The twin pillars of Lake Macquarie’s traditional prosperity, the resource-rich ocean and coal, still co-exist in the northern lakeside suburb of Boolaroo.
Indeed, from the Lake Macquarie Council’s main chambers at Boolaroo, city aldermen look out over the Stockton-Bore Hole Colliery and beyond to Australia’s largest coastal saltwater lake which underpins the region’s snowballing tourist industry.
Opened when the Stockton mine on the Hunter River was flooded, the colliery has been producing coal for almost 100 years.
Boolaroo, which shares the northern shoreline of the lake, which is four and a half times larger than Sydney Harbour, also flanks Cockle Creek, whose shellfish were highly prized by the local Aboriginal tribe.
Recent studies have shown that the regional prosperity was earned at the cost of many significant sites tracing the long heritage of the Awabakal Aboriginal tribe on the shores of Lake Macquarie. Plans to protect the remaining 146 archeological sites in the Boolaroo-Catherine Hill region are well advanced.