Back to previous page
Print factsheet

School excursion

Special Offer

Heritage detectives

Stage 3 (Years 5-6), HSIE, Lake Innes Nature Reserve


Enquire now

Heritage Detectives is a school excursion within Lake Innes Nature Reserve for Stage 3 (Years 5-6) primary school students and focuses on HSIE. Explore the ruins of convict built Lake Innes House and search for clues that reveal details from the past.

Read more about Heritage detectives

Discover the Innes Ruins, a place where you can go on a journey through time to days of early settlement in north coast NSW. Discover why Port Macquarie was settled in 1821 and the impact on the local Aboriginal people. Learn about the first crops planted here, how farming changed, the effects of the gold rushes and the transport difficulties faced by the settlers. Built by Major Archibald Clunes Innes, it holds a rich history which tells stories of the culture of the 1800s, and convict labour.

On this excursion you'll 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 3 (Years 5-6)
Key learning area HSIE
Student outcomes

HT3-2. Describes and explains different experiences of people living in Australia over time

HT3-5. Applies a variety of skills of historical inquiry and communication


Students will:

  • Hear stories of Major Innes, his family and convicts and use a range of sources to investigate the contributions he and others made in the establishment of a convict settlement at Port Macquarie
  • Investigate the everyday life of soldiers, convicts and early settler families in post-1800 colonial settlements
  • Investigate local examples of First Contact and long term consequences of European settlement

Excursion details


Weekdays during school term.

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

Operated by

Park info

See more visitor info

Maps and downloads

Lake Innes, Lake Innes Nature Reserve. Photo: John Spencer/NSW Government