning views of the harbour, city skyline and Strickland Estate, a refreshing dip at popular Shark Beach and a meal at Nielsen Park’s gourmet restaurant, The Nielsen.

Rates: From $380 per night. Minimum two-night stay. Click here for more info.

Middle Head Officers Quarters, Mosman
historic stay
Pic credit: Gareth Pickford

Listed on the State Heritage Register, these two semi-detached cottages are located in the historic Middle Head fort precinct in Mosman.

The cottages were built around 1880 to a design by the renowned Colonial Architect James Barnet in the Victorian Regency Style for the commissioned officers in charge of the garrison manning the Middle Head battery.

Guests will feel like they’ve stepped back in time when they stay in these impressive residences, looking out over a defensive moat to the harbour and with 19th century military fortifications just a short stroll away.

Despite the peaceful seclusion amongst coastal heath and woodland, the self-contained cottages are conveniently located close to spectacular harbour walks, Taronga Zoo, cafes and restaurants at Chowder Bay, Headland Park and George’s Heights, and the boutiques of Mosman.

Pic credit: Gareth Pickford

Each cottage has two bedrooms and sleeps up to four people. The cottages can be booked individually or together, and one cottage is wheelchair accessible. Rates: From $400 per night, per cottage. Minimum two-night stay.

For more information, or to book online visit here.

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