Lake Macquarie History


Name Origin:

The area owes its name to John Jewell who took hunting parties to the swamp after wildfowl between 1870 and 1890.

First Nations History

The Aboriginal name for a part of Jewells swamp was "Ngorrion-ba" or "ngorowimba", meaning where the emu breeds. An island in the swamp was used for initiation ceremonies. Middens, caves and grooves for sharpening axes have been found near the swamp, which would have provided a plentiful supply of food.

European History

Early Days:

Jewells Swamp was well-known for waterfowl, kangaroos and emus. People travelled from Sydney and Newcastle via Belmont to shoot there. The hunting parties, led by John Jewell, would adopt a picnic atmosphere, with baskets of food and bottles of wine. The progress of the hunters into the swamp was signalled by hunting horns. Jewell owned a large tanning and leather factory in Newcastle.

Early Land Grants:

Portion 122 (Kahibah Parish) which was originally owned by the Redhead Coal Mining Co. Ltd, comprised 319 acres. Portion 123 was owned by the Redhead Coal Mining Co. Ltd, and comprised 320 acres.

Early Subdivisions:

D.P. 10262 showed a subdivision of part of Portions 2, 70, 73, 1 17, 118, 124 and 125: and Portions 3, 46, 12-2, 123 and 127. This subdivision into 13 (approximately 23 acre) blocks formed ' the streets now known as Fencott Drive, Harrison Avenue and parts of Wommara Avenue, and the Pacific Highway:

Ntaba Road runs through the centre of this subdivision. D.P. 10262 was declared on 15 May 1916. This first subdivision was formed near the swamp, probably to capitalize on the building of the railway which was already under construction. The subdivision does not appear to have been successful. In 1926 there was a subdivision along Wommara Avenue, part of which came within present-day Jewells.

Early Industries:

A rutile plant operated in the sandhills in the 1960's. There are a number of sand pits in the area.


The line was extended from Dudley to Belmont in 1916. In 1917 a platform was erected at Jewells Swamp. This was renamed Jewells on 4 November 1923.

Early Transport:

In 1959 a concrete box gutter replaced the causeway over the swamp and improved access. In 1964 a bus service to Belmont was instituted.

First School:

Jewells Public School opened in January 1977.


Jewells Swamp and Jewells Beach were the site of an extensive commando training course during World War II. The Army Camp stood on a site bounded today by Kallaroo Road and Wormnara Avenue. Jewellstown Shopping Plaza was completed in 1982 by D.F. McCloy Pty Ltd to the plans of Kevin Snell and Associates.


Nilson, Laurie & Leis, Susan & Noble, Rodney & Lake Macquarie (N.S.W.). Council 1985, Lake Macquarie : past and present, Lake Macquarie City Council, [Boolaroo, N.S.W.]

Jewellstown: The family centre. Warners Bay, L.J. Hooker Warners Bay, no date.

Streets in Jewells

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.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website and Council's cultural collections may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material.

This website may contain place names, opinions and terms that reflect authors' views or those of the period in which the item was written or recorded. These may not be considered appropriate today.

If you experience any issues with the website or its content please contact us [email protected]