The village is named after the schooner "Catherine Hill" which ran aground there on 21st June 1867. Coal was discovered and mined by the New Wallsend Company which bought up the land, built a jetty and opened the mine in 1873. The coastal location facilitated shipment and avoided the bar at the entrance to Lake Macquarie. The enterprise employed up to 100 men. Their cottages formed the basis of the township and still line the roadside. Approximately 1000 tons of coal a week was taken by horse-drawn skips from the mine to a loading chute on the jetty. A post office opened in 1874. The mail was initially shipped in by the company's coal steamer, the Susannah Cuthbert. However, it was wrecked in 1875 and this proved a major setback for the company which subsequently closed in 1877. The township virtually ceased to exist until the Wallarah Coal Company opened up the mines again in 1889. Over the next decade a school, a public hall, two churches, a sawmill, a new jetty and a tram track to the mine were all built. The men travelled to work via train and ferry across the lake to Cams Wharf. They then walked the remaining 4 or 5 km. The area has been at the centre of controversial housing and preservation disputes over the past decade, and there are plans to surround it with proposed National Park zoning. It is one of the last coastal areas in the region to be 'discovered' by developers.
Horseshoe Falls is situated in the Mt. Field National Park, and is a short 10 minute walk from the impressive Russell Falls, and about a 50 minute walk from Lady Barron Falls. The walking track is well maintained, meandering through some of Tasmania's best rainforests. The track has information / education signs along the way highlighting fauna and flora which is distinctly unique to the region. From Horseshoe Falls, it is approximately a 1 hour hike to Lady Barron Falls, along the Tall Trees circuit. This walk showcases the tall trees in the area, with information regarding the ecology of the region. The waterfall itself is encased in a natural ampitheatre with eye catching rainforest, and despite not being as well known as Russell Falls, many would regard it the treasure of Mt. Field National Park.
Newcastle Beach has a reputation for being one of the best surf locations in Australia and is a favoured spot for board riders wishing to catch that perfect wave off Newcastle Point. Lifeguard Services are provided seven days a week during swimming season. A stroll between Newcastle Beach and Nobbys Beach will take approximately 15 minutes along the scenic Bather’s Way, with iconic Newcastle Ocean Baths in between. There is easy access from Newcastle Central Business District, train and bus facilities. Plus it has a kiosk and shaded table area, (kiosk open during swimming season), volley ball nets and change room facilities available.
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