Worimi Country - History

The Worimi are the traditional owners of the
Port Stephens area.

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Port Stephens History

A timeline of the history of the Port Stephens area.


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Lieutenant James Cook names Port Stephens


On the 11th May 1770, on his voyage along the east coast of Australia, Lieutenant James Cook sailed past and named Port Stephens.

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Tahlee Homestead


Tahlee Homestead is a heritage-listed former pastoral property of 68.8 hectares, on the original site of the Australian Agricultural Company (1826-1853).

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Tanilba House


The 50 acres at Tanilba was chosen as the homestead site because of its commanding views across Port Stephens. ‘Tanilba’ signifying a place of white flowers near the water.

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Sketchly Cottage


Sketchley Cottage is the only known example of an 1840s colonial building in the Port Stephens Local Government Area. 



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Tomago House


Tomago House was built in the 1840s & formed the nucleus of what was, in the mid 19th century, a vast agricultural estate...



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Hinton Historic Village


Located on the rich floodplain 4 km north-east of Morpeth, the tiny village of Hinton lies on the banks of the Hunter River...



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King Street,
Raymond Terrace


King Street is the original main street and business district of Raymond Terrace, up until the devastating 1955 flood which engulfed the Lower Hunter.

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Point Stephens `Outer'


Point Stephens Lighthouse is a heritage-listed active lighthouse located on Fingal Island, Point Stephens



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Nelson Head Lighthouse `Inner Light'


Nelson Head Light, also known as Nelson Head Inner Light, is an inactive lighthouse on Nelson Head, a headland near Halifax Park in Nelson Bay.


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Pindimar City


Today, Pindimar is a sleepy hamlet of around 200 homes, but more than 100 years ago the area was under consideration for major development...

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Tomaree Lodge:


Tomaree Lodge is a heritage-listed former military camp, hospital and residential disability accommodation located on the Tomaree Headland at Shoal Bay...

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Tomaree Lodge:



Tomaree Lodge has heritage significance at a State level. It has historic significance because of its use as an Army Garrison Camp during the Second World War.

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Tomaree Lodge:



In 2015, the NSW state government announced that Tomaree Lodge would close to allow for the site to be redeveloped.


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Broughton Island:
Greek Fishermen


From the 1890s, Italian and Chinese fishermen camped on the island to trap lobster, it was the early 1900s that fishermen started to live there seasonally.

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Bert Hinkler pays a call on Port Stephens


Famous pioneering aviator Bert Hinkler makes a forced landing at Biububi on Stockton Beach and is helped out by local farmers.


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Sheer Grit


This is the  true and amusing account of the adventures of Arthur Murdoch, a young man who spent the depression years digging for shell grit on Fingal Island near Port Stephens.

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Fingal Bay had never experienced such a deafening noise. Investigation revealed that a young fisherman had saved up  purchase The first motorboat in Fingal Bay.

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Mariners Walk
Heritage Trail


The Mariners Walk project commemorates history in Port Stephens' via displays and signage along a walk from Soldiers Point to Salamander Bay.


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Military History of Tomaree Headland


Port Stephens was a vital part of the Australian coastal defence system during the Second World War and became the focus of the Joint Overseas Operational Training School (JOOTS).

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In 1942, Port Stephens was chosen as the base for combined operations training because it offered good shelter from Japanese submarines and was sparsely populated with less than 200 people living in the area.

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RAAF Catalina


The Catalina flying boat was one of the most versatile aircraft of the Second World War, and was operated by virtually every Allied nation in anti-submarine, air-sea rescue, patrol and bombing roles.


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