Home' Hunter Its People : Hunter Our Backyard June 2011 Contents 6
1The median weekly rent is $185, compared
to $190 in the rest of Australia. The median
monthly housing loan repayment is $1300,
compared to $1300 elsewhere.
2The 1977 Australian film Summer City,
where Mel Gibson made his film debut, was
filmed in Catherine Hill Bay and Gibson was
paid $400. By the time of The Patriot in 2000
his pay was $25 million while in 2004 he made
a reported $210,000,000 from The Passion Of
3The median weekly individual income for
people over 15 is $394, compared with $466
in Australia. The median weekly household
income is $922, compared with $1027 in
Australia. The median weekly family income is
$1102, compared with $1171 in Australia.
4Lake Macquarie contains about nine billion
litres of water, twice the amount of Sydney
Harbour, and holds at least 249 species of fish.
5The most common employment for people
in the area is professionals (18.1 per cent),
technicians and trades workers (17.3 per cent)
and clerical and administrative workers (15.3
6The Sulphide Corporation at Cockle Creek,
which closed in 2003, at its peak employed
more than 800 people. The 200-hectare site, now
known as Bunderra (Aboriginal for ''among the
hills'') has been rehabilitated and earlier this
year light industrial land was released. The
redevelopment is planned to have light industry,
800 houses, commercial and conservation areas.
7In the 1950s the Toronto Zoo, at the corner
of Ambrose St and Excelsior Parade, was the
most popular tourist attraction in Newcastle
and Lake Macquarie attracting 3000 people on
Sundays. Probably the largest private zoo in
Australia, it had a variety of Australian animals
as well as monkeys and lions. It closed in 1958.
8An arsenic smelter operated at Fassifern
between 1923 and 1926, the arsenic used to
make Camellia brand weed killer.
9The most common religion is Anglican (27.6
per cent), from Catholic (22.9 per cent).
10The surface area of Lake Macquarie
is about 11,000 hectares and it has an
average depth of eight metres.
11A total of 85.4 per cent of residents were
born in Australia. Other birth areas
were England (2.8 per cent), New Zealand
(1.1 per cent), Scotland (.6 per cent), Germany
(.5 per cent) and Netherlands (.3 per cent).
12 Sugar cane was imported from
Hawaii in 1865 to set up a sugar cane
plantation, which had its own mill and
refinery. It was destroyed by fire in 1875.
13The Caves Beachside Resort, which
opened in 2009, this year was listed as
one of the world's Best 20 Affordable Beach
Resorts by the US-based Travel and Leisure
magazine and website.
14The first Marmite produced in Australia
in 1944 was from the Sanitarium
factory at Cooranbong, from a secret recipe
secured from England.
15A 1999-2000 survey of the lake found
the most commonly caught species was
blue swimmer crabs.
16 English is the only language spoken at
home by 93.2 per cent of the population.
The most common languages other than
English are Italian (.3 per cent), Macedonian
(.3 per cent), German (.3 per cent), Greek (.2
per cent) and Cantonese (.2 per cent).
17 The Landcare Lake Macquarie Network
is one of the largest in Australia with
more than 200 groups and 60 to 70 more in
schools. The groups contribute $3.6 million
a year in voluntary hours to improve and
beautify the lake.
18 The area has more than 740 native
plant species and 458 species of
mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
19 Lake Macquarie became a registered
home port in July, 2000, allowing boats
to have the name officially painted on them as
their home port.
20The 18-hectare Tingira Heights Nature
Reserve is of world importance as it
contains a fossil insect bed that is up to 260
million years old.
There are a number of signature events held
in Lake Macquarie -- among them Speers Point
carols, Loop the Lake Bycycle Challenge and
the Lake Macquarie Running Festival -- but the
one that connects most deeply with the lake's
maritime heritage is the Classic Boatfest held
during Easter each year on the Toronto foreshore.
Classic craftmanship is on display as traditional
and classic boats -- steam, sail, motor and oared
-- come in all shapes and sizes from across
Australia, the only rule that they must be of a
design prior to 1981.
This year about 10,000 people turned up to see
the 85 boats on display, some more than 100
years old with the oldest probably the 1880 clinker
The Irene, built of New Zealand kauri.
As well as the boats there's markets, rides,
displays of classic cars and motorcycles, model
boat races, entertainment and historical displays,
a grand parade and blessing of the fleet, as well
as the ''quick-and-dirty'' boat-building competition
where contestants have to build a boat and race it
around a triangular course.
The festival started about 1995 as Heritage Afloat
but was rebadged last year as Boatfest. It is one of
the most popular days out on the lake.
Q: What do you think is special about Lake
A: ''I think it's a perfect mix, that's what I
love about the lake. It has the beaches and
lake. It has the high end of life and the low
end, and they happily mix.''
- John Paul Young, a long-time lake resident
who in 1978 was named Australia's King of Pop and had
a world-wide hit with Love Is In The Air. Other hit singles
included Yesterday's Hero and I Hate the Music, while he
has also been a radio DJ and stage performer in hits such
as Jesus Christ Superstar and Leader of the Pack. He
performed at the closing ceremony of the Sydney Olympics
and was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2009.
THE LAST WORD ...
at the Classic
and an aerial of
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