Lake Macquarie History

Our maritime history

This publication is available for purchase at all LakeMac Libraries branches for $5.00

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.

The publication, 'Lake Macquarie New South Wales : a maritme history' was funded by a Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support grant.The Maritime Museums of Australia Project Support Scheme is funded by the Australian Government through the Australian National Maritime Museum and the Department of Communications and the Arts.

photo: maritime heritage booklet

The area of Lake Macquarie is estimated at over 110 square kilometres. It is the largest salt water lagoon in Australia and is four times the size of Sydney Harbour with 175km of shoreline.The Lake has been a source of sustenance, livelihood and pleasure for the people of Lake Macquarie from the earliest time of the Awabakal people, through colonial settlement and the tough times of the Great Depression.

The potential for industry and the transportation of goods to outside markets, the narrow ocean entrance provided a significant barrier to growth and expansion. It was the eventual development of road and rail transportation which opened up the Lake Macquarie region to settlers, businesses, tourists and pleasure seekers, though it brought an end to commercial boat building and a significant decline in ferry transportation.

The waters of Lake Macquarie continue to provide enjoyment for boating enthusiasts and tourists. It is a mecca for aquatic sports of all kinds, producing a number of outstanding sportsmen and women who have achieved international success. Our maritime history in the second half of the twentieth century has centred on these recreational aspects and the tourism it brings to the city, making Lake Macquarie a much desired area for residents and visitors.