Historical image of the superintendents cottage at Prince of Wales Hospital, designed by architect John Horbury Hunt.

Prince of Wales Hospital, Superintendents cottage. Supplied by Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation

Prince of Wales Hospital: From the past to the future

Focus Tour - Saturday 2 November





Edmund Blacket

Additional architects

Thomas Rowe (Catherine Hayes building)

John Horbury Hunt (Medical Superintendents building)

Celebrating over 160 years of care, the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick began life in 1858 as the Asylum for Destitute Children, before being converted to a military hospital during World War I, and renamed the Prince of Wales Hospital in 1920.

The original building was designed by NSW Colonial Architect Edmund Blacket. Its foundation stone was laid by Governor Denison in 1856, following a bequest from Dr Alexander Cuthill that enabled construction to start. Although it was dedicated as the Prince of Wales Asylum, it was never called by that name. It would serve as the 4th Military General Hospital during World War I, and afterwards as a rehabilitation hospital for returning servicemen. In 1953 it became a state hospital, and then a teaching hospital in 1962, being incrementally added to over the decades.

Today the Prince of Wales Hospital is a vital treatment hub for Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs, admitting around 47,000 inpatients and 59,000 emergency patients in 2017, while managing around 380,000 outpatient appointments each year.

To mark the 160th anniversary, plans were released in May 2018 for a major redevelopment of the Prince of Wales Hospital, integrating healthcare, education and research. So a place that started with the care of abandoned children moves forward as a centre of healing and learning.

Tour experience

The Sydney Open tour will take in the past, present and future of this important site – from early origins and Aboriginal artefacts dating back 8000 years, to the original asylum and gravesites, Royal Family visits (1867 and 1881), its military hospital period (1916–53), and its conversion to a state hospital (1953) and later a teaching hospital (1962). Sydney Open visitors will also see the only hyperbaric unit in a NSW hospital, and visit the Nelune Cancer Centre, opened in 2016. The tour ends in the original Edmund Blacket building where we will unveil future plans for the redevelopment of the Prince of Wales Hospital precinct.


Leanne Zalapa

Leanne (Lulu) Zalapa is founding CEO of the Prince of Wales Hospital Foundation, and an Associate Professor of Industry at the UTS Faculty of Health. Before becoming CEO, she was a nurse at the hospital and has devoted her life to healthcare, including her time living in Spain. As CEO, and with the generous support of patrons and donors, Leanne has raised $40 million for the hospital since the Foundation incorporated in 2004. Her current mission is to raise millions more for the new acute care facility that underpins the hospital redevelopment.

Key information

Session duration

90 mins


This tour has a capacity of 25 people per session.

Visitor requirements

Guests must arrive 20 minutes prior to the tour start time and wear comfortable enclosed shoes suitable for walking more than a kilometre.

Lift access and wheelchair access are available to all areas.

Storage is limited, please bring only essential items with you.

The tour takes place in a hospital, so no blocking of hallways. Guests must stay with the group.

to know

  • Photography allowed

  • Toilets available

  • Food & drink available

  • Pram friendly

  • Accessible