Tarella Cottage Museum

Tarella Open Days are on the last Sunday of every month except December. 

Hours between 10am and 3pm. 

A Living Museum of Memories

Upon the passing of Miss Beryl McLaughlin in 1988, Tarella Cottage and its expansive grounds found a new purpose as a living museum under the guardianship of the Historical Society. Miss McLaughlin’s generous bequest ensured that Tarella would continue to stand as a testament to the family’s enduring legacy.

Today, Tarella Cottage stands as a beacon of history, offering visitors a glimpse into the lives and times of the McLaughlin family through the generations. Within its hallowed halls, a treasure trove of artifacts awaits, from furniture and precious photographs to cherished homewares and personal mementos.

Each display within Tarella provides a poignant insight into the family’s diverse careers and myriad experiences, spanning decades of profound change and evolution. As visitors wander through its curated exhibits, they embark on a journey through time, tracing the footsteps of generations past and gaining a deeper appreciation for the rich tapestry of history woven within these walls.

With every visit to Tarella Cottage, the Historical Society strives to honor Miss Beryl McLaughlin’s legacy by preserving and sharing the captivating story of this remarkable family. As custodians of this living museum, we invite all who are curious to step into the past and immerse themselves in the timeless allure of Tarella.


Tarella Open Days are on the last Sunday of every month except December. Hours between 10am and 3pm. Last entry 2.45pm. 

  • Toilets are near the cottage and within Hobby’s Reach.
  • A cafe for light refreshments is in Hobby’s Reach. Hot water is available free for picnickers.
  • Disability parking is available on the grounds close to the cottage.
  • Street parking is available along Blaxland road.
The Grounds

Visitors may use the grounds for picnic lunches if they wish to do so. There are lawn areas, garden views and garden chairs to enjoy. From the highest point, where we have a 2017 memorial cairn to Major Geoffrey McLaughlin, there are distant views across the western Sydney suburbs to the Sydney City skyline.

People with disabilities

This 1890s cottage has steps at each entry point. It does not have wide wheelchair access through internal room doorways. It is not possible for a wheelchair to be taken upstairs.

Hobby’s Reach does have wheelchair access and the toilet room within is wheelchair accessible.

Historic image of the cottage

Exploring the Rich Heritage of Tarella Cottage

Built in 1890 by John McLaughlin after he married and had four children with Ada Amanda Moore. They lived in Waverley, Sydney. Tarella was their family holiday cottage, a Blue Mountains retreat, but after John’s death in 1918, the family’s large Waverley home was sold and Tarella became the residence for various family members.


Tracing the McLaughlin Family Tree Through Tarella Cottage

A brief introduction to the McLaughlin Family the original owners of the Tarella Cottage. Tarella Cottage plays host to the rich tapestry of the McLaughlin family history.  From its humble beginnings as a holiday retreat to its current role as a living museum,

Tarella has served as a beacon of history for the McLaughlin family. With each passing year, its walls have borne witness to the triumphs and tribulations, the joys and sorrows of those who have called it home. In this article we explore the McLaughlin family history.

Major Geoffrey McLaughlin (1887 – 1917)

Kitchen inside Tarella Cottage


Tarella Cottage, a treasure trove of history awaits, beckoning visitors to immerse themselves in the ambiance of early 20th-century living. 

Tarella has many rooms plus a long middle hall, a side entrance foyer, and a landing at the top of a staircase. The rooms include the  McLaughlin main bedroom, parlor, dining room, military room, kitchen, laundry, bathroom, sewing room, sun room, bedrooms and the old kitchen at the back of the cottage.


See our blog about recent updates and discoveries we have made about Tarella Cottage