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Government House, Hobart

Government House, Hobart is the home and official residence of the Governor of Tasmania, Australia.The house in the Queens Domain, near the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, is the official residence of the governor of Tasmania. There have been three Government Houses, all in Hobart. In 1805, after two years in a tent at Sullivans Cove, Governor Collins moved into the first Government House - a new wooden hut in Barrack Square. As local bricks gradually became available the hut was extended, but it was a primitive three-room home that let in the wind and rain.

The second Government House was at the junction of Macquarie Street and what is now Elizabeth Street was built in 1817. It had 14 rooms on two storeys and had servants' quarters, a coach house and stables. But it was badly built - of brick, wood and stucco, with later extension of sandstone which was demolished in 1858.

Finally the work was started in 1855, on a hill on the 37 acre grounds that overlooks the Royal Tasmanian Botanic Gardens and the Derwent estuary. Furniture was imported from London.Sandstone was quarried on site (the holes were made into ornamental pools), cedar and teak were recycled from an old ship and slate for the roof was imported from Wales. | Sir Henry Fox Young was the first Governor who occupied the house as residence, moving to the capital from Government Cottage, Port Arthur, Tasmania. The House' Construction was completed in 1857 and on the 2 January 1858.

Apart from the conservatory, which was rebuilt to original designs in 1991, Government House remains as it was when it was first occupied. Tasmania's Government House is today regarded as one of the best Vice Regal residences in the Commonwealth. Designed by colonial architect William Porden Kay, it is a fine example of an early Victorian country house in neo-Gothic style and is one of the largest of its type in Australia.

The Outstanding exterior features of the house include exceptional stonework, individually carved sandstone chimney pots and bas-relief sculptures.The scale, detail and finish of the entrance hall, grand corridor and state rooms together with their furniture are unequalled in Australia. Much of the furniture ordered especially for the house and shipped out from England is still in daily use.

Government House has since 1990 had an annual open day, an initiative of the then Governor, General Sir Phillip Bennett.The house was the venue of a busy round of annual receptions, dinners and other events.