Excavation of Port Macquarie Government House took place in 2001 and 2005 by Archaeology and Heritage Pty Ltd. In 2017-2018 Casey & Lowe, in association with International Conservation Services, Sydney (ICS) were commissioned to digitize all the records and compile a Final Consolidated Excavation Report. The first stage of the project involved the artefacts on display and stored in the Focus Apartments, Port Macquarie. A condition assessment of the artefacts was done before they were catalogued and then analysed for specialist reports. The second stage utilized this information to reassess the results of the excavation and the significance of the Government House complex compared to contemporary local buildings and other official residences in NSW.
Port Macquarie was first settled in 1821 as a penal settlement for secondary punishment of convicts as it was located far enough away from Newcastle that the convicts could not escape and return to Sydney and its environs. By 1824 there was a more substantial settlement and one of the buildings on the historic plan ( The Police Offfice) became the Government House building in 1826. Major construction works on Government House were undertaken between April 1824 and March 1826. As the convict population of New South Wales reached its peak in the mid-1830s, Port Macquarie continued to play a significant role in the convict system for these classes of prisoner. In 1832, Government House was allocated as the residence of the new Police Magistrate, Major Benjamin Sullivan.