Coolart Homestead


Coolart Homestead

Coolart Historic Area

The Coolart Homestead is a beautiful example of late Victorian architecture, dating from 1895. The Homestead is open to the public, and includes a display of historic photographs, letters and drawings. The surrounding formal gardens and lawns feature native and exotic plants, perfect for a stroll or a picnic.

The historic house and gardens at Coolart Wetlands and Homestead are an easy day trip from Melbourne, with lots of activities for the whole family. Wander through the historic Homestead, built by Frederick Sheppard Grimwade in 1895, observing the Grimwade photograph collection and imagine what life would have been like when Coolart was a farm estate.

Coolart was once a family home, but now it’s a home for nature that everyone can enjoy. The late Tom Luxton purchased Coolart in 1937 and immediately had the property declared a sanctuary for native wildlife. In 1938 the then curator of the Footscray Gardens, David Matthews, redesigned the garden for Coolart, this is the design enjoyed by visitors at Coolart today. Stroll around the formal gardens with its trellises and flowers, wooden benches, decorative water features and wide, green lawns perfect for picnicking. The gardens have many native and exotic plants, including the Gingko from China and the majestic Blue Atlas Cedar from Algeria and Morocco. Coolart was bought by the Victorian government in 1977, in recognition of its historic buildings and significant wetlands.

The farmyard outbuildings are even older than the Homestead, originating from the early days of settlement when Coolart was farming and grazing land. One of Coolart’s oldest buildings is the 'Barracks', built in the 1860’s. This building, along with the Buttery, Meat House and part of the Stables, were built of hand-made bricks. The century-old machinery shed in the farmyard also houses some heritage farming equipment.

Things To Do

A retired couple walk chat with a ranger in the dining room of Coolart Homestead

Discover the Homestead's heritage

Coolart Homestead is open to visitors, with exhibitions and heritage collections in the main house and farmyard buildings.
The rose garden at Coolart Heritage Area

Explore the grounds and gardens

See exotic plants from around the world in the Coolart gardens, designed in 1938 by David Mathews, the curator of Footscray Gardens.
A group of families picnic on the lawn in front of Coolart Homestead

Picnic on the lawn

Enjoy a leisurely picnic on the grass or make use of the electric barbecues.

How to get there

Coolart Homestead

Coolart Wetlands and Homestead is 80km south-east of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula, located on Lord Somers Road near Somers. To reach Coolart via the Peninsula Link, follow EastLink (M3) to Peninsula Link (M11), take the Balnarring exit (C784). Follow signs from Balnarring to Somers. To reach Coolart via Westernport Highway, follow the Monash Freeway (M1) to the South Gippsland exit, then continue along the Westernport Highway (A780) to Hastings. Follow signs from Hastings to Flinders/Somers. To reach Coolart by public transport, take the Frankston line to Frankston Railway Station, then Bus Route 782 or 783.

The park is open daily from 9am to 5pm.


Visitor Centre
BBQ - Electric/Gas

When to go

Explore the lush wetlands and gardens, before following the trails to the beach. The perfect spot to spend a warm afternoon.

Need to know

Coolart Homestead

Change of Conditions

Nature being nature, sometimes conditions can change at short notice. It’s a good idea to check this page ahead of your visit for any updates.

  • Coolart Homestead (Coolart Historic Area)

    Coolart Homestead closed for renovations

    Coolart Homestead will remain closed for renovations until further notice.  The remainder of the park is still open to visitors.  We apologise for any inconvenience.

  • Notices Affecting Multiple Sites

    Coolart Fox Control Program

    Parks Victoria are undertaking fox control in Coolart to relieve predation of vulnerable and threatened native fauna. Programs involve the use of soft jaw leg hold traps in strategic locations. 

    Fox trapping will occur until June 2024.
    In accordance with Crown Land Regulations, dogs and cats are prohibited from Coolart Historic Reserve.

    Coolart Fox Control

    Parks Victoria are undertaking fox control in Coolart to relieve predation of vulnerable and threatened native fauna. Programs involve the use of soft jaw leg hold traps in strategic locations through to June 2024.
    In accordance with Crown Land Regulations, dogs and cats are prohibited from Coolart Historic Reserve.

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