The health and safety of our visitors, volunteers and staff is of primary importance to us. With the current Covid-19 cluster developments in South Australia and the State government's newly announced restrictions, we have made the cautious decision to cancel free tours of Urrbrae House in November 2020. We look forward to welcoming you back to Urrbrae House in 2021.
The Urrbrae House gardens and Waite Arboretum remain open to walkers but please remember to maintain government recommended social distancing if you are in the gardens and/or Arboretum. If you are exploring the gardens especially with younger visitors, you might like to try our Urrbrae House Gardens Treasure Hunt activity (you can check your answers afterwards). If you are walking through the Arboretum, you might enjoy the Wildlife Orienteering Trail.
The team at the Waite Historic Precinct cover many different roles. In order to contact the best person for your enquiry, please see the listing below. As our staff are currently working remotely, the best way to contact us is via email.
- Urrbrae House General enquiries
- Waite Arboretum General enquiries
- Urrbrae House Historic Precinct, Manager and Historian, Lynette Zeitz
- Waite Arboretum and Waite Conservation Reserve, Dr Kate Delaporte
- Urrbrae House Gardens, Barbara Wills (Events), Erica Boyle (Volunteers), Dr Kate Delaporte (Horticulture)
Access and safety
Urrbrae House: Please note that when visiting Urrbrae House you are entering a building constructed in 1891 as a family home. The original balustrades (railings) around the outside verandahs and the inside Main Hall stairs are much lower than those in more recent buildings. Please take care not to lean on or over the balustrades.
Children are most welcome visitors to Urrbrae House but, for their safety, we ask that young visitors be supervised by an accompanying adult at all times.
Due to the original construction of Urrbrae House as a family residence, visitors who use wheelchairs and other mobility assistance are able to access the top floor of the building only. This includes the following rooms: Main Hall, Drawing Room, Arboretum Exhibition Room, Dining Room, Peter Waite Exhibition Room, Servery and Butler’s Pantry.
Accessible parking is available at the rear of Urrbrae House, enter the Waite Campus, off Gate 3 from Waite Road, Urrbrae. For those using wheelchairs and other mobility devices such as walkers access to the Urrbrae House is via the eastern glass door of the building which is adjacent to the accessible parking area.
Gardens: The Sensory Garden is wheelchair accessible and there are paved pathways throughout other sections of the Gardens.
Our Photo Scavenger Hunt sheet is a fun activity that encourages people to explore Urrbrae House and the adjacent gardens in one hour. It is designed for ages 5-99. You can download your sheet here.
Cooling and heating
Please note that Urrbrae House is not air-conditioned, and in summer cooling is provided by fans only. Visitors are asked to note that the building does not have central heating in winter.
Visitors are welcome to walk their dogs on a lead in the Urrbrae House Gardens and along Walter Young Avenue. To protect the native fauna and precious plants no dogs are allowed in the Waite Arboretum and Waite Conservation Reserve (guide and assistance dogs excepted).
Food and refreshments
The general public is welcome at the on-campus cafe. Meals and light refreshments are available in the adjacent Beltana Cafe at Lirra Lirra on Waite Road during business hours Monday-Friday.
Autumn brings outbreaks of Deathcap mushrooms in the adjacent Waite Arboretum. Ingestion of even a small amount of the mushroom will cause serious illness and may be fatal. You are advised not to pick or eat any wild mushrooms from the Waite Campus as poisonous mushrooms may resemble edible ones. Information about Deathcap mushrooms can be found on the Australian National Botanical Gardens website.
All of the University of Adelaide campuses are smoke-free, inside and out. Therefore, smoking is not permitted in Urrbrae House, the gardens, the Waite Arboretum or in carparks on the Waite Campus.
On-campus security and emergency assistance
Assistance is available 24/7 from Waite Campus Security by phoning 8313 7200. An emergency black phone is located in the rear porch of Urrbrae House: to contact Security simply lift the handpiece. No dialling is needed.
In summer, the average maximum daily temperature is about 27°C, but there are often days of high 30s, so a hat and sunscreen are essential. Covered shoes are recommended when walking in the Arboretum and Waite Conservation Reserve. On Catastrophic Fire Danger days (declared for Adelaide Metropolitan and/or Mount Lofty Ranges) the Waite Arboretum, Urrbrae House Gardens and the Conservation Reserve are all closed. Please check CFS website.
In winter, the ground can be wet underfoot and boots or sturdy shoes are recommended.
On-site car parking for visitors is available in the Urrbrae House Visitors' car park at the end of Walter Young Avenue near the house. Please note that the car park is not paved. Should the car park be full, parking is permitted on the verge on Walter Young Avenue adjacent the Waite Arboretum. On weekends parking may also be available in the car park adjacent the Woolhouse Library, enter the Waite Campus, off Gate 3 from Waite Road, Urrbrae.
Accessible parking is available at the rear of Urrbrae House, enter the Waite Campus, off Gate 3 from Waite Road, Urrbrae.
Recreational, student and not-for-profit photography of Urrbrae House and the Gardens is encouraged. If photographing inside Urrbrae House, please do not use a flash as the light may damage more delicate items such as books and artworks.
However, where the photographer/ film maker intends to make a profit from a photoshoot (ie commercial photography) permission must be sought and charges may apply.
Please contact Urrbrae House for more details: email@example.com or telephone 8313 7497 or 8313 7110
We understand that keen photographers may be interested in taking aerial shots of Urrbrae House, gardens, and the Waite Arboretum. However, the use of drones poses a safety risk on campus and the University of Adelaide has a primary obligation to ensure the safety of staff, students and the general public using University space. So we ask all photographers to note that flying any type of drone on campus is prohibited unless the activity is approved by the Unmanned Research Aircraft Facility (URAF) or "Drone Hub" of the University of Adelaide for permission. To obtain permission to use drone photography on campus, please email the URAF with details of the proposed drone photoshoot to firstname.lastname@example.org. More information about the URAF.
Toilets are located in the Urrbrae House Gardens at the rear of the house for visitors to the house, gardens and Waite Arboretum. There are no toilet facilities in the Waite Conservation Reserve.
A drinking fountain is located adjacent to the facilities (toilet) block in the garden on the southern side of Urrbrae House.
Regretfully we are unable to accommodate Wedding Ceremonies or Receptions at Urrbrae House and gardens.