Lake Macquarie History


The City Council of Lake Macquarie acknowledge the Aboriginal people known today as the Awabakal, as the traditional Custodians of the land, respecting Aboriginal Elders past, present and future. Lake Macquarie City Council recognise the local Aboriginal community today in all of their diversity, who came forward to share their experiences, knowledge, images and memories.

Name Origin:

Descriptive, probably given at the time of subdivision. The locality was in early days known as Sugar Bay

Early Land Grants:

Portion 18 was owned by Joseph Marshall, a Sydney brewery proprietor, and was purchased in November 1859. Portion 19 of 43 acres belonged to John Robinson. Portion 34 of 32 acres also belonged to Joseph Marshall. All portions were in the parish of Morisset.

Early Subdivisions:

D.P.7316 "Brightwaters Estate" was subdivided by Henry F. Halloran and declared in August 1913. This was known as Brightwaters No.1 between Kallaroo Road and Mulubina Road, that is, Marshall's Portion 18.

D.P.8055, was Brightwaters No. 2, surveyed by Halloran and declared for subdivision on 31/1/1914. This was related to portions 19 and 34 and included Marshall's old sugar plantation. The subdivision of Bulgonia was situated between the two Brightwaters. Neither Brightwaters subdivisions were sold out and they were readvertised by real estate agents Bowden and Schadel after World War II.

Early Settlers:

Marshall's property was occupied by his employees headed by James Norris, manager. "These are good rich soil and all available land well-watered and lightly timbered with stunted gum, apple tree, oak tree, vegetable produce, grass ferns etc." Surveyor's note 1859.

Early Industries:

In 1864 Marshall's Paddington Brewery, New South Head Road, marketed tinned fish from Lake Macquarie, which may have been cured on his property at Sugar Bay.

In 1865 Marshall began to plant sugar cane at Sugar Bay and by 1870 he had 60 acres of cane. A large steam two-storied sugar mill was built approximately 45m from the water on the southeast side of Mill Lane. The machinery was brought by water. Most of the sugar was sent to the brewery but some was refined for sale. In January 1875 the mill, Marshall's house and all the cane were destroyed in a bushfire.

Early Transport:

By horse and dray to Morisset and Cooranbong and by water to Sydney and Newcastle. About 1955 Bernie Goodwin began a private bus service which catered for local school children. Goodwin could not extend his service to the general public as it was government subsidized.

First Post Office:

Opened 2 January 1963, closed 31 January 1979.

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.]

Streets in Brightwaters