Built originally as an Inn in the 1830s, the collection of buildings has operated over the years as a gentleman’s residence, guest house, boarding house and from 1907-1936 under the ownership of John McManamey as an exclusive school – Woodford Academy. In 2022, a rare 17th century Dutch Master painting was also discovered in Woodford’s artwork collection.
Bequeathed to the National Trust in 1979 by John McManamey’s sole surviving daughter Gertrude, the Woodford Academy is today a museum that offers a unique glimpse of colonial life in the Blue Mountains.
To find out more about Woodford Academy’s unique history, read about the collection of letters found in a suitcase that tell the real-life story of Victorian lovers. Or discover how the Dutch Master was found in the property’s collection in 2022. On-site security is present at Woodford, and the Dutch Master painting is not kept on premises.
How to get here
Woodford Academy is located at 90-92 Great Western Highway, Woodford NSW.
By car: It takes approximately two hours to drive to Woodford Academy from the Sydney CBD. Take the Great Western Highway and turn onto Woodford Academy. Parking is available on Vale Rd, accessed via Woodford Ave from either direction of the Great Western Highway.
By public transport: Woodford Academy is about a fifteen-minute walk from Woodford train station. There is a crossing at the lights on the Great Western Highway.
Planning ahead is the best way to get the most out of your visit to Woodford Academy. Here, you’ll find answers to some of our most frequently-asked questions about visiting.
When should I visit?
Woodford Academy is a significant historic attraction in the Blue Mountains that is perfect for visiting all year round. Since it’s only open on the third Saturday of each month, make sure you add it to your itinerary when visiting the Blue Mountains.
How much time do I need?
To fully appreciate the grounds and buildings, we recommend that you allow two hours for your visit to Woodford Academy.
What should I wear?
A day out in the Blue Mountains can get chilly, and with historic buildings and gardens to explore, we recommend that you wear warm clothing and shoes that are suitable for walking outdoors in the gardens.
Will children enjoy visiting?
Woodford Academy is very family friendly, and a great way to introduce your children to aspects of Australian history. The old classrooms and school desks are always a hit with kids, and there is plenty of outdoor garden space for stretching busy legs. We also offer a fascinating education program for school visits.
Can I bring my pet?
Friendly dogs on leash are welcome on the grounds of Woodford Academy, however we are unable to accommodate pets inside the house (excluding assistance animals). Thank you for understanding.
Are there guided tours?
Our team of passionate volunteers can offer guided tours of Woodford Academy. Enquire with our friendly team on arrival.
Can tour groups visit?
Groups are more than welcome at Woodford Academy. To book a group visit, call (02) 9258 0123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Is it wheelchair accessible?
Woodford Academy is an old building with uneven flagstones, stairs and narrow walkways, which makes it unsuitable for wheelchair access.
Can I hire Woodford Academy for an event?
The historic 1870s dining room is a unique location for events and available venue hire. For more information, please visit our Venue Hire page.