Rippon Lea Estate

Rippon Lea is a large nineteenth century mansion surrounded by 7 hectares 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.


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 stables complex, surviving ironwork in the conservatory, port cochère and elsewhere and elaborate water reticulation system.

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

You can download Rippon Lea’s Conditions of Entry here.


Please note our 2019 Holiday Opening Hours here


Rippon Lea House and Gardens - Planning your visit


192 Hotham Street, Elsternwick 3185 VIC


May to August
10am – 4pm (Last entry 3.30pm)
September to April
Gardens: 10am – 5pm (Last entry 4.30pm)

Visit for details.
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.
Garden tours run on select days at 11am and 2pm.
Come early as tours do sell out!


Good Friday and Christmas Day.

Bookings Office (03) 9656 9889 Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm.
Entry Fees:

General Admission- Adult: $10, Concession: $7, Child (4-15 years): $4. Family (2 adults + 2 children): $20.
Tours- Mansion: $5*, Garden:$5*. *per person with general admission. Family tickets $35 for general admission + mansion OR garden tour
Glen Eira Residents - Garden Entry
From Monday 22 January 2018, residents of Glen Eira will have free access to the gardens at Rippon Lea Estate.
To obtain an entry card, residents must show acceptable forms of ID with proof of residency and complete an application form available in the Gatehouse on entry to the property. Please see Rippon Lea Estate's website for more information, plus terms and conditions -

A Virtual Reality headset is available for mobility impaired visitors courtesy of the State Trustees Australia Foundation.

For school bookings or group bookings, please contact our Bookings Office on (03) 9656 9889 Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm.

What we offer:

Wedding and Function Enquiries at Rippon Lea

For Garden Hire and Wedding enquiries contact the Functions team at or (03) 9656 9845


More information can also be found in the following brochures:

Download The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Wedding Brochure

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

Related content section

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.


VR headsets for Mobility Impaired Visitors

Visitors who have difficulty navigating the stairs and narrow entrances of the house can use a Virtual Reality Headset on request. These are provided courtesy of the State Trustees Australia Foundation.

"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

Related content