Ash Wednesday Bushfire Education Centre & Memorial Garden

See & Do
The Ash Wednesday Bushfire and Education Centre is place of learning about events during the devastating bushfires.

Within the gardens a newly completed memorial pays homage to the Victorian Towns affected and is truly a beautiful space for remembrance and reflection.

The centre is located in an old kindergarten in Cockatoo's McBride Street, itself a part of the Ash Wednesday Bushfire history.

On Ash Wednesday, February 16, 1983, fire exploded into Cockatoo at about 7:30pm. As the sirens sounded, many townsfolk, mainly women, children and the elderly, fled to the kinder for sanctuary. When the flames swept across them and the building filled with smoke, they lay on the floor with wet towels over their heads, while brave firefighters climbed onto the roof to ensure their safety.

The Ash Wednesday bushfires were a series of bushfires that occurred in south-eastern Australia on 16 February 1983. In Victoria, 47 people died, while in South Australia there were 28 deaths. This included 14 CFA and three CFS volunteer fire-fighters who died across both states that day. Ash Wednesday was one of Australia's costliest natural disasters. Over 3,700 buildings were destroyed or damaged and 2,545 individuals and families lost their homes.


  • Carpark
  • Family Friendly
  • Non Smoking
  • Public Toilet
  • Coach Parking
  • Conference/Convention Facilities
  • Parents Room
  • Barbeque
  • Enquiry Desk
  • Picnic Area
  • Interactive Centre
  • Interpretive Centre


  • Australian Business Travel Association
  • Australian Caravan Club
  • Australian Gay and Lesbian Tourism Association
  • Campervan Motorhome Club of Australia
  • Meetings and Events Australia
  • Australian Museums and Galleries Association
  • National Trust
  • Regional Tourist/Tourism Association/Organisation
  • Visitor Information Centre
  • History & Heritage


  • Disabled access available, contact operator for details.