|Overview | History | Climate | Local Government | Port | Earthquake | Further Information | Other Newcastles|
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.
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.
|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|
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|
|Iron & Steel||695,453||614,545||442,219||99,342||71,114||34,762||22,195|
|Details from the Newcastle Port Corporation|
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.