Lake Macquarie History

Miller's Wharf, Cockle Creek

Miller's Wharf appears to have been a mooring for boats in the northern reaches of Cockle Creek, in the vicinity of Cockle Creek Railway Station. In the early days of development at Boolaroo, goods were transported via the creeks in the area. This was done by various watercraft, including punts and steamers. The main dispatch and embarking point was at Millers Wharf back toward Edgeworth (or as it was then known, Young Wallsend). Although we have been unable to definitively pinpoint the physical location, the following sources give written descriptions of where this wharf may have been.

  • The Cockle Creek Rehabilitation Project is situated adjacent to the site of the old Boolaroo Racecourse, a thriving social destination in days long gone, and the very active Millers Ferry Wharf. In 1876 Millers Wharf, as it was named, was used by both passenger and cargo ferry’s. By 1888 the ferry ‘Helen Taylor’ ran daily between Pelican Flat and Cockle Creek coinciding with train arrivals and departures. In 1889 a daily ferry ran between Cockle Creek, Cooranbong and Swansea, while coal miners commuted by ferry to the Catherine Hill Bay mines, and excursion and cargo ferries ran to Dora Creek. Source: Landcare Lake Macquarie A case study of Cockle Creek Rehabilitation Project www.lakemacquarielandcare.org
  • Millers Wharf on Cockle Creek stood within 200 yards of the tram route near Brush Creek. Mr W. Johnson operated two steamers from this wharf to jetties on Lake Macquarie. Source:Trolley Wire No. 242 AUGUST 1990 http://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au
  • The roads of the area were poor with water transport servicing the area. By 1876 a wharf had been built at the junction of Brush Creek and Cockle Creek to service Lake Macquarie. Goods and passengers from Newcastle were shipped via rail to Wallsend and then transported by horse drawn wagons to Millers Wharf where they were on-shipped around the Lake. The Lake supplied fish and timber in a return process. In 1889 the completion of the Sydney-Newcastle rail line led to the collapse of the local transport industry (Sokoloff Youngy Then and Now 1991:16). Source:Cultural Heritage Impact Assessment Northern Coal Services Northern Coal Logistics Project http://www.centennialcoal.com.au
  • In 1876 Miller's Wharf, situated at the intersection of Cocked Hat Creek and Winding Creek, was used by both passenger and Cargo ferries. By the 1880s Miller's Wharf was being used by the miners who commuted to the Catherine Hill Bay mine. It is thought Wallsend shopkeeper W Johnstone has at one stage transported pit props between Dora Creek and Cockle Creek to Miller's Wharf in the 1880s.By the early 1930s Miller's Wharf had become derelict. Source: Shirley Gleghorn, The people of Warners Bay and beyond, 2007