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.

Lake Macquarie is renowned for its beautiful salt water lake, but also boasts many other beautiful sites. These sites are significant, both historically and culturally.

photo: charlestown heights estate

Prior to white settlement, the lake and its surrounds was the home to the Awabakal People, who enjoyed the wealth of resources found in the area. Dreaming Stories are attached to many places explaining life, culture and natural phenomena. The recognised aboriginal places found in and around Lake Macquarie are of great cultural significance.

The focus of white settlement was around the discovery of coal in the late eighteenth century, originating in Newcastle, then spreading to the shores of Lake Macquarie. Small settlements were built around the coal mines, and as the communities grew, suburbs emerged. This saw the area being declared a municipality in January 1977, eventually evolving into a city in 1984.

Suburbs in Lake Macquarie