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White Louvres, Green Thumbs

If you're a self-professed green thumb, or aspiring to be one, and love local history and architecture, an invitation to attend Government House is a welcome one. This month, Her Honour the Honourable Vicki O'Halloran AO, Administrator of the Northern Territory invites you to pop by for a visit.

By Tierney Seccull

The gates and doors of Government House are propped open for two exciting Open Day events, which is something Her Honour confesses she looks forward to.

“I think it’s one of the real joys about this role, having people come to Government House. It’s something my husband Craig and I often talk about – it’s wonderful to see people choosing to come and experience Government House,” she says.

“What we often find, at these types of events that are not particular to a patronage of an organisation, or a specific group, is that Territorians come out that have never been to Government House before. It’s lovely to open it up and allow people to experience it.”

Peruse the garden and wander at your own pace past the many varieties of carefully tended-to plants and flowers. Drift leisurely within the confines of the white louvered walls dotted with tropical flower arrangements, learn some local history, and see the very rooms members of the Royal family have stayed in.

There’s a range of stalls to peruse from local community groups, and you’re sure to learn a thing or two during your visit, the friendly and welcoming team on hand to answer your burning questions.

“History buffs like to talk about Government House with our friendly staff, and some people spend quite a bit of time talking to the gardeners about what’s in the vegetable garden, or asking, ‘why isn’t my croton doing what it should be doing?’,” Her Honour laughs.

You might even reveal some lesser-known facts about the inner workings of Government House, like the chillies hanging in the cellar.

“People love the cellar – it’s a hit! When you go down the stairs, there’s a little part where you can bump your head, so I get some chillies out of the garden and sew them all together and hang them up as a little warning.”

There’s also a friendly skeleton lurking in the cellar, referred to fondly – for now – as Gus.

“His name changes every year, this year it’s Gus. It’s had far more regal names in the past, but we thought Gus was a good name for 2022. Don’t ask me why, I think a child suggested that to me, so Gus it is!”

For these little gems of inside intel and more, from the most famous house in the NT, head along and pay Her Honour a visit. She’s looking forward to seeing you!

WHEN FRI 24 JUN | 3-6PM SAT 25 JUN | 10AM-2PM
INFO | |

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