Lake Macquarie History


Name Origin:

Aboriginal for "Summer" or "Warm place".

European History

Early Land Grants:

In 1829 Madame Rens of Sydney received a grant of 914 acres (Teralba Parish) in exchange for a piece of land in George Street, Sydney, taken for government purposes. However, she failed to develop the grant and it reverted to the Crown. On 9 February 1830 it was granted to Captain James Ranclaud, who already possessed the adjoining property at Teralba. Ranclaud died on 30 May 1832. His widow and son were unable to retain their Lake Macquarie lands, which again reverted to the Crown and were granted to Dr. James Mitchell on 12 March 1842.

Early Subdivisions:

The first subdivision was formed by First, Second and Fourth Streets on 4 July 1908. The second subdivision was auctioned at 3 pm on Saturday 26 September 1908. The third subdivision, which developed Third Street and Lake Crescent, was auctioned on 6 November 1909. A subdivision of the Quigley Estate in 1921 used a plan by Sir John Sulman, the well-known town planner.

Early European Settlers:

Mitchell died on 1 February 1869 and the Booragul/Teralba section of his estate passed to his second daughter Margaret Scott Mitchell, who married William Bell Quigley on 8 March 1870. The Quigleys made their home at "Awaba Park", on the waterfront at Booragul. Quigley was killed in an accident on 18 March 1879. Margaret Quigley died of burns received when her house burned down in November 1886. The Quigleys' grave, originally just off Primrose Street was relocated to Park Parade (near the Mikal Way turnoff) in 1982. A new home was built and occupied by the children. The Perpetual Trustee Company administered the Quigley Estate for many years. The third house on the site was built for Newcastle solicitor T.A. Braye to the design of C. Sara in 1927. It was resumed for a proposed hospital on Mr. Braye's death in 1950. The hospital was never built and in November 1995 the house was acquired by Lake Macquarie City Council as a temporary home for the city's art gallery.

Early Industries:

A slaughteryard serving Teralba was located at the head of Marmong Creek.

Early Transport:

Booragul was conveniently located to take advantage of Speers Point steam tram and ferries.


The Great Northern Railway of 1887 did not pass through Booragul but took the direct route over the hill to Teralba. The Booragul Loop was constructed later to lessen the gradient and Booragul Station was opened in 1926. The first highway roundabout in Lake Macquarie was constructed at Booragul in 1984.

First Post Office:

Opened 1 September 1953.

First School:

Booragul Public School opened in January 1955. Booragul High opened in January 1958. It was renamed Lake Macquarie High School during the 1990s.


The permanent Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery building was launched in the grounds of Awaba House in May 2001. Lake Macquarie City Council confirmed its commitment to culture and education with the addition of an art seminar room in 2008.


During World War II the Defence Department resumed a section of the Quigley Estate for armed forces housing. After the war the Army families lived in the houses up on the hill and the RAAF families lived in Gainford, Primrose and nearby streets. This post-war housing estate was commonly known as the 'Commonwealth Cottages'. The buildings which constituted the Commonwealth Cottages were prefabricated and shipped from England. Some of them were sold to the public while the others were used as married quarters for the RAAF at Rathmines and then Williamtown. Importing prefabricated houses was very controversial and it had disastrous effects on the Australian building industry, as can be seen from this article in the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday 24 April 1953.The Housing Commission later acquired the settlement. The C.A. Brown Anglican Village was built by the Church of England in 1955, named after a long-serving Diocesan Registrar, Charles Arthur Brown. It was the earliest retirement village in the district.

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.]

Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery. (2018). About us. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Sep. 2018].

Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery. (2018). History. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 Sep. 2018].

Streets in Booragul

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.

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