House on the Hill

Looking out over the city of Mackay, this homestead and surrounding buildings housed generations of the locally prominent Cook family. Although the family originated from England, the home is quintessential Australia. We can almost hear the cicadas singing and feel the heavy humid heat of a Queensland summer.  Built in 1915 and preserved in time, welcome to Greenmount. 

A feathery jacaranda shades the side of the homestead built by
Albert Cook who bought the land to breed cattle. Gifted to the city 
by the family in1984, the museum is immaculately captured 
as it was during the time of its last residents, Tom and Dorothy Cook.

Protector of all things edible.
A meat safe was indispensable for keeping flies at bay.

Taking advantage of the tropical Queensland climate,
the grounds were planted with exotic trees like longans,
avocados and mangos.

It seems so many houses being built in the Southern States
around this time were closed in and shut off from the
outdoors (which many a renovator is now rectifying!)
Here there was clearly an appreciation of the outdoors.

This is how to do a house in a hot climate.
Large shady outdoor rooms capture breezes 
and invite lounging about.  

The Blue Room.
Tom and Dorothy furnished their room with furniture
bought at the time of their marriage in 1950.

The busy family farm and homestead needed two desks to attend 
to administrative matters. 
One for Tom and one for Dorothy.

The Cook's original Singer... 

and carpet.

Samual Wellington Cook keeps watch over
dinner. The oak dining suite came from England
with the original founding family

The sitting room has a partition used during
formal dining occasions to 'close off' the
area from the dining room. This was to
allow the men to retire to the dining room
with their port and cheese while the women
remained in the sitting room. hmmm...... 

We see these and we think gin and tonic.

We love that this museum has a worn and
rustic appeal but has maintained the homely
grandeur of its hey day.

Greenmount is located just outside Mackay
in Queensland and welcomes visitors.


  1. I love that beautiful carpet.
    Thank you for sharing Greenmount with us...your photos are terrific.

  2. Just gorgeous and a lovely departure from your usual featured houses. Noice.

  3. ha! we like to keep you on your toes.