Sydney has plenty of top attractions and sights to see, from the iconic Sydney Opera House to the Harbour Bridge and beyond. Mrs Macquarie’s Chair sits above Sydney’s picturesque harbour on a peninsula that juts out over the sea.
Formed of exposed sandstone rock that was hand-carved into a bench by convicts in 1810, it was built especially for Governor Macquarie’s wife, Elizabeth. The peninsula it sits on is also named after the Governor’s wife and forms part of The Domain, which can be found near the colourful Royal Botanic Gardens.
The History of Mrs Macquarie and Her Chair
Mrs Macquarie was the wife of Major-General Lachlan Macquarie who governed New South Wales between 1810 and 1821. According to legend, she spent a lot of time sitting on the rocks and gazing out to sea spotting ships that were sailing from Great Britain into the harbour. It was one of her favourite spots to relax and soak up the panoramic views.
The chair itself is the most prominent part of the landscape and the attraction that draws in the most visitors, but it’s not the only thing to see there. Above the chair there is a stone inscription that refers to the nearby Mrs Macquarie’s Road. The route was built between 1813 and 1818 and runs from what was originally Government House to Mrs Macquarie’s Point. Again, it was built for Elizabeth on request from the Governor himself.
Despite inscriptions and references to the route, it no longer exists apart from a culvert which the road used to run along.
Finding Mrs Macquarie’s Chair
The peninsula that the chair sits on perches between the picturesque Garden Island peninsula to the east of Sydney and Bennelong Point to the west (which is where you’ll find the Sydney Opera House).
Facing the north-east and pointing towards Fort Denison and the ocean, the chair and its surroundings prove to be a popular lookout point for visitors to soak up the panoramic views from and explore the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge from a different perspective.
Once you’ve discovered the city’s major attractions from ground level, why not head up into the peninsula to experience it from a different perspective? Not only will you be exposed to stunning sea and harbour views, but you’ll also get to learn about a little slice of history that still imbues this part of Australia.