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Evolving City, from a sleepy backwater hamlet into a beachside metropolis

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Guthega Regional Council built three oil storage towers in 1995/1996 to store the oil and petrol for the local use. The three new oil towers have angered Newcastle, so Guthega Regional Council have yet spent more money to "modernise" and add some art such as paintings on the wall to make it look better. These three oil towers are noticable from the motorway, and now the locals love it! It is a new landmark for Newcastle. It is located right opposite to Newcastle Airport.


Have you noticed the MASSIVE changes in Newcastle skyline? There are three new towers located in the heart of town centre; including a new Hilton Hotel Newcastle.


A view of Newcastle from the town centre. You can see Newcastle Airport in this picture, along with Mt. Royal, Mt. Panaroma, Home Hill and some parts of Joondalup. If you look closely, you can see Joondalup State High School and Newcastle South East College.


In 1995/1996, Guthega Regional Council approved the airport terminal expansion to ensure that Newcastle Airport Terminal is "big enough" to handle upcoming tourism demand. Newcastle Airport Corporation (NAC) declared that the new Terminal 2 will be constructed as soon as 2010, along with the existing terminal to be expanded again just before 2005. Newcastle Airport is committed to a "world-class" airport, with an excellent baggage handling system, and open-spaced terminal.

Aerons, the airline company will be the first passenger plane ever landed in Newcastle Airport tonight at 6pm.



The existing Mitchell Freeway from Newcastle town centre to airport overchoked with traffic and I remember how bad the traffic was, it was like LA peak hour. Every time if we want to go to Joondalup or airport, or whatever, we always avoid Mitchell Freeway. Guthega Regional Council have invested $334 million toward upgrading the freeway into a faster and sustainable motorway. In 1995, Mitchell Freeway was renamed to the [ M3 ], and became Newcastle's first ever motorway within the city boundaries. Airport Intersection was the biggest problem before the upgrade, but now it runs smooth because of the new road overpasses, clear and smooth exits and enterances. The traffic problem suddenly reduced after opening the new M3 motorway. The speed limit on the old Mitchell Freeway was 60, but now on the M3, it is 90. There are some significant development going on along the motorway, including some houses being renovated into a better and modern homes, there are some massive suburban sprawl near Joondalup. This year, 1995, declared Newcastle population have surpassed 100,000 inhabitants! Let's celebrate! Newcastle's new Airport Business Park is going very strong, and there are high demand for the business park expansion, Guthega Regional Council have invested $90 million toward expanding the business park and establishing a new business park nearby. Guthega Regional Council have approved 3 new office buildings to be built in Newcastle town centre, one of them will become Newcastle's tallest tower, and will be completed in 1996 (next year - so tune in! :D). Newcastle town centre gets more and more dense every year, with new office/retail buildings being built. Newcastle Hospital will expand their car park facilities to suit higher demand for car parking spaces.

In August 1995, Guthega Regional Council declared that the regional council have signed an agreement with international travel agency that Newcastle are "functionable" and "sustainable" for tourists. The first tourism promotion "that's Newcastle" will officially begin next year. Guthega Regional Council have confirmed that Newcastle Airport terminal will be improved to woo the tourists, including new paintings being placed on the walls, and new glasses and indoor trees and plants - to modernise the airport terminal. Newcastle Airport now accepts 20 flights per week. Guthega Regional Council "thanked the god" that Mitchell Freeway was upgraded into a motorway, otherwise embarrassing us by the tourist's first appearance of Newcastle's traffic congestion. Guthega Regional Council also have approved two hotel buildings, one of them is Hilton Hotel Newcastle and other one is backbackers hostel located down at the end of North Beach.


The new M3 overpass at Airport Business Park.


M3 Overpass at Newcastle Airport


The new M3


No Man's Land being bulldozed by the developers


The view of Craigs Cove, with Mt Guthega and Home Hill from Barren Beach (near Airport Business Park).

NO MAN'S LAND UPDATE: In 1995, AP Developments went ahead to cut down all trees at No Man's Land and turn it in to an apartment mecca. Over 80,000 Newcastle locals gathered and protested over the development. Guthega Regional Council convinced Newcastle locals that the apartment development at No Man's Land will attract tourist, companies, retail and employment from big city so therefore turning Newcastle from a beach side village into a city full of tourists. AP Developments and Guthega Regional Council went ahead with the development, Newcastle locals angered but cannot do anything to let it pass.




This very picture was on the front page of Guthega Herald newspaper, comparing the view of Newcastle from the airport in 1992 and 1994. A lot of people was very shocked at how fast Newcastle developed in only two years. I remember, in 1994, I was 15 year old, and I got myself a girlfriend, she goes to Joondalup State High School, and we see each other regularly. Sometimes during the weekend, we go to the shopping centre and watch some movies or whatever suits us. Oh! I remember something BIG in 1994 as well. My family MOVED the house from Newcastle town centre to Newcastle South East because Guthega Regional Council wants to evict all of the people who live within inner Newcastle so they can go ahead with inner city developments. I am now in Year 10 at Newcastle South East College, and I am really grateful that I get great education. My parents let me to go to the big city once a month during a weekend because I want to study architecture, so they let me to get that opportunity. There are no university or local college in Newcastle... yet. It definately felt stranger living in Newcastle, because the city grows bigger and bigger, it just feels more further away to reach the outskirts compared to 1987. There are so many new community parklands established around Newcastle, including one big one at Joondalup area. Tune in to see what happened to Newcastle in 1995 for the next update. :)



I remember when I was 14 year old, I applied for my first job at local warehouse near Newcastle Airport. I was in Year 9 at Newcastle South East College, and I remembered that the years between 1991 to 1995, Newcastle changed dramatically. There are new shopping centre at the town centre, new suburbs and new roads. In 1993, I remember watching Newcastle's first apartment tower under construction at the town centre, rosing for six or seven floors up and I really love this apartment tower, it definately increased the density rates in Newcastle. This apartment tower, and new shopping centre and few other new buildings in the town centre definately changed Newcastle skyline alone, and made it look more "city-like". Newcastle is definately growing faster and faster every year, since 1987. I think there are over 35,000 inhabitants in the town at the moment. Since 1987, Newcastle have only one medicial clinic, with one doctor - it was terrible and poison because of waiting list, and everything. Lot of residents protested for a new medicial clinic or whatever. In August 1993, Newcastle Hospital was opened, and able to accomodate over 3,000 patients at once and employed 250 nurses and 75 doctors, most from the big city. In December 1993, I remember that there are big protest and rally in the front of Town Hall to stop the developers taking control of No Man's Land and turn it into apartment towers mecca (like Gold Coast in Australia). No Man's Land is very historically preserved nature parkland, and no one ever developed any where near No Man's Land since when Newcastle was settled. Guthega Regional Council wanted to expand Newcastle Airport terminal from two gates to four gates and allow up to 12 flights per week, but the locals didn't like the idea.


Newcastle skyline from Mount Royal (1993)

Notice the extenstive housing development going on down at the eastern areas of Newcastle (right).


Newcastle Hospital


Airport Business Park

I work down there, part time! :)


Newcastle town centre is growing up, regardless of its population!



Tune in to see what happened to Newcastle in 1994 and onwards! Do you think Newcastle will have another tower? Or No Man's Land bulldozed and replaced with bunch of apartments? :)


When I was 13 year old, Newcastle changed so much. There are a new huge suburb located ten minutes out of Newcastle town centre, and the house price tag is so high. I am so shocked at how changed Newcastle have been lately. Few day ago, my mother took me to Newcastle Airport for the "Opening Day" launch, and I stare at the new terminal in digust; the terminal look so small and ugly. There are a petrol service centre (for planes etc) right next door, and the control tower look rather strange. Why on the earth did Newcastle Airport need two long runways? Both of them extended into the bay, seriously?? - while the terminal is as tiny as an ant? Anyway, there are new freeway connecting from Guthega Road, and it was officially named as Mitchell Freeway yesterday and I actually liked it. You can get from Guthega Road to airport in a minute or two tops. Right next to the airport, there are new suburb, the suburb was named Joondalup. I think it sound rather strange, but I like it. There are new suburban village shopping centre at Joondalup, and Guthega Regional Council plans to establish a bus route from Newcastle's proposed Central Station to Joondalup. There are even a new high school, Joondalup State High School. Newcastle South East College is located only a minute or two drive away from Joondalup State High School, is it really that necessary? Newcastle South East College have only opened last year or two. I think the outskirt of Newcastle have seriously grew further away from the town centre. I cannot stand it to wonder what Newcastle might look like in next ten years time. Well, now, I am 34 years old, and I remember what I was like when I am 13 in 1992, 19 years ago. I found few good photos for me to share it with you guys.


Newcastle's new shopping centre - and I loved the advertisements, it makes Newcastle look more "city-like".


The suburb of Joondalup, with the suburban shopping centre and Joondalup State High School.


Newcastle Airport with the suburb of Joondalup, literally, right next to the airport.


Newcastle Airport Terminal and Aircraft Services Facility.


Mitchell Freeway.

With this freeway, it can take up less than five minutes from airport to Newcastle town centre.


that's Newcastle, it is a new tourism promotion to convince the world that Newcastle is an ideal spot for a hot tourism area.

Newcastle Airport with Newcastle town in the distance (sorry, Home Hill blocked the view of Newcastle town centre skyline again!)

Come back here to check out what Newcastle is like in 1993!



I was only 12 when I witnessed all of the massive changes in Newcastle, including the gigantic shopping centre (Myer Centre Newcastle City), with new buildings along the beach strip. There will be a hotel tower under construction next door to my regular ice cream store, and Newcastle are changing. It is the year of 1991, and it is my first time I ever got lost in Newcastle. I was wandering around the brand new suburbs with all of the houses and everything - at Newcastle South East and Miller's End suburb expansions. I remember I reacted greatly at Newcastle's redevelopments, and remembered asking my mother "Is it Newcastle?" I remember my parents took me to a weekend holiday, to Hidden Cove, around fifteen minutes of drive away from Newcastle where you can find most beautiful beach, most amazing rock pool with waterfalls along with cliff edging up the beach in a narrow cove. I love this cove, it is way better than Craigs' Cove. Anyway, when my parents drove me there, I saw a really long construction fence along the main road, and saw a sign "Newcastle Airport Under Construction". Seriously? A new airport for Newcastle? It is not even a city yet, still a village... well, a busy village.

I saw a huge development of modern houses next door to the airport, edging around Pullman Beach, and the town is getting more and more crazy every year. I remember what Newcastle was like in 1987, and now, it is 1991, only four years later - Newcastle have changed dramatically. There are some rumours that McDonalds, Subway, KFC and Dominoes Pizza will establish their store here at the town centre, and I was hoping that it didn't happen otherwise increasing the cost of living, increasing the grocery prices etc. After the establishment of Maccas and other big-brand companies, then Newcastle are on the way to be the new big city.


Myer Centre Newcastle City

The new shopping centre for the town.


Main Street, Newcastle Town Centre. You can see the small office building (built in 1985), and the new shopping centre (built in 1990/1991).


Aerial view of Newcastle town centre.


Mates Day, 18th December, 1991.

This picture won the local picture competition, and I was the photographer. In that time, I was only 12 and extremely proud of it. Sorry, Newcastle town centre skyline is blocked by Home Hill (left) with two transmitter towers.



1990 was undeniably better than before, there are new music store, new shops and improved (re-paved) roads around Newcastle. Newcastle have a new office tower, only around ten floors, but it looks so tall. I watch it in awe, the tower looks so tall. I wonder what Newcastle look like from the top of the tower. One most exciting thing have happened to Newcastle is, a new high school. It is the new Newcastle South East College and I am so excited! I remember Newcastle in 1990 very well, there are new baby born, named Harriett, and there are new houses at Newcastle South East, the new suburb, I want to live up there so badly. Newcastle finally reached 50 permanent inhabitants with 4,000 non-permanent inhabitants. Based on what I remember in 1990 Newcastle, there are new high school, new music store, new shops, new roads, new suburbs, and of course, new police station. Newcastle is definately changing over three years since 1987. Guthega Regional Council have cancelled the Newcastle Bypass Road, and there are so many new houses at Home Hill and near Mount Paranoma, and especially at Newcastle South East.

One day, on 17th August, 1990, I read the newspaper for the first time in my life, and I remember reading one article about proposed plans for Newcastle Airport and the Newcastle tourism is expected to grow for the first time in upcoming few years. Guthega Regional Council have promised to establish new parklands, national parks and environment-protected parklands for Newcastle soon as possible. My mother took me to the first viewing deck ever built at Home Hill summit, I went up there and overlooks Newcastle, and I was so shocked how beautiful Newcastle are from the summit of Home Hill. There are two new transmitter towers on the summit of Home Hill, and one of them is for 3G mobile network, and another one is for Channel 8. Finally, about the time we have good TV signals and mobile phone signals.

I was 11 in 1990, and I'll start my high schooling at Newcastle South East College in 1992; and I am undeniably excited!!!


Newcastle South East College


The new transmitter towers for Newcastle (second tower is not in the picture), with Home Hill Summit viewing deck and Newcastle skyline.


I really love this picture of Newcastle in 1990. You can see Mt Panaroma national park (bottom), with Newcastle town centre (top).


The new office tower in Newcastle, but is not the tallest in the town. A lot of locals protested over this building development because it will block the view of clock tower (at the Town Hall) and gradually destroys the pure Newcastle skyline. But the development went ahead anyway.



On the warm afternoon of December 31st, 1988 - a huge earthquake severely hit Newcastle, and killed at two residents without any warning or signs. The earthquake in Newcastle have immediately attracted an international attention and sending as many as 500 S.E.S. rescue voultneer workers to find and rescue people who are stuck under the cement, or is dying somewhere in the "totally-torn" town. When two dead residents were discovered, the whole town was wailing in the front of the town hall (where funeral was serviced). I was eleven, I stood against the crowd and remembers feeling constant water dripping on my head from adults crying above me. I was looking around pondering what is going on, I never realised that someone died because I never really know what "dying" means to me. Now, I suffer the grief over losing my two locals who died in Newcastle Earthquake.

In 1989, the new beginning was very different to a year before, and before that. The lifestyle in Newcastle after the earthquake is getting more depressing, boring and "life-less". On the Tuesday afternoon after school (school was damaged, so we do our school work and learning at the small room at Community Centre), I took a stroll down to the ice cream store down at Miller Street near North Beach with my friend Samuel, I look at the severely damaged houses along the street, people were sitting on the front crying and questioning themselves over what to do afterwards, leave the town or rebuild? As from what I remember, 15 residents left the town and start a new life in the big city.

I found this small peice of map, the Map of Newcastle in 1988, I kept it in the box under my bed and never opened the box for 22 years till now, 2011.




Guthega Regional Council decided to build a new road bypassing Newcastle, all around Home Hill and avoiding the town, the decision have angered the locals as they wanted the motorists to drive through the town. I remember all adults was very angry about it, my parents was so busy writing letters to Guthega Regional Council about it, but I was ten year old, I couldn't understand what is going on. Every night, after dinner, I would wander around to my bedroom and do my homework, and was thinking about school all time lately. I think it is strange, but I am falling in love with school, and I demanded for more school days and sulked to my bedroom because I want more school days. My friend, Samuel, he hates school and are looking forward to finishing school in 1990 and then he will be free. I told my mother that when I finish my primary schooling, I want to move to the big city so I can continue my education at the high school. My mother refused to let me to take a such opportunity. In the Christmas Day, 1987, my parents gave me their old camera as a present, I was so excited and took so many pictures but I chose few picture (below) for a reason.


This view is from William Street, and I seriously love the view. My house is just up the hill from this park, on Park Street.


That's right. This very house is my home, where I grew up. I seriously love my home, and back in late 1980s, it was the most popular type of house design for Newcastle. Today, it is rare to find this house around the town.


My school.


North Beach in a sleepy afternoon during the weekends.



Newcastle wasn't even recognised in the maps, atlas or even tourist maps; the town was a shame to the country. Newcastle was a backwater and an extremely sleepy town with less than 30 permanent inhabitants. As you drive around, you might notice that there are no big-brand companies such as McDonalds, all retail and shops in the town are self-managed by small business owners. There are only one petrol station, located at the edge of town. Only one "educational facility" to serve the town, small medical clinic with one doctor - no police station; no nightclubs, no "high-end" taverns, bars or pubs. The locals are extremely lazy but friendly, most of the locals never saw a single tourist, Newcastle are not recommended by the tourism promoters, they deemed a vacation in Newcastle as a total waste of the time.

By the contrast, Newcastle have one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, the landscape was extremely beautiful, there are so many natural cliffs and steep hills edging all around the unusual-shaped mountains and so many small coves around The Gulf, with beaches dotted along the coastline. There are a massive monument sitting on the top of Mount Royal overlooking Newcastle and its foresty mountains. The locals are undeniably proud of the surrounding landscape, especially the North Beach, Craigs Cove and Bligh Hill.

IN 1987 Newcastle, the locals are very different back then. I remember what the life was like in Newcastle less than thirty years ago, I used to go to the only school in the town, with 2 of other students. Teachers travel all the way from the big city to teach us two times a week, which it is Tuesday and Thursday. I remember having a stroll down the narrow main road that leads us to North Beach and have a quick swim. I have a few friends, only about two or three of them, I was hoping for a new baby to be delivered so the baby will grow up here and be friends with me. I've never seen a new baby since 1984 (that's when Samuel was born) et alone new inhabitant from the big city. Almost every weekend during the scorching summer, we would go to the local ice cream store down at Millers Street and feast ourselves with a nice and cold ice cream. It was the most surreal feeling, and also a feeling of being peace, without any worries or stress. Newcastle was so small, you could even walk from North Beach to the furthest part of the town in five minutes tops. I really hate where I live, because my house is located at the top of the hill on Park Street, and it was the town's steepiest functional street. I remember the pain of walking up and down every school day, before school and coming home after school. It was terrible.

My name is Joshua, and I am only one of three children under nine (who lives in the town), and also only one of two children who go to local school. I am lonely, because I cannot hear.



The housing developments at the new suburb - Hashen Cove.

The lands for houses rarely get sold, or even developed.


City Beach in 1987, but in my time, it was called "No Man's Land" and it was the popular area for fishing. No one seems to swim down there. City Beach today is really different.


The picture of Newcastle town centre in 1987 and the famous North Beach.

Sir? Can you please wait for a moment for me to fiddle through my photo albums? I think I have one really good picture of Newcastle in 1988, I'll find it for you.


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