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School excursion

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History mysteries

Stage 2 (Years 3-4), HSIE, Lake Innes Nature Reserve


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Explore the ruins of Lake Innes House on the History Mysteries school excursion to Innes Ruins within Lake Innes Nature Reserve. How did Major Innes and his family became some of the richest people in the colony? This excursion for Stage 2 (Years 3-4) students focuses on HSIE.

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Explore the extensive ruins of convict-built Lake Innes House and adjoining coach yard. Innes Ruins is a place where you can go on a journey through time to days of early settlement in north coast NSW. Built by Major Archibald Clunes Innes, it holds a rich history which tells stories of the culture of the 1800s, and convict labour.

Unlock the mysteries of the area and find out who the convicts were, what crimes they committed, where they came from as well as how they managed to survive. Find out what happened to Innes House and why it became a ruin in such a charming, lakeside setting.

For program outline, safety and practical information about this excursion, see info for teachers

Stage Stage 2 (Years 3-4)
Key learning area HSIE
Student outcomes

HT2-2. Describes and explains how significant individuals, groups and events contributed to changes in the local community over time

HT2-4. Describes and explains effects of British colonisation in Australia

HT2-5. Applies skills of historical inquiry and communication

GE2-3. Examines differing perceptions about the management of places and environments


Students will:

  • Visit this site to investigate how life has changed in the local area since colonial times and the effects of British colonisation
  • Explore the site to understand how it has changed
  • Use skills of historical inquiry to uncover the history of this site
  • Use a range of sources such as photographs, newspapers, oral histories, diaries and letters
  • Find out why this place is a national park, how it is used, cared for and managed today
  • Hear about the nature of contact between Aboriginal people others in the local area

Excursion details


Weekdays, during school term.

Guided. Available on request.
Innes Ruins, Lake Innes Nature Reserve
Easy. Walking along rough pathway and around the Innes Ruins.

$225 per group (includes GST). Maximum 25 students per group. For groups over 25 conditions apply.

Meeting point
South end of Ruins Way, off John Oxley Drive, Port Macquarie.
If you would like to organise a NPWS school excursion please get in touch with local staff or use the 'Enquire' link for the online form.
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Lake Innes Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer