Lake Macquarie History

Bonnells Bay

Name Origin:

The Bonnell family were early settlers in the area. The area was originally called Scarborough. The public school was also going to be called Scarborough but the Education Department wouldn't allow it as there was already a public school called Scarborough on the south coast of NSW. The school was then called Morisset East but in 1948 the name was changed to Bonnells Bay Provisional School following a submission from the teacher in charge, John Constable. The local telephone exchange was also called Bonnells Bay. In 1967 The Geographical Names Board of NSW changed the name of the suburb from Scarborough to Bonnells Bay so the school and suburb names were aligned.

European History

Early Land Grants:

Portions 24 (50 acres), 25 (42 acres), 35 (40 acres), 37 (40 acres), and 41 (40 acres) (Morisset Parish). Granted to William Laing, Thomas Brooks and Charles Sweetland, jointly, on 5 June 1884.

Early Subdivisions:

D.P.1996, private subdivision for "Village of Scarborough" of portions 24, 25, 35, 37 and 41. This subdivision, which was declared 26 November 1886, was bounded by Albert, Brooks, Dailey, St. Clair, Stewart and William Streets, and Grand Parade. Unsuccessful in 1887, it was re-advertised after World War II, when many lots were sold and a small shopping centre grew up. Development was slow until the building of Eraring Power Station in the 1980's when there was an influx of population and many new homes were built.

First School:

Provisional school opened January 1912. Public school from June 1912 until December 1938. Reverted to provisional school May 1942 until April 1955. Opened as a public school in May 1955. The school was known as Morisset East until September 1948.


Bonnells Bay once had a rough racecourse at which picnic races were held.

Water Supply:



Nilson, Laurie & Leis, Susan & Noble, Rodney & Lake Macquarie (N.S.W.). Council 1985, Lake Macquarie : past and present, Lake Macquarie City Council, [Boolaroo, N.S.W.]

Saxon, Doug 2012, Bonnells Bay Public School (formerly Morriset East) : celebrating the centenary 1912-2012, Doug Saxon, Fishing Point, NSW

Geographical Names Board of NSW. (2018). Extract - Geographical Names Board of NSW. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Sep. 2018].

Streets in Bonnells Bay

Acknowledgement of Country

We remember and respect the Ancestors who cared for and nurtured this Country. It is in their footsteps that we travel these lands and waters. Lake Macquarie City Council acknowledges the Awabakal people and Elders past, present and future.

Council acknowledges traditional custodians throughout Australia. We commit to listening deeply to and collaborating with First Peoples in our work.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website and Council's cultural collections may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

This website may contain place names, opinions and terms that reflect authors' views or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded. These may not be considered appropriate today.

If you experience any issues with the website or its content please contact us [email protected]