La Perouse Museum

1542 Anzac Parade, La Perouse NSW 2036

1542 Anzac Parade, La Perouse NSW 2036

  • Toilets
  • WiFi
  • National Park
  • Monument or memorial

  • Dogs prohibited
  • Smoking is prohibited in this area


Randwick City Council and the La Perouse Museum acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the land on which the Museum stands and serves, the Bidjigal people. We celebrate their ongoing contributions to the life and identity of the area, and we acknowledge and pay our respects to the Ancestors and Elders past, present and emerging.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings and in text.


Opening hours:

Wednesdays & Fridays 10am to 2pm.

Saturdays & Sundays 10am to 4pm.

Free entry.

Phone: 02 9093 6190 | Email: lpm@randwick.nsw.gov.au.

The Museum is unable to take room bookings at this time as it is currently undergoing a review of the hiring of its spaces. For further details, please contact the Museum on the above number or email.

We are closed on Good Friday, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day.

The La Perouse Museum is COVIDSafe.

Please do not visit us yet if you:

  • are experiencing any flu-like symptoms (sore throat, loss of taste/smell, runny nose, persistent cough, shortness of breath, fever)
  • are awaiting the results of a test for COVID-19
  • have been directed by NSW Health to isolate

Local stories, ongoing Aboriginal 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 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 including Lapérouse and the French Connection
  • the Environment
  • Science and Communication (the Cable Station)
  • the Social History of La Perouse (and connections to Randwick)

We offer temporary and permanent exhibitions, public programs, events, lectures, performances, and a breath-taking view from the veranda over beautiful Gamay Botany Bay.

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 that pre-dates Cook's arrival and 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" or "the end of the line" due to its relative isolation and its place at the very end of the tram line out from the city. 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 and into the present day, due to the famous La Perouse trams running to La Pa until 1961, La Perouse is a thriving tourist destination. Every week - and especially weekends - hundreds 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 management of La Perouse Museum in October 2017, and is now planning for its future development.

Getting there and parking

The La Perouse Museum is located in the Loop of Anzac Parade. We are the big red building in the centre of the Headland and the entrance looks down over the bay towards the restaurants and port.

Due to the limited parking around La Perouse, we recommend visitors use public transportation where possible. The nearest bus stop is 'Anzac Pde Terminus, La Perouse, ID: 203622' and is less than 2 minutes' walk from the Museum. It's serviced by the 390X. Visitors are also welcome to chain their bicycles along the driveway fence.

Limited public parking is available. Please do not park up against the wall of the Museum and please do not block the driveway.

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.

La Perouse Museum Resources

If you would like to see our past exhibitions, Happy Valley: La Perouse in the Depression and Beach Couture: A Haute Mess!, visit our virtual tour in the link below.

La Perouse Museum virtual tour


La Perouse Museum Collection Policy

The La Perouse Museum Collection Policy (2020) documents the history of the Museum, its current collecting themes, and the policies that guide the development and care of the collections within the vision of the Museum, and to professional museum standards. Click here to download our Policy PDF, 9943.92 KB


Click on the image below to view the brochures from our past exhibitions.

1X4: A Newcastle Museum Exhibition

26 November 2021 - 13 March 2022

Beach Couture: A Haute Mess!

27 March -  30 November 2020

From France to Botany Bay

Lycèe Condorcet, 13 May - 2 October 2022

French Explorers

1 April - 16 October 2022

Happy Valley

27 March -  30 November 2020

Objets Français

13 September 2019 - 2 February 2020

La Perouse Through the Lens

15 March - 4 August 2019

Living Stories

28 October 2022 - 5 March 2023

Max Dupain: The Caltex Story

4 December 2020 - 14 March 2021

Shell It: a Boomalli exhibition

26 March - 29 August 2021

Last Updated: 5 December 2022
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