Lake Macquarie History


by Kristy Dean

“I think I can hear it Mummy!”

We all stop and listen, turning our heads towards Coal Point. From our vantage point across the lake at Kilaben Bay there is nothing to be seen yet, but the faintest sound of Christmas carols can be heard.

“I hear it too! Hurry and get ready, we’ll be leaving soon”. With that, the annual tradition of visiting Kilaben Bay Park on Christmas Eve gets underway. The older children are so excited to see Santa, they are dancing and jumping around on the grass. The smaller children are not so sure about what is about to happen, but can feel the excitement in the air as they are strapped into their strollers. The smallest children are snuggled in their Mummy’s arms, so cosy that they are almost asleep.

We start the walk, with the Daddy’s grabbing the eskys and other essential items for a picnic. Progress is slow as we stop to chat to neighbours, everyone watching Santa’s boat chug across the lake. The children playing as we walk, chasing feathers, waving sticks at each other and blowing dandy lions into the wind. The music gets louder as the boat carrying Santa comes around Coal Point and makes the final descent to the park, where hundreds of excited children have been gathered for hours, waiting for Santa and his lolly bags. Parents are chatting in groups around picnic blankets full of cheese, bikkies and champagne. For many people this will be the only time they see old friends and neighbours all year. Everyone travels home for Christmas, and of course that means the Park on Christmas Eve. A long time ago we were the children waiting for Santa. Now we have our own children who are sharing in the traditions. We catch up on gossip and exclaim loudly over how much the children have grown, and eagerly meet new babies.

photo: christmas picnic speers point park

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.

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