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Innes Ruins

“We loved taking the tour here and were pleased by how much it engaged our kids in wanting to learn more about Australian history.”

Innes Ruins is an important remnant of early settlement days on the north coast of NSW. Built by Major Archibald Clunes Innes, it contains rich history about the settlement of NSW, convict labour and the culture of the 1800s. As an added bonus, it has a very charming setting looking over Lake Innes.

The Depression of the 1840s bought financial ruin to Innes, and the closure of Port Macquarie as a penal settlement deprived him of convict labour. Following his departure, the house was occupied by a number of people over time, but was derelict by the beginning of the 1900s. It subsequently deteriorated to its present state as a result of natural decay and vandalism.

Today, the ruins are classified by the National Trust of Australia (NSW). This site can only be accessed through guided tours, which can be booked through the Port Macquarie Information Centre. If you have an interest in Australian history, you definitely shouldn’t miss the chance to take a guided tour of this fascinating site, which is suitable for visitors of all ages.


Getting there

Getting there:

Access to this site is via Guided Tour only.

Innes Ruins is in the Innes Peninsular precinct of Lake Innes Nature Reserve. To get there:

  • From Port Macquarie CBD, head west on Gordon Street then continue on Oxley Highway.
  • Turn left at the roundabout onto John Oxley Drive
  • Turn left on Major Innes Drive
  • Turn left on The Ruins Way and continue until new road ends.  
  • Turn sharp right onto unsealed section and drive 500m to locked gate.
  • For more information please call (02) 6588 5555.

Get driving directions


Vehicle access:

Unsealed road/trail - 2WD vehicles - All weather


Parking is available 300m from start of Ruins boardwalk.

Important info


  • Amenities block
  • Picnic tables

You should know:

  • It’s a good idea to put sunscreen on before you set out and remember to take a hat
  • Remember to take your binoculars if you want to go birdwatching
  • Drinking water is not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

Wheelchair access:


  • Assistance may be required to access this area

Opening hours:

The Innes Ruins is:

  • Open 10am – 4pm (Monday – Friday)
  • Open 8am – 5.30pm (Saturday – Sunday)
  • Closed on Christmas Day

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Innes Ruins, Lake Innes Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer