Lake Macquarie History

Caves Beach

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:

Originally known as The Plains, then The Plains Beach, then Caves Beach. In 1960 it was named Mawson but residents objected and in 1965 the name Caves Beach was restored. There are large caves on the beach.

Aboriginal Occupation:

The Plains were covered with grass trees and aborigines went there to collect the resin, used in spear-making. There were campsites at Ham's beach because of the good fishing and availability of a fine-grained quarzite for making stone implements. In later years, after the turn of the century, a number of aboriginall people lived between Swansea and Caves Beach along the old rail line.

Early Land Grants:

Portion 11, (Wallarah Parish) 320 acres, to Charles Parbury, M. F. Bundock and F.P. Bundock. Surveyed in 1864. Portion 12, 319 acres, to Charles Parbury, Marianne Frances Bundock and Frances Penelope Bundock. Grant received at sale on 8 July 1867.

Early Subdivisions:

D.P. 17632, "Parbury Estate"; subdivision of Portions 11 and 12, subscribed 4 April 1935. The Union Trustee Company was the vendor for this subdivision which formed either side of Caves Beach Road.

Early Transport:

Dan Cain's bullock wagon was used to take picnic parties out to the Beach.

First School:

Public School opened in January 1968. Swansea High School was built at Caves Beach and opened in January 1964.


Mr. Mawson, a Swansea hotel-keeper and businessman, gave impetus to the development of Caves Beach. He then involved a Japanese consortium in a mining venture called Silver Valley Minerals but it failed to develop. The breakwater at Spoon Rocks constructed to load coal into ships stands as a reminder of this venture.


In 1981 the Newcastle-Wallsend Coal Co. proposed to open a new colliery called Wallamaine, with both underground and open cut workings, south of the town but failed to gain government approval. Sand and gravel pits and a sandstone quarry are being worked.


Swansea-Caves Beach Surf Life Saving Club was founded in 1929.

Water Supply:



James B. Croft & Associates & Newcastle Wallsend Coal Company 1980, Wallamaine Colliery project : environmental impact statement for the development of a 1 mtpa underground mine south of Swansea, N.S.W, James B. Croft & Associates, Newcastle West, N.S.W.

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 Caves Beach