Historic home, toys, trains, lovely garden and more
One of the oldest homes of Leura on 12 acres of gardens is Leuralla. It is now home to the Toy & Railway Museum, Dr. Evatt Memorial and shows the beauty of this building with rooms displayed in its original state with features, paint and all.
Completed before World War I, it is the second home on this site. The first was burned down in the 1909 bushfire. Upon hearing that the property was on fire the owner said save my family and save my trees. He had them imported from all over the world. Many are still living here in glory.
In 1954 the home was host to Queen Elizabeth II and HRH Duke of Edinburgh. A funny story to this visit was a worry that the echo in Echo Point would work suddenly. So people were placed at strategic points to safeguard against nature failing, it didn’t. See how paranoid people will get when they are trying to impress.
Leurella has been featured in movies, Undercover and Edens Lost, and on TV in Burke’s Backyard, Good Weekend and various children’s segments.
The toy, doll and model train collection house here spans from early 1900s to present. Emphasis is given to toy from 1910-1960.
Paul Sorenson played an important creative influence on the gardens of the property. (see Everglade Gardens review for more on him. He was very important to the Leura town history and for landscaping it.) It is fenced with conifers to shelter the inner gardens. It changes with the season, so each visit can bring something more inviting.
There is a garden railway based on railways in Europe with viaducts, tunnels and all. It is called the Matterhorn Mountain Railway. It is something to behold. It is the largest toy train setup I have ever seen. There are two rail lines operating and in all weathers.
All matter of toys from tin to cloth can be seen here. Some I would love to have myself. Even Ken and Barbie made the list with the largest collection in Australia.
Across the road is the Amphitheatre. There are two very large tin looking toy people in the centre of the main area facing the Jamison Valley. A path leads off through the bushes for a perfect stone area for weddings and special events with the valley as the backdrop to photos and memories.
Also in the home is the memorial to Dr. Herbert V. Evatt (1894-1965). He was one of Australia’s political leaders. He was a lawyer, author, High Court Judge, Attorney General, Minister for External Affairs, President of the UN General Assembly and the Federal Leader of Opposition. The photo exhibit has many faces of politics for Australia and the world. This home was owned by C.R. Evatt during the time of Queen Elizabeth’s visit. He was a State Cabinet Minister of Government. I don’t know how they are related.
It is open from 10:00-5:00 daily with admission for adults being $12 and kids $6.00. A $2 coin is needed to enter the amphitheatre. [more ]
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