The penal colony rapidly gained a hellish reputation with
murder and floggings common amongst the prisoners. The
colony from 1814 became NSW major penal settlement with over
1000 convicts housed there. The penal settlement lasted for
20 years before it was moved to Port Macquarie to make room
for settlers and to keep the undesirables out of the way.
Railways arrived not long after and the town rapidly
developed becoming a major coal producing region, railway
terminus and shipping port for the entire Hunter region
named after NSW Governor Hunter.
1915 BHP (The Big Australian) opened a steel smelter in the
city. Associated industries soon sprung up and the city
became know as the Steel City as its employment base was
dependant on the company for its lifeblood. In 1997 BHP
started to shut down its businesses in the city due to more
efficient steel production facilities elsewhere. Although
steel has gone from this wonderful city the area has turned
to the arts, tourism and other industries to provide the
lifeblood to this city.
Suburbs of interest include the following Stockton,
Carrington, Cardiff, Swansea, Charlestown, Minmi, New
Lambton, Wallsend, Hamilton, Adamstown, Abermain, Gateshead,
Merewether and Waratah. Some of these villages were named
after coal producing areas in Scotland, Wales and Northern
Check out our listing of
accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information,
contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more
attractions, tours, local maps and other information.