Flora King brings to light three National Trust properties in Sydney that most city dwellers never knew existed.
An appreciation of history, art and culture is – like a taste for olives or smelly cheese – something that arrives with age. While it would be fair to say that an outing to view a collection of antique furniture or some dusty old oil paintings is for most youngsters akin to a hole in the head, there does inevitably come a time when the morose, self-confessed philistine within us surrenders the wheel, and an elder, more civilised being steps up to the helm.

Regardless of whether you’re an old time-heritage buff or just an ex-Playstation addict looking for some new kicks, Sydney is home to three hidden gems that promise to wet your cultural appetite and make for a far more interesting experience than sitting at home and watching Top Gear repeats.

If one day the realisation dawns that you’d rather spend an afternoon viewing a 19th century portraiture exhibition than go to the pub with your mates, don’t be alarmed. It happens to the best of us. Embrace the shift in values. Try the “new you” out for size. The chances are you won’t be looking back.

Regardless of whether you’re an old time-heritage buff or just an ex-Playstation addict looking for some new kicks, Sydney is home to three hidden gems that promise to wet your cultural appetite and make for a far more interesting experience than sitting at home and watching Top Gear repeats.

The S.H Ervin Gallery, the Old Government House and Lindesay House are all National Trust-listed heritage properties located in spots in and around the city that you probably never knew existed. One is an art gallery known only to local taxi drivers and perched on the highest point of Sydney’s Observatory Hill, another – in the green depths of the Parramatta Park – is a country home for the Governors of the early Colony, and the last is an 1834-built, perfectly preserved Georgian abode and the first property on the peninsula.

Be it browsing the wall-hangings of the current exhibition followed by a picnic lunch on the hill, a nose around Governor Macquarie’s study or a wander in some graceful gardens with a view out over Sydney Harbour, these are three individual day trips that will surely float any art or history lover’s boat and which, even for the less-discerning culture vultures amongst us, promise to be an activity out of the ordinary and an insight in to something other than the television.

The National Trust is a community-based, non-government organisation relying entirely on membership, fundraising and donations, so all the more reason for us to show our support and help preserve our nation’s heritage for generations to come.