Newcastle Australia

Overview | History | Climate | Local Government | Port | Earthquake | Further Information | Other Newcastles

Overview

Newcastle location on map

Newcastle is located at 32.56 South 151.46 East on the eastern seaboard of Australia at the mouth of the Hunter River. Founded as a penal colony coal deposits quickly led to Newcastle becoming a shipping and commercial centre by the 1860s. Industrialisation increased after iron and steel mills were built in 1915. Newcastle today is a modern thriving centre and is Australia's sixth most populated city.

History

The site of Newcastle was discovered on 9th September 1797 when Lieutenant John Shortland, whilst searching for escaped convicts, found the Hunter River and an abundance of coal. On the 10th June 1801 Govenor King sent Lieutenant Govenor Paterson in the Lady Nelson to examine the Hunter River and Paterson founded a settlement on the Hunter on 16th June however it was abandoned in 1802. On 30th March 1804 Lieutenant Charles Menzies arrived at the Hunter River to re-establish the settlement which is named Newcastle.

Climate

Average Annual Rainfall 1,103 mm
Average Daily Hours of Sunshine 6.3 hrs
Temperature - January av. max. 27.2 °C
Temperature - January av. min. 19.5 °C
Temperature - July av. max. 17.2 °C
Temperature - July av. min. 7.7 °C
Average Wind Speed 13.0 km/hr

Local Government

Newcastle City Council
Population (2000) 140,934 - Area (sq.km) 213.52
Lake Macquarie City Council
Population (2000) 184,319 - Area (sq.km) 748.77

Port of Newcastle

Newcastle City, Harbour & Beaches

Newcastle is a river port with a main channel depth of 15.2 metres. The main export is coal and the port is the largest coal port in the World. The majority of the coal is railed to the port from extensive Hunter Valley coalfields. The decline in iron and steel exports in 2000 followed the closure of the cities steel making plant in that year.

Exports - Tonnes 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 2002-03
Aluminium 230,073 241,836 220,076 226,403 258,943 214,398 202,863
Iron & Steel 695,453 614,545 442,219 99,342 71,114 34,762 22,195
Grinding media   47,573 57,028 73,618 70,905 78,985 80,845
Concentrates 302,807 312,095 308,956 320,759 347,442 296,961 427,044
Grains 2,290,560 2,078,389 1,116,469 1,409,632 1,575,082 1,459,082 868,949
Wood chips 299,039 352,687 304,842 182,408 255,366 170,531 232,254
Sands 81,728 80,985 119,229 54,461 46,854 39,096 18,644
Coal 56,072,979  65,309,315  68,207,181  65,425,353  67,218,835  69,321,381  71,412,573
Other 208,109 205,618 222,754 274,763 201,793 147,826 119,475
Details from the Newcastle Port Corporation

Earthquake

At 10.27am on Thursday 28th December 1989 a moderate earthquake registering 5.6 on the Richter Scale devastated Newcastle and killed 13 people. The tremor was the first in Australian history known to claim human lives. The extensive damage to buildings and other structures resulted from an underlying thin layer of alluvium allowing the shaking to cause greater damage than that expected for a relatively small magnitude earthquake. The epicentre was located near Boolaroo, a Lake Macquarie suburb 15km from the city centre.

Further Information

Other Newcastles


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