Lake Macquarie History

Forgotten place names of Lake Macquarie

Did you know that there is a "Frog Hollow" in Dudley and that Lake Macquarie once boasted its own sugar refinery at a place known as Sugar Bay ? Or that the racecourse at Boolaroo was given the nickname of "Robbery Park" by the hapless punters who lost their wages there?

Given the long history of Lake Macquarie, it is inevitable that place names have fallen out of common usage over the years or are now known only by older residents.

Many of our local names originate from the indigenous dialects, while others reflect the names of our early white settlers and their use of the land where they lived. No matter their origin, all of our quirky and unusual place names reflect Lake Macquarie's colourful history.

It is important that these names are preserved for future generations and we welcome any contributions for locations we may have missed. Please use the feedback form on this page if you have any additions or suggestions.

Place Names A-I Place Names J-Q Place Names R-Z

Place Name Suburb Origin and Meaning
Adams Flat Swansea The area at the junction of Marks Street and Parbury Road at Swansea. Also known as Adams Green. The area was named after Isaac "Adam" White, an Aboriginal man who lived there. Source: "What's in a name: a brief history of some of the names past and present in and around the northern end of the Wallarah Peninsular" / [researched and written by George & Noelene Boyd].
Allambee Creek Valentine This unnamed creek flows through Allambee Gardens Reserve, Valentine. The name was suggested by Allambee Gardens Reserve Landcare Group in 2005. An Aboriginal word meaning "wait awhile, recline" (Source: "Aboriginal Words of Australia" by A.H. & A.W. Reed).
Amersham Glendale Name of early settler Joseph Weller's property in the 1830s. Named after the town in Buckinghamshire where the Wellers had lived.
Andersons Hill, Andersons Point Belmont Name given to the point of land jutting out into the lake at the end of Bellevue Road, Belmont. John Anderson was an early Belmont settler. He established the well-known "Bellevue" boarding house.
Angora Heights Teralba An area at Teralba also known as Billy Goat Hill. Said to have got the name from the large herds of white goats that grazed there. The name is a play on Billy Goat Hill.
Anniversary Grove Glendale Anniversary Grove is on the end of Irene Booth Park in Frederick Street. The grove of trees is believed to have been planted for a Bi-Centennial project in 1988.
Apple Tree Flat Killingworth An early name for Killingworth
Arundinetum Mirrabooka The name of Joseph Marshall's property at Sugar Bay - present day Mirrabooka - and the site of his sugar processing plant in the late 1860s and 1870s. Arundinetum is Latin for a thick growth of reeds or rushes. The climate of the lake was far from ideal for growing the cane, and after the mill was destroyed by bushfire in 1875 it was abandoned.
Awaba Park Booragul The estate owned by William Bell Quigley in 1879. The point where the Quigley house stood is now the site of Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery.
Awabakal Nature Reserve Dudley This is the bushland area bordering Redhead Road, between the suburbs of Redhead and Dudley. It was set aside for parkland because of the rich Aboriginal heritage associated with the area. It is maintained by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Bahtabah Belmont The name Rev. L E Threlkeld gave to his mission house at Belmont. He had heard the local Aboriginal people refer to the area by that name. Bahtabah is the Aboriginal word for "hill by the lake".
Baileys Bluff Morisset Park Named after early landowner Bert Bailey. Bert Bailey achieved stage, screen and radio fame as Dad Rudd, in the "Dad and Dave" series. Baileys Point is now usually called Bluff Point. There is also Baileys Lagoon.
Bareena Bay Coal Point Named on Captain Deed's map of Lake Macquarie, 1907-8, Bareena Bay is on the eastern side of Coal Point. Bareena is an Aboriginal word reputed by various internet sources to mean "view on the side of a hill" or "summit".
Barryowen Pulbah Island Probably a variation on the Aboriginal name for Pulbah Island - Boroyirong
Baths Beach Wangi A name for the small beach on the southern waterfront of Wangi. Presumably named because the swimming baths were once there.
Battens Point Speers Point Early name for the area of Speers Point opposite Pippi's at the Point Hotel. There was a shipyard and slipway there operated by William Batten in the 1870s and 1880s.
Biddaba Speers Point Warners Bay This was the Aboriginal for the Speers Point area meaning "silent resting place". (Source: "Aborigines of the Hunter Region" by Hunter Region Dept of Education p.96). Jonathon Warner named his house Biddaba. The Speers Point East School was renamed Biddabah Public School.
Big Hill, Billy Goat Hill Booragul/Teralba A name given to the site of the old cemetery at Booragul, which is in bushland off Station Street near Booragul railway station. The area is in the bushland off Station Street, near the railway station. Over the years, the site has seen a number of different names, including Big Hill Cemetery, Billy Goat Hill Cemetery, Goat Hill Cemetery, Booragul Cemetery and Pioneer Cemetery. The name Billy Goat Hill is thought to have derived from the fact that large herds of white goats once grazed there. They were rounded up at night and driven to properties. The area was also known as Angora Heights, a play on the Billy Goat Hill name.
Boydies Hole Swansea Was a dredged and deepened part of the lake at the end of Lake Road in Swansea. The name itself is well known amongst the local fishing fraternity. The hole was created as part of the shipbuilding yards owned by James Lewis Boyd which was located in the area. It enabled larger vessels to be launched there. Source: "What's in a name: a brief history of some of the names past and present in and around the northern end of the Wallarah Peninsular" / [researched and written by George & Noelene Boyd].
Bird Island South of Catherine Hill Bay Bird Island Nature Reserve is a small offshore island. The schooner Catherine Hill was wrecked at Bird Island Point in June 1867, giving its name to Catherine Hill Bay.
Black Jacks Point Belmont This is the name given to the point of land adjacent to the 16ft Sailing Club at Belmont. Threlkeld reported that "Old Jacky's tribe lived near his mission station" at Belmont in 1828. (Source: "Lake Macquarie Past and Present" p.16).
Black Neds Bay Swansea The name given to the circular inlet at the entrance to Lake Macquarie at Swansea, near the RSL Club. Black Ned, his wife Margaret and their children had a reserve set aside for them here in 1871. Ned and Margaret were thought to be the last of the original local Aboriginal people of the area. (Source: "Lake Macquarie Past and Present" p. 84)
Boroyirong Pulbah Island The Aboriginal name for Pulbah Island
Boughton Point Bolton Point Named after John Herring Boughton, an early landowner of Bolton Point (Source: "Lake Macquarie Memories" by Dulcie Hartley).
Bowers Platform Toronto This was a platform on the Fassifern to Toronto railway line between Fennell Bay and Toronto. It closed in 1910.
Boyces Point Fennell Bay An early name for Bolton Point. John and Henry Boyce were early settlers in the area.
Bramcote Barnsley In 1882 the subdivision of 290 allotments called "Bramcote" was surveyed at Barnsley.
Brooks Mountain Boolaroo/Speers Point An early name for Munibung Hill, after William Brook, who received the original land grant (Source: "Lake Macquarie Memories" by D. Hartley).
Broughton Point Bolton Point About 1836 it was named Broughton Point by Reverend L E Threlkeld after Rt Rev William Grant Broughton, first an only Bishop of Australia (Source: "Early History of Australia" by E W Clack).
Bulgonia Brightwaters Former name for Brightwaters
Bulls Creek Gateshead-Bennets Green-Jewells. A locally known name coming from Edmund Bull who purchased land in the 1800’s and established a large market garden there. The Bull name is also recorded in the name Bulls Garden Road. Bulls Creek was gazetted in 2005.
Bundee, Bondee Toronto Shown on early maps, Bundee is the Toronto-Coal Point peninsula. Bundee means ‘a narrow place, any narrow point of land’. It is a corruption of the Awabakal word punte or puntei.
Burwood Whitebridge Original name of Glenrock Lagoon and the surrounding area. The area was owned by Dr Mitchell and was named Burwood Estate after the ancestral home of Dr Mitchell's wife Augusta, nee Scott. Burwood Colliery operated from 1851 - 1982. Renamed as Glenrock Lagoon around 1900.
Canoe Point Marks Point Kahibah Point in the early years had been called Canoe Point (Proctor’s map). It was possibly named from the Aborigines racing bark canoes in the channel.
Cardiff Point Valentine Named after the Cardiff Colliery that operated here. There was also a Cardiff Sawmill at Valentine.
Cardiff West Glendale Cardiff West was an early name for Glendale. See discussion on the naming of Glendale
Carnley Estate Pelican Early name for the part of Pelican bound by Loma Street and Soldiers Road. Named for George Carnley's Estate subdivision of 1937.
Carpenters Estate & Thriftdale Estate - Mount Hutton Mount Hutton These were names given to the area that later became Mount Hutton. Thriftdale came from the name of an insurance company landowner.
Chainbibber Point Wolstoncroft Chainbibber was an early name for the Point Wolstoncroft area, John Moore’s property. There is possibly a name connection with Chain Valley. Bibber is believed to be an Aboriginal word meaning ‘hill’.
Cherrys Bridge Barnsley Thought to be named after Duncan Cherry, an early landowner.
Chinamens Swansea The name given to the blunt point of land between the lake and the channel, between Rawson and Kahibah Streets near Coon Island. The area was known as Chinamens after the Chinese fishermen who lived there in the 1860s.
Clacks Creek Morisset Percy Clack was for 19 years the Morisset Station Master and was involved in the community and church organisations in the area. His house was near the creek, a tributary of Stockton Creek. It was declared on 27 December 2002.
Coalbrook Cardiff Coalbrook was an early mining village in the Cardiff area. The village was bounded by First Street, Lake Avenue, Fifth Street and Oak and Elm Avenues on the Winding Creek boundary. There was a Coalbrook Estate in the area
Cobra Creek, Cobra Reserve Wyee, Wyee Point Cobra is an Aboriginal word for teredo, woodworm or shipworm, native to mangrove areas throughout Australia. Rotting logs were hacked with axes and worms eaten raw (Source: "The Worimi-Hunter-Gatherers" by Borris Sokoloff).
Cocked Hat Creek Edgeworth An early name for Edgeworth. Cocked Hat Creek flows into Cockle Creek. The name is thought to have come from the shape of Cocked Hat Hill, where it commences.
Cockle Bay Speers Point Cockle Bay is at the mouth of Cockle Creek.
Coffee Pot Creek Toronto This name was preferred by the Lake Macquarie Historical Society, Toronto District Landcare Group and Coffee Pot Historical Society. This name was taken from a steam engine with a vertical boiler in a wooden box-like cabin used on the Toronto line after 1899. Known as the Coffee Pot, it achieved fame far and wide. Coffee Pot Creek was gazetted in 2005.
Cold Tea Creek Belmont South It was given this name because the water always had a brown colouring. Cold Tea Creek was dug by the army in 1942 as an anti-tank defence. It was believed that the Japanese would land at Blacksmiths during WW2 and head north to Newcastle, the industrial heart of Australia. (Source: "NMH" 7 November 2007).
Coon Island Swansea Named after Herbert Greta Heaney whose nickname was ‘Coon’. He lived on the island in earlier times.
Coorumbung Cooranbong A derivation of the Aboriginal name "Kour-an-bong" meaning rocky bottom creek or water over rocks.
Copper Point Vales Point Copper Point was an earlier name for Vales Point.
Crabbs Beach Swansea Also known as Crabbes Beach and Flatrock, is a beach on the ocean side of Swansea Heads to the north of Frenchmans Rocks. Source: "What's in a name: a brief history of some of the names past and present in and around the northern end of the Wallarah Peninsular" / [researched and written by George & Noelene Boyd].
Crockers Creek Jewells Incorrectly spelt, is named after William Croker an early landowner in the area. (From the History of Windale).
Crosss Beach Dudley Near the caves at Dudley, Crosss Beach is named after early farmer Mr Cross whose farm was one of the first on the east coast of Lake Macquarie. In later years there was an elderly lady called ‘Granny’ Cross who lived in Dudley She was of this family.
Cross Creek Dudley This name was chosen by the Awabakal Environmental Education Centre at Dudley Public School. Cross Creek flows to the southern end of Dudley Beach in the Glenrock State Recreation Area. It was named after Mr. Cross who owned a property here in the 1800’s. Cross Creek was gazetted in 2005.
Crossroads Glendale The Crossroads was the unofficial name of the intersection at Cardiff Road and Edgeworth Road (currently Main Road and Lake Road) Glendale. The suburb was originally known as the Crossroads, and was oficially changed to Glendale in the mid 1950s.
Deepwater Estate Cockle Creek The sale of allotments at Deepwater township on Cockle Creek were announced in the newspapers of March 1884.
Dereh-bambah Toronto The Aboriginal name given to the Toronto Coal Point Peninsula. Also called Punte.
Dicks Creek Charlestown This creek was named after a prominent local family. It flows from east of Tirriki Street into Jewells Swamp. This name was approved by Council in 2005.
Diega Creek Wakefield Flows from the Awaba State Forest into Cockle Creek. An early land grant at Killingworth was called "Deega" and an early name for Wakefield was "Diegga Flat".
Digary Creek Wyee Digary Creek was the early name for Mannering Creek, shown on a 1965 Council map. This is also mentioned in “Historical Tour of Wyong and District” by Brisbane Water and Wyong Shire Historical Societies. The meaning of this word has yet to be found. This creek flows into Wyee Dam at Vales Point Power Station.
Dorah, Doree Dora Creek An Aboriginal name for Dora Creek, Doree Doree meant a creek running into the lake.
Dorri Brook Dora Creek An early name for Dora Creek. Doree Doree meant a creek running into the lake.
Drysdale Creek West Wallsend Named after David Drysdale who lived near the creek in Withers Street, West Wallsend. David and Sandy Rees built the first footbridge over the creek following WW1. David died soon after during the ‘Spanish Flu’ epidemic of 1919. (Source: "Early West Wallsend" by T.G. Reynolds).
Ebenezer Toronto The name of Lancelot Threlkeld's second mission at Toronto. Named after the area on the Hawkesbury River where his wife had lived at Cattai. Tradition has it that the mission house was located on the site of the present day Toronto Hotel.
Echo Point Llandaff Point Eleebana These were early names used for Rocky Point. Llandaff is a town in Wales.
Edden Park Pulbah Island An early name for Pulbah Island. It was named Edden Park in 1919, honour of the Minister for Mines but the name was never commonly used.
Edmunds Bay Toronto / Blackalls Park Named after Edmund Chapman, a member of an early Blackalls Park family. Edmunds Bay is a semi enclosed bay. It was once a popular prawning location. Due to pollution this is no longer practised. Edmunds Bay Wetland is part of the Lake Macquarie priority wetland rehabilitation program.
Emerald Downs Mount Hutton This is a local name given to the winding part of Warners Bay Road in Mount Hutton, this name coming from a subdivision named Emerald Downs Estate.
Estellville Holmesville Was a part of Holmesville which was situated at Seaham Street. It was also known as Sandy Hollow. Estellville became Holmesville in 1991. Part of the bush at the top end of Seaham Street was also named Estellville and this was changed to Cameron Park.Estellville was named after John Estell, a former Minister for Mines, who was born at Minmi in 1861. Source: "Holmesville : one man's vision" by Lillian Price, 1998.
Evelien Cardiff An area of Cardiff South was once known as Evelien, after the 1904 land development Evelien Estate.
Fairley Holmesville A small hamlet which was at the end of Earl Street in Holmesville. The Village of Fairley was laid out beside the mine in the days of Seaham No. 2 Colliery. The estate was advertised in 1906. Only 20 lots were sold, and the village never really prospered. The town was named after mine manager Mr Fairley. Although there is little left at the site, Fairley Road still exists, and can be accessed by Boundary Street and Killingworth Road.Source: "Holmesville : one man's vision" by Lillian Price, 1998.
Fairy Dell Creek Dudley Fairy Dell Creek begins in Ocean Street and drops over the cliff face south of Dudley Beach. A creek flat near the site of the pump unit was used by local miners as a picnic spot. It was that time timbered and very natural, leading to it being referred to as the ‘fairies dell’. This name was approved by Council in 2005.
Figtree Point Toronto / Balcolyn The name given to the point of land on the southern side of the Fennell Bay bridge. There was a fig tree on this point for many years. The Toronto landmark tree has gone, but the old fig tree at Balcolyn is still standing.
Fishery Point Mirrabooka The rocky point given to the headland at Sugar Bay, Mirrabooka. It is thought that this was the location of a fish curing and canning factory owned by Joseph Marshall in the 1860s.
Flaggy Creek Charlestown Flaggy Creek rises in Charlestown and flows about 4 km into Glenrock Lagoon. Its name was assigned by the GNB on 7 October 1977. This name may have come from “flag” a flat slab or slabs of rock.
Flaggy Creek Holmesville and Barnsley Flaggy Creek is part of a system of tributaries that connect and flow through Holmesville and Barnsley into Cockle Creek. This name may have also come from “flag” or flat slab(s) of rock shown on old maps and locally known by this name.
Flagstaff Swansea Heads Flagstaff was a tiny hamlet of about 12 houses that used to be at Swansea Heads. A report in the “Sunday Mirror” on 5 June 1960 states that the road to Flagstaff had been seriously eroded by the ocean. This location is more commonly known as Little Beach.
Fossil Wing Creek Eleebana The name Fossil Wing Creek was chosen by the Lake Macquarie Council Strategy Committee on 17 October 2005 to reflect the internationally significant insect wing fossil beds in the area. The insects were caught in a blanket of volcanic ash and entombed around 250 million years ago.This creek starts at Dalwood Close, crosses under several streets and an oval to reach South Creek.
Frenchmans Rock, Frenchmans Beach Swansea Frenchmans Rock is a large flat rock located at the northern end of Hams Beach at Swansea. The adjacent Beach is known as Frenchmans Beach. It was named for the French ship "Henri" which foundered at the location in 1852. It is colloquially refer to as "Frenchys" and by association, "Frenchys Rock". Local surfers refer to the location as "Chalky". Source: "What's in a name: a brief history of some of the names past and present in and around the northern end of the Wallarah Peninsular" / [researched and written by George & Noelene Boyd].
Freshwater Creek Bonnells Bay A watercourse about 1km long rising south of Bonnells Bay village and flowing generally NNW into Bonnells Bay. This name was assigned 5 December 1975 (Source GNB).
Freshwater Creek Dudley A watercourse about 3km long which rises about 1 km south of Dudley and flows generally south into the South Pacific Ocean. This name was assigned 11 May 1973 (Source: GNB).
Freshwater Creek Teralba An early name for the hillsides and quarries near Teralba. A small creek winding through the gully provided a source of fresh water for the early settlers (Source: "Teralba" by P Jepson).
Friths Bridge Holmesville Named for the Frith Family whose brickworks were near this bridge.
Frog Hollow Dudley One part of Dudley was colloquially known as "Frog Hollow." This was at the junction of what is now Elizabeth and Rose Streets where a creek was home to many frogs. It was here that boys played soccer and cricket on the flat between Elizabeth and Thomas Street.
Galgabba Point Galgabee Creek Swansea This was the Awabakal name for Swansea. Believed to mean ‘a place to rest or a pleasant place to camp’. (From and interview with T. D. Boyd - L.M.C.C. Library). Later research found that in ritual tongue this means ‘a place to relax’ and in ordinary language means ‘sand spit’. “Ba’ on the end of a word means ‘a place of’. ‘Ee’ on the end of a word (as in Galgabee Creek) means ‘important, urgent call attention to’. (Source: "Aborigines of the Hunter Region" by the Dept. of Education Hunter Region). In the late 1800s a boat built at Swansea Shipyard was named Galgabba.
Garths Point Mannering Park This was an earlier name for Mannering Park, named after Edward Garth, landowner and settler.
George Stanton Lookout Redhead Named after George Thomas Stanton, Lake Macquarie Shire Councillor. He was the Redhead School Headmaster.
Glen Mitchell Teralba A section of the Quigley estate was subdivided in 1886 into residential building blocks. The subdivision was called "Glen Mitchell". This name was given to the school, between 1889 and 1891.
Goonda Point Wangi Goonda is an Aboriginal word meaning "fire" (Source: "Australian Aboriginal Words and Place Names" by SJ Endacott).
Gorricks Point Sunshine An earlier name for Sunshine named after landowner Joseph Gorrick, a state member of parliament.
Grannys Pool Blacksmiths Grannys Pool on Nine Mile Beach is a naturally occurring tidal waterway. Sand is removed by Council so the pool can be used as a recreational facility.
Gravel Pitts Teralba An early name for part of Teralba.It described the area near the 1884 quarry which provided gravel for the northern railway line. There was a school named Gravel Pits there in 1886, with 27 registered pupils. The area was also sometimes known as Freshwater Creek. The school was renamed Glen Mitchell in 1889 and then Teralba in 1891.
Green Point, Green Point Foreshore Reserve Valentine/Belmont The name given to the headland between the suburbs of Valentine and Belmont. It takes its name from the mine "The Green Hills Coal Works" which operated there in the 1860s. The name Green Hills came from the owner - John Nixon's - other coal mining interests at Maitland and Morpeth.
Green Water Hole Bolton Point A place known to early fishermen, Green Water Hole is on the eastern side of Bolton Point in Awaba Bay.
Hampsons Bay, Hansons Bay Sunshine Hampsons Bay is named after Mrs Emily Hampson, the postmistress at Mirrabooka for 27 years. Postmistress Creek flows into it.
Hampton Argenton Name of George Weller's land grant at Cockle Creek/Argenton in the 1830s.
Hams Beach Caves Beach Hams Beach was named after William Henry Ham the first resident in the area overlooking the beach.
Hardys Hill Speers Point The name given to the hill at Speers Point, in the vicinity of Farm Street and Quarry Road, which was the site of the old council quarry. This name came from Mrs Mersie Hardy whose land included the hill. Later it was purchased by A Hawkins of Boolaroo.
Hartley Point Valentine The name given to the point of land which runs along Dilkera Avenue at Valentine in the vicinity of Albert Street. The Hartley Coal Company operated here during the 1860s. It is also known as Landalf Point. (see Lake Macquarie Past and Present p.93).
Hawkins Creek Speers Point This creek flows from the south west slopes of Munibung Hill into the lake at Cockle Bay. William Brooks once operated the Lochend Colliery at the top of what was to become Hopkins Street. A later quarry was accessed from Hopkins Street. Geo. Hawkins & Sons purchased the quarry and land and operated for many years. The Hawkins family also had a farm in the vicinity.
Heads Beach Blacksmiths Blacksmiths Beach was once also known as Heads Beach. The name might have come from Swansea Heads.
Hely Creek Rathmines This name was chosen by the students of Rathmines Public School. It was named after Edward Norton Hely, a landowner and settler, for his contribution to early Rathmines with orchards, vineyards and cattle on his property. Hely Creek was declared on 27 December 2002.
Hendersons Point Nords Wharf Named after early landowner George Henderson, his property was alongside of William Nord’s property.
Highgate Barnsley Early subdivision at Barnsley developed by A Brown in 1880. This subdivision was bounded by Flaggy Creek, George Street, Thomas Street, and both sides of the Northville Road.
Holy Flat West Wallsend An early name for the area bounded by Appletree Road, Seaham Street and Government Road. The property of Joseph Holmes was in this area. Source: "Holmesville : one man's vision" by Lillian Price, 1998.
Inglewood Flat Cooranbong Described as the point where the road crosses Sandy Creek, about 3 miles north of Cooranbong. The origin of the name is unknown.