Our History

Shortly before the advent of the modern-day Europeans, the area now known as Nelson Bay was formerly occupied by indigenous people, mostly referred to as Worimi Aborigines.

The Port Stephens was first explored and discovered in May in 1770 by a captain known as James Cook. Captain James Cook names the post after Philip Stephens, who was the Admiralty’s secretary. Captain James Cook noticed and kept watch of the smoke emanating from the Worimi Aborigines’ place.

Palm Trees and quiet bay at Moorea in Tahiti

The first set of modern European settlers who occupied the area were convicts. They were five in number, and we had heard their boats to have sunk close to Port Stephens in the year 1790. These convicts were believed to be the Worimi ancestors who had been reincarnated. Fully convinced of these, these Worimi Aborigines accepted them and welcomed them into their tribe.

In 1791, Salamander, the name of the convict’s ship, was accessed by the harbour. Charles Grimes soon charted Salamandra in the year 1795. Grimes happened to be the deputy surveyor-general at the time.

In the year 1801, a thorough inspection and survey of the port were ordered by the Governor King to be carried out by Patterson William. By the year 1812, Macquarie paid a visit to The Port Lady Nelson and found it good. However, there were so many shoals coupled with the fact they the land was barren and incapable of supporting the colony.

In the early 1900s, some Chinese fishermen founded a base very close to Nelson Bay. On numerous occasions, they caught lots of dishes and sent them back to China and Sydney and Melbourne, where some Chinese merchants were also present. By the mid-1800s, these fishermen were sending out goods to goldfields.

By the late 1800s, there was another lighthouse that got built just at Nelson’s head. In the year 1874, the initial survey and inspection were done at Nelson Bay. Five years after the survey at Nelson was carried out, a school was founded at Anna Bay (previously referred to ad Hannah Bay)

By 1883, more schools were founded at Salt Bay as well as Nelson Bay. Just around the eighteenth century, the Italian and Greek fishermen successfully caught some more fishes, particularly lobsters.

In 1886, the region occupied by the Worimi aborigines had nothing less than 30 residents who were villagers. These people led a very peaceful life and coexisted peacefully, going about their fishing business.

During the Second World War, the port named by Captain James cook was used by the armed forces as a base for their military operations. There at Port Stephens, well over 20,000 personnel were trained, both Australians and Americans.

Around the late 1900s, 1960, to be precise, there was a major industrial turn around as major commercial and domestic developments started occurring. The area had so many prospects that businesses just had to be developed. Now, Nelson Bay is widely known as the ideal destination for people who desire holiday getaways or vacations.

Talland Bay