Fitzroy Gardens

In the middle of the park is the incongruous sight of a tiny 18th-century English cottage. This child-scaled house was once occupied by the family of Captain James Cook, a famous figure in Australian  history, and was moved here from England, brick by brick. It is furnished as if the family still lives  here, and recorded voices make you feel as if you are overhearing their conversations.

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Contact details

Cnr Wellington Pde and Clarendon St, Melbourne; (03) 9419 4118

Don't Miss

■ The grand avenues of old English elm trees. Aged elm trees are rarely seen now in other parts of the  world where they have been decimated by Dutch Elm Disease.

■ The Fairy Tree in the middle of the gardens. If you look carefully at this old tree stump you’ll see all  sorts of fairies and goblins carved into it.
■ The model Tudor Village, just near the Fairy Tree. It was sent as a gift from the citizens of Lambeth,  England, in gratitude for food parcels from Australia during World War II.
■ The large conservatory (accessible at no extra cost) with its spectacular floral displays.
■ The old horse trough, just over the road in the Treasury Gardens. It was used in the days of horse-and-cart traffic.

Fabulous Facts

In the 18th century, people in England did not know what lands existed in the Southern Hemisphere.  Captain James Cook set out from England in 1769 to explore the Pacific in his little wooden sailing ship, the Endeavour. In 1770, he discovered the eastern side of Australia. Nearly 20 years later,  the English parliament sent convicts to this southern land to start a new colony.

Insider Tips

■ At Cook’s Cottage you can have fun taking photos with your heads stuck through the cut-outs in a  picture of an 18th-century family. The house is nestled in an authentic English cottage garden.  Information charts explain how herbs and plants were used for food or medicine.

■ During summer, there are free performances in Fitzroy Gardens.
■ If you visit the gardens around dusk, you’ll see possums starting to move around the trees in search  of food. These native mammals have adapted well to an urban environment and, although they can be  a pest in suburban backyards, they are protected.
■ There’s a cafe located near the Fairy Tree and Model Tudor Village.

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