The City of Newcastle - masthead

Newcastle's history

The Awabakal and Worimi peoples are recognised and acknowledged as traditional custodians of the land and waters of the Newcastle area.

The earliest Aboriginal reference to the naming of Newcastle is Muloobinba (meaning Mu-lu-bin [edible sea fern] -ba [place of)].

Following European settlement, Newcastle became a penal station, a coal town, a steel city. It has a working port, and is steeped in a long heritage of labour and trade unionism.

Discovery and founding of Newcastle

From Captain Cook to convicts and coal seekers, this page provides you with some background on the discovery and early days of Newcastle.

Find out more about the discovery and founding of Newcastle.

The birth of Newcastle

Read about Friday 30 March 1804 when Charles Menzies arrived at the Hunter River to found a convict punishment centre which would develop in time to become the City of Newcastle.

Find out more about the birth of Newcastle.

Menzies Commission 1804

Read about the Commission dated 15 March 1804 which bears the official seal, to appoint Lieutenant Charles A. F. N. Menzies of the Royal Marines to command and superintend the settlement of Newcastle. The Commission is signed by Philip Gidley King, Governor of the Colony of New South Wales.

Find out more about the Menzies Commission.

History of Local Councils pre 1938

Twelve local councils were established before 1938, including Adamstown Council, Carrington Council, Hamilton Council and Lambton Council.

Find out more about local councils pre 1938.

Newcastle 150

In 2009 Newcastle celebrated 150 years of local democracy.

Find out more about our sesquicentenary.



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Contact us

City Administration Centre
282 King Street
Newcastle NSW 2300

Tel: 02 4974 2000

Newcastle circa 1945