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Ayers House Museum

See what life was like for Australians in colonial times at this historic mansion-turned-museum.

Ayers House Museum is an iconic Adelaide mansion built in the 1850s. Sir Henry Ayers, the five-time Premier of South Australia, lived in this mansion on North Terrace for 42 years. The house is rich with history, and since Ayers’ death it’s had a number of purposes. It was a dance hall, an open-air café and a nurses’ training centre. Today, the Ayers House Museum is dedicated to the history of the residence and its inhabitants and is owned by the National Trust of Australia, an organization that conserves heritage places and objects.


Explore the posh surroundings and gain insight of the life of not just the Ayers, but also the people of Adelaide in the 19th century. The house was meticulously restored by the National Trust. It features original silverware, furnishings and a 300 kilogram (660-pound) chandelier, all originally owned by the Ayers family. 


The building itself is famous for its painted ceilings. Look up as you stroll through the museum, as each room features hand stenciling. Upon entering the formal dining room, you’ll see one of the most significant painted ceilings in all of Australia. The ongoing care of the National Trust ensures that all of the ceilings remain in prime condition.

Take the guided tour to get an authentic experience of the times and customs of 19th-century Adelaide. Tours can be coupled with morning or afternoon tea. During the About Time History Festival every May, a costumed butler, housekeeper and cook give after-dark tours by candlelight. The actors wear full period attire, and this is a great way to see the house.


Ayers House Museum is located within the North Terrace cultural precinct, just a short walk from the CBD. A free City Loop bus stops close to the museum, as well as other attractions in central Adelaide. On-site parking is available for a fee. 








The museum is open daily except Monday, Good Friday and Christmas Day.


Guide to Exploring around Ayers House Museum


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