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Things to do at the Cottage

There are many reasons for visiting La Trobe’s Cottage. Here are some that might interest you.


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Guided tour

Be taken back to 1839 when Charles Joseph La Trobe, Victoria’s first governor, constructed his portable house in the new town of Melbourne. Hear the story of La Trobe, his family and the pioneering days. See Melbourne’s oldest surviving building and items belonging to La Trobe and other artefacts from the earliest time of Victoria’s settlement.


Group guided tour - with Government House

Your group can experience the history of La Trobe’s Cottage. For groups of 10 or more, you can also add a tour of Government House to see the Grand Ballroom, State Dining Room and the Billiard Room. The tour at Government House may also include significant outbuildings such as the 19th century kitchen and the Hopetoun Stables.


School excursion

As, perhaps, the most significant surviving dwelling relating to Melbourne’s colonial history, La Trobe’s Cottage provides an excellent introduction to many aspects of Melbourne prior to and during the gold rushes. Students are able to learn about family life experienced by one of the earliest European settlers as they attempted to adjust to the challenging conditions of colonial life.


Special events

Come to the special events arranged at the Cottage, such as the celebration of Australia Day in the Domain with guided tours of the Cottage, flag raising ceremonies and rifle salutes.


View the external displays and garden

Enjoy the romantic garden, re-created using plants that were available to La Trobe in the 1840s and 1850s. Read the story of the Cottage on the information displays around the garden and experience the beauty and serenity of the setting.


Wedding in the garden

What could be nicer than a wedding in a Victorian cottage garden. A delightful scene in the middle of the Domain parklands for you and your guests to enjoy.


Picnic in the park

Come and enjoy Melbourne’s wonderful King’s Domain park. La Trobe’s Cottage is located in an arboretum near the Shrine of Remembrance
and Royal Botanic Gardens.


Virtual tour

If you are unable to visit the Cottage in person, you can still wander around the virtual Cottage to see how people lived in the 1840s and 1850s.


Virtual education tour

Come on a virtual tour at a real colonial house and meet the people
who lived there and hear their stories.


Become a volunteer

If you like interacting with people, promoting and interpreting Victoria’s history, then volunteering at La Trobe’s Cottage may be something that interests you. We are always looking for volunteers to act as guides or receptionists, or to assist in maintaining La Trobe’s re-created garden with its many heritage plants.