Newcastle Port Corporation Homepage Ports System
Search the Newcastle Port Corporation Website
Sitemap
 

Australia's First Port


You are here: History > Australia's First Port

Newcastle has come a long way from its humble beginnings. The first sighting of what was to become Newcastle was in 1770, when Captain James Cook described Nobby's as "a small clump of an island lying close to shore".

In 1797 Lieutenant John Shortland discovered the Hunter River and the coal that dotted the shoreline became Australia's first commercial export cargo 2 years later in 1799. The settlement that was formed was originally called Kings Town but was renamed Newcastle in 1804.

In 1818 Governor Macquarie ordered the start of the breakwater between Nobby's island and the shore. Construction on the breakwater past Nobbys began in 1875. In 1915 BHP's Newcastle steelworks opened, making Newcastle Australia's heavy industrial center.

Birth of the Port

Submarine Attack

Then and Now

The Coal Industry

BHP

Aluminium