Rippon Lea House and Gardens

Rippon Lea is a large nineteenth century mansion surrounded by 7 acres of Victorian pleasure gardens.

It is listed on the National Heritage Register because it is one of the finest examples of an original suburban estate in Australia.

For the latest details of things to do at Rippon Lea visit the Rippon Lea Website.

Rippon Lea is open to the public all year and has events, exhibitions and offers wedding and venue hire.


Brief History

In 1868 Marion and Frederick Sargood purchased 11.3 hectares of scrubland in Elsternwick and began building a mansion and Victorian gardens as a lifetime’s work.

Sargood was knighted in 1890 and when he died in 1903, Lady Sargood sold the property to the Premier of Victoria, Sir Thomas Bent. When Bent died in 1909, Rippon Lea’s next owner Benjamin Nathan moved in with his family in 1910. Nathan’s daughter, Mrs Louisa Jones inherited the property in 1935.

Louisa and her family loved entertaining and Rippon Lea, after its redecoration in 1938, became the scene of lavish balls, parties, family weddings, and musical performances.

During the 1960s and early 1970s Louisa, with her children’s support, fought a compulsory acquisition order to give four acres of Rippon Lea’s pleasure grounds to the adjoining Australian Broadcasting Commission. The fight was won and upon her death in 1972, Rippon Lea passed to the care of the National Trust.

The property is also significant for the extensive nineteenth century basement kitchen complex, the range of bathrooms illustrative of the different periods of ownership, the comprehensive 1930’s entertainment complex and intact dining room interior, the stales complex, surviving ironwork in the conservatory, port cochère and elsewhere and elaborate water reticulation system.



Rippon Lea House and Gardens - Planning your visit


192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick 3185 VIC


Sept to April: Daily 10am to 5pm (last entry 4:30pm)
May to Aug: Daily 10am to 4pm

Entry to the House is by Guided Tour only, which can be booked upon arrival at the Gatehouse.
Guided House Tours are subject to volunteer availability and run half hourly from 10:30am to 3:00pm. Come early as tours do sell out!


Good Friday and Christmas Day

(03) 9523 6095 or call Bookings Office on 03 9656 9889 Mon-Fri
Entry Fees:

House & Garden: Adult: $15 Concession: $12, Child (4-15 years): $9, Family (2 adults + 2 children): $35

Garden Only: Adult: $10, Concession: $7, Child (4-15 years): $4, Family (2 adults + 2 children): $20.00.

For groups of more than ten people please contact our Bookings Office 9656 9804.

Schools bookings must contact 9656 9817.

What we offer:

Wedding and Function Enquiries at Rippon Lea

For Garden Hire and Wedding enquiries contact: Monica Galbraith, Events & Business Development Manager. Tel: 96569815 Email:

More information can also be found inthe following brochures:

Download The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Wedding Brochure.

Download The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Functions and Venue Hire Brochure.

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Education Programs

Rippon Lea has two schools programs that are great for lower primary student levels with either a science focus or a Then and Now experience.
We also offer a VCE Geography program.


Group Bookings

For groups of ten or more Rippon Lea offers the opportunity to pre-book house and garden tours. You can also drop in for a picnic at our gardens, as well as lunch and Devonshire tea packages at the Gatehouse.



This classic venue is home to picturesque gardens including an ornamental lake, orchard, fernery and sweeping lawns where elegance and magnificence combine creating the perfect surroundings for your special occasion.


Photography and Filming

Rippon Lea is a unique location for filming and photography. For information on location fees or photography, video and film - please enquire.


Venue Hire

With a magnificent ballroom leading out onto an impressive pool and over 14 acres of gardens, Rippon Lea House & Gardens is the perfect venue for your next function. Garden birthday parties and picnics or family gatherings. The Ballroom is an impressive venue for receptions, corporate entertaining and gala dinners.


Children's Birthday Parties

Gather your friends and class mates for an Old Fashioned themed birthday party at Rippon Lea. Parties are designed for children aged between 5 - 12 years and can be organised on any weekend. 
There are two options, the Old Fashioned Party and the Old Fashioned Boat Party.


"A score of years ago Rippon Lea was a flat, sandy waste; now it is a model landscape garden, showing nature idealised and full of delightful surprises.... The place is at Elsternwick, a low-lying seaside suburb without natural beauty, and it is an illustration of the successful combination of money, skill and taste."

The Sydney Mail, 13 September 1902

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