Rats: Convict Tales


Hyde Park Barracks Museum Excursion Information
Hyde Park Barracks Museum Risk Assessment [March 2018]
Rats: Convict Tales pre-visit information
Rats: Convict Tales pre-visit activities
Excursion Introduction: Rats: Convict Tales

Key Information

Cost (GST free)
From $190 for up to 15 students. See below for the full cost scale.
1 hour 30 minutes
Session Offered
Monday to Friday
Maximum Students
35 per session
Supervision ratios

The supervision ratio is 1:10 for primary groups and 1:15 for secondary groups. Teachers and parents attend free of charge at these ratios. One carer per student with special needs will be admitted free of charge.

Additional Visitor Costs

Each additional visitor will be charged at the concession rate of $8.


In this program students learn first-hand about the lives of the male convicts who lived at the Hyde Park Barracks between 1819 and 1848.

Students refer to a variety of primary and secondary sources, including the building itself as an artefact, to learn about the daily routines, misdemeanours and punishments of the convicts. They also consider the barracks as an archaeological site, investigating a recreated rats’ nests beneath the floorboards, discovering artefacts and learning about the unusual role these rodents played in conserving the building’s history.

Students then put on convict shirts, and meet Jim the assistant overseer. Jim teaches them how to sleep in a hammock and the importance of following the many rules of the barracks. Under the expert tuition and watchful eye of Jim and the overseer, students get their hands dirty making bricks and discover how to lay them to make a sturdy wall.

Prepare your group for a visit with an 'Excursion Introduction' listed under Resources. These introductions are suitable for teachers of children with ASD in integrated classrooms.


Up to 15 students: $190
Up to 35 students: $370
Up to 50 students: $525
Up to 70 students: $725


You can alter your booking numbers up until 7 days prior to your visit.
We will call you a week before your booking to confirm final numbers and requirements.
You will be invoiced for the full cost of your program a week prior to your booking.
Payment can be made by Credit Card, EFTPOS or cheque (payable to Historic Houses Trust of NSW).
Cancellations made within 7 days of a booking will incur the full cost for the program.
Cancellations made within 2 weeks of your visit will be invoiced for 50% of the total booking.
Cancellations must be made in writing. 


Stage 2 History

First Contacts

Key inquiry questions:

  • Why did Europeans settle in Australia?

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

HT2-5 Applies skills of historical inquiry and communication

Similar programs: Convict Life at the Barracks; Investigating Convict History

Complementary programs: Whose place?, Colonial Life at Elizabeth Farm

Plan Your Visit

  • Please plan to arrive before the start time of your booked program to allow for cloaking, toilet visits and/or a refreshment break for the students. If you arrive late, some elements and activities may need to be cut from the program to keep to the scheduled finish time.
  • Large groups will be divided up into smaller groups for activities in the museums.
  • Bags, food and drinks are not permitted in the museums and cloaking facilities are provided.
  • Photography policies vary between the museums so please ask a member of staff for details.
  • Teachers and carers are required to remain with their groups at all times.
  • Disciplining students remains the responsibility of teachers and carers accompanying the group.
  • Please let us know before your visit if any of your students have special needs or learning difficulties so we can plan to accommodate their needs during the visit.

Hyde Park Barracks Museum

Queens Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone 02 8239 2211


Please call 02 8239 2211 to enquire.

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Alternatively, you may wish to consider our education programs at these nearby sites, which are also located in the Sydney CBD:

Booking Contact

Hyde Park Barracks Museum

Queens Square, Macquarie Street, Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone 02 8239 2211