La Perouse Museum

1542 Anzac Parade, La Perouse NSW 2036

1542 Anzac Parade, La Perouse NSW 2036

Local stories, ongoing indigenous histories and the story of the French explorer Lapérouse

Housed in a heritage building at La Perouse in the south of our city, the La Perouse Museum is a multi-disciplinary museum that tells many stories up to the present day.

The Museum is housed in the iconic 1882 Cable Station in Guriwal La Perouse, and tells the continuing stories of one of the most fascinating and important suburbs in Sydney. Our collections, exhibitions, programs and events are all based around our five main themes:

  • the Traditional Custodians and Aboriginal community of La Perouse
  • European arrivals and First Contact including the story of the French explorer Lapérouse
  • the Environment
  • Science and Comunication (the Cable Station) and
  • the wider Social History of this region

We offer temporary and permanent exhibitions, public programs, events, lectures, performances, and a coffee cart experience with a breathtaking view from the verandah over beautiful Kamay Botany Bay.

Museum opening hours:

  • Wednesday and Friday 10am – 2pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 10am – 4pm

Phone: 02 9093 6190 or email lpm@randwick.nsw.gov.au for enquiries. Education Excursions are available.

Entry is free.

About the museum

La Perouse Museum is located on ‘The Loop’ at La Perouse within the Kamay Botany Bay National Park’s northern headland. The museum is housed within the historic Cable Station building, once Australia’s only link to New Zealand and the rest of the world. The La Perouse Monument, the tomb of Father Receveur, and the very important Macquarie Watchtower (1822) are located nearby.

The Museum is situated in the middle of La Perouse Headland; home to the Bidjigal and Gadigal peoples and an Aboriginal community who as Traditional Custodians have had an ongoing connection with this region for many generations that pre-dates Cook's arrival and that continues up to the present day. The traditions, arts, commerce and complex histories of the La Perouse Aboriginal community play an important part in this identity and culture of this area.

The site on which this Museum stands was also one of the first places visited in the Sydney region by Europeans. The British First Fleet anchored near the Headland on 18 January 1788, looking for fresh water, and of course to colonise this land. Incredibly just a few days later, the French Enlightenment expedition led by the famed explorer and navigator Jean-Francois de Galaup, comte de Lapérouse, also landed here. Since its inception in 1988, La Perouse Museum has been an important site of connection for French visitors.

The Museum plays an important role in the history of science and communication. It was built as a Cable Station in 1881 - 1882 to house the two companies operating the submarine electric telegraph cable (through Morse code) between Botany Bay and Cable Bay in Nelson, New Zealand (and indirectly to the rest of the world). The Museum building is an icon of globalisation and the breaking down the barriers of geography and language, long before the age of the internet.

La Perouse as a suburb is often described as the "place which people forgot" due to its relative isolation. It has been home to those in diaspora, seeking refuge and community; the "Happy Valley" Depression-era camp, the establishment of the Aboriginal Mission at Yarra Bay, the Salvation Army Women's Home in the Cable Station, the Veterans' War Home on Bare Island, and even for those smugglers trying to bring in illicit rum and goods under the watchful eye of Macquarie's soldiers stationed up at the Watchtower.

More recently, due to the famous La Perouse trams running to La Pa until 1961 and to the present day, La Perouse is a thriving tourist destination. Every week - and especially weekends - thousands of people flock to this area to picnic, swim, scuba dive, fish, fly kites, and contribute to the rich multicultural life of this local community. The Museum's exhibitions and programs cover all of these key points and themes.

Randwick City Council took over the management of La Perouse Museum in October 2017, and is now planning for its future development. A Masterpan is currently in development in advance of the Museum closing for major redevelopment in 2020 onwards.

Getting there and parking

La Perouse Museum is located at the end of Anzac Parade. Follow the signs to the Museum. Limited public parking is available. A bus service operates to the area.

Accessibility

Please note: disability access to La Perouse Museum is currently very limited until the Museum undergoes planned refurbishment. We recommend visitors with access needs phone the Museum on (02) 9093 6190 beforehand to arrange parking and if possible assistance with accessing the ground floor displays and café. Please be aware of the following limitations when planning your visit:

* The ground floor is wheelchair accessible but via a Heritage Courtyard with uneven surfaces. Please phone the Museum in advance so staff can usher guests through the private rear access
* The toilets are currently not wheelchair accessible due to a high step and narrow spaces
* The downstairs section of the museum is wheelchair-accessible, but there are steps involved so you'll need some assistance.
* The upstairs section is inaccessible due to a narrow stairway.

While we are working on making this venue more accessible, the Museum staff welcome enquiries via telephone (02) 9093 6190 or via email lpm@randwick.nsw.gov.au to help make your visit to the Museum an enjoyable and memorable one.

Upcoming events

Click here to go to our Eventbrite page for all La Perouse Museum events.

DISCLAIMER: Bookings below are made through Eventbrite which is an external website. Please read their privacy policy and other disclaimers about how they store and use your information before proceeding. Tickets may be available at the door but this is not guaranteed.

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