Newcastle, New South Wales

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Overview of Newcastle from the east end of the city. c1967.
Ordnance Survey Map of Newcastle in 1941.

Newcastle, or Greater Newcastle is a regional metropolitan area and the second-most-populated district in New South Wales, Australia.The 2021 Australian Census recorded the Newcastle Greater Metropolitan area as having a population of 682,465.[1] It includes the City of Newcastle itself, founded in 1797, and the City of Lake Macquarie (a scattered amalgamation of villages and towns)[2]. It is the hub of the lower Hunter river valley region, which in itself includes most parts of the local government areas of the City of Newcastle, the City of Lake Macquarie, the City of Maitland, the City of Cessnock, and Port Stephens council.[3][4]

Located at the mouth of the Hunter River, it is the principal city within the Hunter Valley Region. Famous for its coal, Newcastle remains the largest coal exporting harbour in the world, exporting 159.9 million tonnes of coal in 2017.[5] While the collieries in the cities of Newcastle and Lake Macquarie have all now closed, the overall Hunter Region still possess large coal deposits, and coal continues to be mined in the upper Hunter Valley. Geologically, the area is located in the central-eastern part of the Sydney Basin.[6]

The road distance from the General Post office (GPO) in Sydney to the central Post Office in Newcastle is 108 miles, although the trip by sea is just over 60 miles.

Newcastle was also famous for its industrial base, its State Dockyard (closed in 1987), and its famous BHP Steel Works (closed in 1999 and demolished the following year).


  1. There is no single source that states the population accurately. The figure of 611,400 is an average approximation, based on the combined populations of all LGAs which the Australian Bureau of Statistics estimated in 2018 for all LGAs as taken from the individual LGA articles.
  2. Newcastle (NSW) Urban Centre/Locality map. Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007).
  3. Newcastle (NSW) Statistical District map. Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007).
  4. Local Council Boundaries Hunter (HT). Office of Local Government (New South Wales).
  5. Kirkwood, Ian (5 January 2018). Port of Newcastle coal exports slip by more than one percent in 2017.
  6. Photographic image of map (GIF).
  • The Federal Directory of Newcastle and District for 1901, Davies & Cannington, Newcastle, 1901.
  • Fifty Years of Industry & Enterprise 1885-1935, Broken Hill Pty. Co. Ltd., Melbourne, Victoria, June 1935.
  • Newcastle 150 Years, The Council of the City of Greater Newcastle, Newcastle, 1947.
  • Seventy-Five years of B.H.P. Development in Industry, B.H.P. Co. Ltd., Melbourne, Victoria, 1960.
  • Turner, Professor J. W., Manufacturing in Newcastle 1801-1900, Newcastle Public Library, NSW, 1980. ISBN: 0-9599385-7-5.
  • Docherty, James Cairns, Newcastle: The Making of an Australian city, Hale & Iremonger Ltd., Sydney, NSW, ISBN: 0-86806-034-8.