Lake Macquarie History


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.

Name Origin:

The first name for Blacksmiths was Kahibah and plans for a village were drawn up by the Surveyor-General's Office in 1865 but nothing further was done. When the first Swansea bridge was commenced in 1877 Blacksmiths was known as The Depot but maps still showed the area as Kahibah until 1881. Local residents tell of a blacksmith's shop that used to be situated on the channel at the point where the original highway turned towards the bridge. They tell of old timers referring to "The Blacksmith" when giving directions to the area of the present Blacksmiths.

Early Land Grants:

It remained Crown Land (Kahibah Parish). As it was sometimes flooded by high tides and a big surf, a large amount of filling had to be carried out by the Council in 1947 before subdivision was practicable.

Early Subdivisions:

Crown Land subdivision in August 1948 after filling was completed for flood mitigation. This encompassed Lakeview Parade, Turea Street, Kuttul Street, Mitti Street and Ninag Street. This section is now known as Blacksmiths West. Another subdivision occurred in November 1961 and created Amaroo, Ungala, Mallawa, Kalinda and Cudgee Streets as well as Awabakal Avenue.

Early Industries:

Blacksmiths was a depot during the building of the Swansea Bridge, begun in 1877. The building of the northern breakwater followed and later coal-loading staithes were installed on the Blacksmiths side of the channel. From 1959 to 1969 Rutile and Zircon Mines (Newcastle) Ltd mined rutile on Nine Mile Beach. When the operation was completed the area was restored using marrum grass and wattles.

Early Transport:

By ship to the ports of Newcastle or Sydney or by road to Newcastle via Belmont and Charlestown, or by the ferry "Helen Taylor" (Captain Peterson) from Swansea to Cockle Creek.

First Post Office:

Opened 9 August 1937.

First School:

A Public School opened in January 1962.


Surf Life Saving Club (Swansea-Belmont) founded 1927.

Water Supply:





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.]

Streets in Blacksmiths