La Trobe Cottage is situated in the King's Domain, an area of parklands and gardens near the southern entrance to the Royal Botanic Gardens. The prefabricated cottage was brought to Australia from England in 1839 to house the city's first governor, Charles Joseph La Trobe. Restored by the National Trust and it contains some original furnishings.
The cottage is listed on the Victorian heritage list for its historical, social and architectural significance. It is one of the few surviving examples still standing of prefabricated houses from this period of history and gives an insight into early colonial domestic architecture and living arrangements. Personal effects of La Trobe and his family are still contained in the cottage. The dining room was added by La Trobe in 1840 and is now believed to be the oldest surviving structure built in Melbourne. The architectural style is described as Pre-separation colonial Georgian.
In 1963 the cottage was relocated to Kings Domain as an historical landmark, and is now located backing on to Dallas Brooks Drive. As such it represents an early example of conservation of an endangered heritage building, utilising early techniques of heritage preservation. It is now operated as a museum by the National Trust of Australia, and is regularly open to the public.