Take a trip back in time as you step into each room, which has been furnished with authentic antique furniture, relics and decor generously donated by members of the community. A creative touch has been added to every inch of the building in the form of knitted displays, which are also for sale through a silent auction.
Visit the upstairs master bedroom, which has been transformed into a whimsical snow room where you can watch the penguins at play.
After exploring the interior, take a walk around the lush green back gardens and marvel at the incredible architecture that was poured into the making of such a grand structure.
Established between 1853 - 1854, the beautiful heritage-listed building operated as the Highercombe Hotel for twenty-four years, often playing host to a variety of public functions ranging from council meetings to dances.
In 1875 the main road was re-routed past the front door of the nearby Tea Tree Gully Inn, which then became the major stop-off for coaches and change of horses. At that time the community could not support two public houses, so the Highercombe Hotel closed in 1878.
From 1879 to 1963, the northern side of the old hotel served as the Tea Tree Gully Post Office and residence for the postal officer. The southern side of the building served as the residence of the head teacher of the Tea Tree Gully Public School from 1875 to 1934. In the 1890s the assembly room played host to students overflowing from the singly schoolroom nearby.
The State Government leased the southern side of the building as a private residence to the Hughes Family during the 1930-1950s. From 1963–1965 the building was used as a library and office accommodation for the Tea Tree Gully Council.
After that, the building was left abandoned for some time and destined for demolition. At the request of concerned local citizens, the site was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1967, when its development as a heritage museum began. In 2015 the facility was renamed from the Old Highercombe Hotel Museum and re-born as the Tea Tree Gully Heritage Museum.
Today, the Tea Tree Gully Heritage Museum is operated by a handful of dedicated community volunteers who are passionate about passing down the local history to people of all ages and walks of life. To this day, the building continues to be a meeting place for the community: a place where the present meets the past.
Don't forget to pay the Gift Shop a visit on your way out, where you can purchase a variety of handcrafted gifts, keepsakes and souvenirs to take home and remind you of your visit.
All Wrapped Up For Winter: A Yarn Bombing Extravaganza is taking over the Tea Tree Gully Heritage Museum from Wednesday 15 - Sunday 19 May. The exhibition will be open 10am - 2pm Wednesday to Saturday, and 11am - 4pm on Sunday, where there will be a one-day-only sausage sizzle.