Stockton is Newcastle's only Northern suburb and has an intriguing history and a unique character. Location is Stockton's best feature. It is only five minutes from the city centre by ferry and yet it is far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. Stockton has long been a secret hideaway for holiday makers from the Lower Hunter Valley.
Known to the local Worimi Aboriginals as "Burrinbingon", Stockton was a land of plenty, with oysters, pippies, myriads of fish species in the surrounding waters and abundant wildlife in the forested areas.
In 1797 Lieutenant John Shortland searching for escaped convicts, discovered the Coal River (later the Hunter) and came ashore in three places on Stockton. By 1799 a sawpit was operating here to supply timber to Sydney. In 1800 convicts in the seized sloop "Norfolk" were washed onto the point of this peninsula which was officially known as Pirate Point until 1862.
Stockton became an industrial suburb with lime kilns, salt works and foundry in 1838, vitriol works in 1853, tin smelter in 1872 and the colony's biggest textile factory (which burnt down in 1851). There were also several shipbuilders and slipways along the river. The Stockton Coal Company was fully operational by 1886. A dreadful mine disaster in which 11 men died is commemorated by the Memorial Gates at Lynn Oval. Stockton Borough Council began in 1889 and its imposing Council Chambers stood where the RSL Club is now.
Stockton Beach and the Oyster Bank were notorious for shipwrecks. The most well-known was the "Adolphe", wrecked in 1904 and still visible on the breakwater. During the late 1800s and early 1900s sailing ships were tied up, sometimes three abreast at dolphins along the Stockton river bank and their ballast helped form what is now known as the "Ballast ground".
Today Stockton is a fisherman's paradise, with river, beach, harbour and deep sea fishing all on our door step. Two top class boat ramps further add to the fishing experience. It is also an ideal destination for surfers with 30km of beaches
Below are some photos of Stockton: