Admiralty House is the official Sydney residence of the Governor-General of Australia. It is located in the suburb of Kirribilli, on the northern foreshore of Sydney Harbour (adjacent to Kirribilli House, which is the Sydney residence of the Australian Prime Minister). This large, Italianate, sandstone mansion occupies the tip of Kirribilli Point. Once known as “Wotonga”, it has commanding views across Sydney Harbour to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
Admiralty House, its grounds, and Kirribilli House are usually open to the public once a year, sometime in spring when the gardens are at their best. Security concerns caused the cancellation of openings from 2001 to 2005. Admiralty House is at present an official residence of the Governor-General of Australia, and accommodates important overseas visitors to Sydney. The Royal Family and other dignitaries, such as the President of the United States and the Pope, are entertained at Admiralty House when they are in Sydney.
The ground floor of the house contains a vestibule and hallway, two reception rooms, a dining-room, a study and an elaborate central staircase. The residents' private rooms are on the upper floors. A landing on the staircase features elaborate stained glass panels in its windows. Kitchens and other service areas are housed in a wing added to the original structure. A stone gatehouse guards the front entrance to the establishment. The house is furnished extensively with colonial furniture, porcelain, ornaments and numerous historical artworks such as portraits of Captain James Cook and some former Governors-General, including Hallam Tennyson, 2nd Baron Tennyson. Many of these items were acquired for the nation by The Australiana Fund.