Important updates from NTAV on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The latest from the National Trust of Australia (Victoria) in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

For more news subscribe to our e-newsletter here and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Wednesday 27 May 2020

Gardens at Rippon Lea Estate & Como to re-open 1 June 2020

We are excited to announce that the gardens at Rippon Lea Estate and Como will re-open from Monday 1 June with added health and safety measures in place.

With crisp fresh air and magnificent autumn foliage, our gardens will help you to reconnect with nature and gently ease yourself back into the world outside.

Get the kids outdoors to see if they can spot the Gruffalo, the interactive trail takes you on a journey through the winding paths and gardens of Rippon Lea Estate using an augmented reality app. Click HERE for more information.

While our places have been closed, we have invested in the appropriate infrastructure, protocols and equipment to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of our visitors, staff and volunteers for when we re-open. Including the introduction of the following measures;

  • Measures to support physical distancing including directional signage and protective barriers
  • Measures to help prevent contact, including cashless transactions
  • Personal health and hygiene measures, such as hand sanitiser stations
  • Additional monitoring and cleaning of facilities
  • Areas that may be partially closed off dependant on safety protocols. Please note this includes the Gatehouse Tea Rooms at Rippon Lea Estate.

All public spaces have now changed. We share the responsibility to take care of ourselves and others. We ask that you stay at home if you are experiencing any cold or flu-like symptoms, maintain a distance of 1.5m from others, regularly wash and sanitise your hands, and be aware that capacity restrictions apply to all spaces.

We support the use of the COVIDSafe App to keep our community safe and encourage all visitors to download the app, along with our staff and volunteers. More information about the app and how to install it is available here.

As the easing of social restrictions evolves, we will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on our properties, sites and attractions. Our buildings and events will re-open in due course, in a considered and gradual manner in line with formal guidance.

Please find more information on the National Trust website and social media, Facebook and Instagram, or to receive updates about our re-opening plans, please subscribe to our mailing list. If you have any questions regarding a booking please email



Tuesday 19 May 2020

Looking Ahead - Update

The leaves have changed colour since we closed the gates to our places two months ago. As the government eases restrictions over the coming weeks, we are hopeful that we will be able to reopen some of our places in a considered and gradual manner, in line with the official state guidelines. We anticipate that our gardens will open first, with our buildings and indoor spaces following in time.

We know that everybody is eager to reconnect with nature, history and culture in Victoria, but the health and safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers remain our number one priority. Currently, we are mapping out the details on how we will do this to ensure safety and health guidelines are met. We will keep you informed. 

Thank you for your ongoing support. The past few months have been unlike anything we have ever seen, yet there have been countless examples of our shared sense of community. We extend our heartfelt thanks to our heroes working on the front line in healthcare and essential services.

To receive updates about our reopening plans, please subscribe to our mailing list.

We look forward to welcoming you back soon.


Thursday 26 March

Donating an object to the collection

To protect the health and wellbeing of our staff and members of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, our Collections and Cultural Projects team have placed a temporary suspension on accepting new acquisitions for our collections.

If you are offering an item with a relationship to one of our properties, collections and/or places, please email our Collections and Cultural Projects team on and we will respond in due course. Our team continue to work remotely and are keeping busy behind the scenes, so please be patient with our response times.

Please keep an eye on the website for when our usual acquisitions process will resume.

Monday 23 March

Old Melbourne Gaol, Rippon Lea Estate and Como garden temporary closures

Dear supporter,

Following the Government directive as part of the COVID-19 response efforts, all National Trust properties in Victoria, including the Old Melbourne Gaol and gardens at Rippon Lea Estate and Como House with exclusion of the The Stables of Como Cafe are now temporarily closed.

Since 1956 the National Trust in Victoria has been actively conserving and protecting our heritage for future generations to enjoy. Our role has always been to inspire the community to appreciate and celebrate our diverse natural, cultural, social and Indigenous history.

Over the coming weeks we will be ramping up our efforts to connect digitally through our website and social media channels, to ensure our places can remain open virtually while we are temporarily closed.

As always, I want to thank you for your continued support and know that our mission will continue during these uncertain times. From myself and our team at the National Trust, we wish you, your families and friends continued safety and good health.

Warm regards,

Simon Ambrose
Chief Executive Officer
National Trust of Australia (Victoria)

Thursday 19 March

Temporary Property Closures

To our members and supporters,

This is an important update to let you know that we’ve made the difficult decision to temporarily close a number of National Trust properties in Victoria in response to advice from the Government to protect our community and support wider efforts to contain COVID-19.

Please see below a full list of these properties:
• Polly Woodside, South Wharf
• Labassa, Caulfield North
• Portable Iron Houses, South Melbourne
• La Trobe’s Cottage, The Domain
• Gulf Station, Yarra Glen
• Geelong and Bellarine Peninsula: Barwon Park, Barwon Grange, The Heights, Porarlington Mill
• Mornington Peninsula: Mulberry Hill and McCrae Homestead
• Mooramong, Skipton
• Chiltern: Lake View House, Dow’s Pharmacy, Federal Standard Printing Works
• Port Fairy: Mills’ Cottage and Mott’s Cottage

Escape outdoors 
At this stage the gardens at Rippon Lea Estate and Como including The Stables of Como Café will remain open to enjoy. Mornington Peninsula’s original rain forest, Endeavour Fern Gully is also ready to walk, seven days a week.

The Old Melbourne Gaol also remains open, however bookings have been cancelled for all night tours until May 1 and ticket holders have been fully refunded. We have increased health and hygiene measures on site in line with Government advice.

Event updates
Earlier this week we made the decision to cancel and/or postpone all upcoming events. If you have pre-purchased tickets to any of these events, please know our team is working closely with Eventbrite to process refunds and/or hold bookings. If you have any questions regarding your booking please email and keep an eye out on our website for any updates.

Australian Heritage Festival
The National Trust of Australia has cancelled the 2020 Australian Heritage Festival.  Please see the Australian Heritage Festival website for further information. Our energies will now go into planning the 2021 Festival.

What next 
Our heritage has never been so important. Whilst we navigate these unprecedented times, we wanted to take the opportunity to assure you that the Trust will continue to work behind the scenes on many exciting projects and actively advocate for the protection of our heritage for future generations to enjoy. 

Keep an eye on our website and across our social media channels to follow us on this journey.

All of us at the National Trust thank you for your support and understanding during these challenging times and wish you and your families good health.

With best wishes,

Simon Ambrose
Chief Executive Officer
National Trust of Australia (Victoria)


Tuesday 17 March 2020

Australian Heritage Festival 2020 is cancelled


The National Trust of Australia is cancelling the 2020 Australian Heritage Festival in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The World Health Organization has announced that COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is a pandemic. The virus is contagious between people and of particular risk to people with existing medical conditions, people with reduced immunity and people of advanced age.

The National Trust is a community organisation and we consider the health, wellbeing and safety of the community to be the utmost priority. There are members of the community at great risk from COVID-19, and public gatherings and events provide an opportunity for this virus to spread.

The theme for this year’s Australian Heritage Festival is ‘Our Heritage for the Future’ – and the National Trust of Australia looks forward to celebrating our wonderful heritage across Australia with the community in the future.

The Australian Heritage Festival will take place again in 2021, commencing on World Heritage Day which is 18 April.

The National Trust would like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors and supporters of the Australian Heritage Festival, and event organisers across the country for registering your events this year.

The National Trust also thanks the community for their continued love of heritage. We will celebrate our heritage for the future in 2021.

Media enquiries:

Please direct your media enquiries to

If you have enquiries from a national media outlet, please contact Lyndal Stuart on or call 0400 017 330.

Tuesday 17 March 2020

Event Postponements and Cancellations

The National Trust of Australia (Victoria) considers the health and wellbeing of our visitors, staff, volunteers and all members of the public as paramount. After receiving advice from the Victorian Department of Health, we have made the difficult decision to cancel and postpone upcoming events while we review relevant information and await further advice from the government on coronavirus (COVID-19).

These events include:

Postponed events

  • Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears Exhibition: Friday 20 March until 19 July at Rippon Lea Estate
  • Vintage Clothing Sale: Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 March at Como House

Cancelled events 

  • Heritage Apple Tree Sale and Tasting Day: Saturday 28 March at Rippon Lea Estate
  • Easter Fun Day: Sunday 12 April at Rippon Lea estate
  • Easter Family Day: Sunday 12 April at Mulberry Hill

If you have pre-purchased tickets to any of our Easter and Apple events full refunds will be issued through Eventbrite. If you have purchased tickets for the Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears exhibition we will hold tickets for rebooking at preferred dates when it reopens. If you have any questions regarding your booking, please contact our bookings office via email at

Australian Heritage Festival (Update 17/03/2020)

In the interests of the health and safety of the community, the National Trust of Australia has cancelled the 2020 Australian Heritage Festival.  Please see the Australian Heritage Festival website for further information. 

Our properties remain open, for now

Although we would love to see you escape outdoors to our properties, our aim is to help curb the spread of this outbreak in Victoria. Therefore, if you have any flu-like symptoms, please prioritise your health and that of the community, rest up and re-schedule your visit for a later date. Please also note some public programming, including guided tours, may be impacted.

Keep in touch 

Due to the rapidly changing nature of the situation, we will not announce event rescheduling dates at this time, but will be providing regular updates on our website and on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

We thank you for your understanding and appreciate your continued support of the National Trust. We will continue to monitor the situation, review and update operations in line with evolving advice and keep you informed of any further developments.

Please take care and look out for yourself, family, friends and colleagues. 

Simon Ambrose

Chief Executive Officer
National Trust of Australia (Victoria)