All posts tagged cooks’ cottage

Deckstar’s Melbourne Adventure comes to an End

The year has finally come to an end and so has my Melbourne Adventure! I’ve had such a great time this year visiting Melbourne’s most iconic and historical landmarks and meeting so many new friends along the way! I hope you too have learnt many new things about our great city.

I have made a short slide show of all my adventures, I hope you enjoy! Maybe next year I will expand my journey!

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Feel free to pop by over the school Holidays to say hello!


Experience Life in the 18th Century – with Deckstar!

This week I stepped into a time machine and headed all the way back to the 18th century, learning all about Captain James Cook, his amazing voyages and the legacy he left for future generations at Cooks’ Cottage!

Cooks’ Cottage is a cottage that was built once in England and then rebuilt in the beautiful Fitzroy Gardens to commemorate the voyages of Captain James Cook, famous explorer of Australia. Here I was able to discover some of Melbourne’s rich history and how Cooks’ Cottage came to be one the city’s great landmarks. I was also able to experience what life was like in the eighteenth century, as I walked through the double-storey cottage and its traditional English cottage garden.

Cooks’ Cottage was originally built in 1755 in Great Ayton, North Yorkshire,  England, by James and Grace Cook, parents of Captain James Cook. In 1933 the Cottage came up for sale and it was suggested to Melbourne philanthropist, Russell Grimwade, that he purchase the cottage as a centenary gift for the people of Melbourne.

Although there were issues with allowing the cottage to be moved to another country, Russell Grimwade was able to convince the owner that although the cottage would be moved to another country, it would still remain as part of the Commonwealth. This was accepted and Russell Grimwade purchased the  cottage for 800 pounds, which is roughly $1200 Australian dollars!

To move the cottage, it had to be dismantled and then each brick numbered, put into 253 cases and 40 barrel crates and shipped to Melbourne, where it arrived in April 1934. The cottage was then rebuilt in the heritage-listed Fitzroy Gardens and opened to the public on the 15th of October 1934. Although I couldn’t tell, the cottage itself has been altered considerably by a succession of owners following the Cook family’s occupation. Its Australian assemblers had the task of restoring the cottage as accurately as research and guess work would permit to its mid 18th century appearance.

Today Cooks’ Cottage is the oldest building in Australia and a popular tourist attraction! As I strolled through the beautiful English cottage garden I was met by such friendly staff who were all dressed in 18th century clothing, I had the chance to learn about how the home grown herbs and plants were used in the good old days.

With the school holidays coming up maybe you have the chance to visit Cooks’ Cottage! These winter holidays Cooks’ Cottage has a great activity you can get involved in called A Compass Trail. A Compass Trail is an adventure for kids of all ages to experience how Captain Cook navigated the world. With this exciting adventure you will receive your very own compass to explore the cottage and gardens of Captain Cook’s family.

Deckstar at the doorway where Captain Cooks' parents initials are engraved

Deckstar standing in the traditional cottage garden

Deckstar with a statue of Captain James Cook

Deckstar playing a game of quoits

Deckstar in the 18th Century Cottage kitchen


  • Cooks’ Cottage celebrated its 75th Anniversary in Melbourne with a day of activities on Saturday 17 October, 2009 in the Fitzroy Gardens.
  • A site in the Fitzroy Gardens was selected to complement the cottage with its large shady European trees and the construction work was completed in six months.
  • When the cottage was shipped to Australia so was an ivy cutting which had grown on the original building. Today the house is covered by the ivy.

Class Activity Idea – Captain James Cook was a famous explorer of Australia and traveled all over the world. This week practice your knowledge of compass directions using places in your community and on maps and then crate a treasure hunt for other students to take. See our Teacher’s Resource Page for more details.

Teacher’s Resources :: Week 21 – Experience Life in the 18th Century – with Deckstar!


Captain James Cook was a famous explorer of Australia and traveled all over the world. This week get students to practice their knowledge of compass directions using places in your community and on maps and then crate a treasure hunt for each other using the following lesson plan.

Which Direction Should I Go?


This lesson has students review and practice their knowledge of compass directions. They will do several brief exercises to practice using directions in their community and on maps, and conclude by creating a treasure hunt for other students to take.

Materials Required:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Wall map of the Australia or the world


Students will

  • review compass directions in the classroom and on a map;
  • complete sentences describing compass directions towards locations in their community;
  • complete sentences to describe compass directions from one point to another as seen on a map;
  • make online maps of their town and its vicinity, and write sentences describing the town’s direction from other towns or landmarks;
  • discuss why it is important to understand directions; and
  • create treasure hunts for other students to take.

Suggested Procedure


Review the compass directions—north (N), south (S), east (E), west (W), northeast (NE), northwest (NW), southeast (SE), southwest (SW)—in the classroom by asking students to point in the appropriate directions as you call them out. Then review the directions as they are seen on a map by having students call out the directions as you point to them on a large map hanging in the front of the room.


To review and practice the directions within their community, have students complete the following sentences:

  • My school is _____ of my home.
  • My favorite park is called _____, and it is _____ of school.
  • My best friend lives _____ of me.
  • The closest swimming pool (or baseball field) is _____ of where I’m sitting right now.
  • The closest hamburger joint is called _____ and is _____ of school.

To practice the directions on a map, have students refer to an atlas or wall map, to complete the following sentences:

  • New York City is ____ of Chicago.
  • Miami is _____ of Denver.
  • London, England, is _____ of Paris, France.
  • Brazil is _____ of Peru and _____ of Venezuela.
  • Australia is _____ of New Zealand.
  • India is _____ of China.

Have students create maps of their town and its vicinity on Google Maps. Ask them to look at the map that comes up and to write four sentences describing the relationship between their town and other towns or landmarks on the map, using directions in their sentences.


Ask students to explain why it is important to understand compass directions like north, south, east, and west. Have they ever needed to know these directions? When is it important to know the directions in their own community? When is it important to know the directions on a map of the world?

Suggested Student Assessment:

Have students, either individually or in pairs, make a treasure hunt to help classmates practice using their knowledge of directions. They should follow these steps:

  • Print out a map of the City of Melbourne.
  • Label Eureka Skydeck.
  • Label other prominent landmarks in the city.
  • On a separate piece of paper, list six sets of directions for people to follow, beginning at Eureka Skydeck. For example: “Go five blocks south and three blocks west.” Each set of directions should lead to one of the landmarks or to an intersection. Be sure to number the steps.
  • On a separate piece of paper, write the destinations for each of the six sets of directions.
  • Trade your directions with a partner, and see if you can follow your partner’s directions on the map. Write your destination after each step, and figure out where you end up after the last set of directions. Compare your results with your partner.

Extending the Lesson:

Teach students how to use a compass. Ask students to create treasure hunts around the school or field that require their classmates to go a certain number of feet in very specific directions, using a compass as a guide. The treasure hunt should lead people to an actual prize (such as a certificate of completion or a candy bar) or an object (such as a tree or a piece of playground equipment).