National Trust Day: Celebrating a Special Family

Join a guided tour with the Friends of La Trobe's Cottage whilst the children play old fashioned games on the lawn.

Charles Joseph La Trobe was a visionary administrator, who lived with his wife Sophie and their four children for nearly 15 years in the family’s prefabricated cottage ‘Jolimont’, which was elegantly furnished and surrounded by a beautiful garden.

During this time Melbourne grew from a rudimentary settlement of fewer than 3,000 people, in a District of fewer than 6,000, to the centre of a thriving Colony of nearly 237,000 people. La Trobe played a significant role in setting up our early cultural institutions, and in establishing the parks and gardens which are such a feature of our state today. The adventurous La Trobe made many excursions on horseback around the colony, including three attempts through difficult terrain to discover a site in 1846 for a much needed lighthouse at Cape Otway.

He was a very fond father who endearingly called his children ‘the little mischiefs’. Both he and Sophie wrote many letters that throw light on their family life at ‘dear Jolimont’.

The cottage dining room is Melbourne’s oldest surviving building and was saved in the early years of the National Trust in Victoria, during a process that lasted eight years in all, from 1956 to 1964.

Admission is free.

La Trobe's Cottage - Planning your visit


Corner of Birdwood Avenue & Dallas Brooks Drive, The Domain
Melbourne 3004 VIC

Bookings Office on 03 9656 9889 Mon-Fri