Culture and heritage

Maritime heritage

Mid north coast

MAP - NSW maritime heritage sites

From the rich soils of the Manning River valley to the Port Macquarie convict settlement to the grand harbour and historic jetty at Coffs Harbour, the Mid north coast is an area of beauty and proud heritage.

In 1826 the Australian Agricultural Company bought a large area of land between Port Stephens and the Manning River. Their wharf at Carrington, Port Stephens, became a flourishing town.

Cedar and other timbers were felled and cattle, sheep, grain crops, vegetables and fishing all took hold. These industries relied on shipping for most transport needs. River bars and coastal waters however proved difficult and shipwrecks were frequent. To reduce danger to life and property, protective harbour walls and lighthouses were built.

Aborigines used every part of the land. As a result, the rich, coastal waters and plains supported a large population. However, the new industries and trade had major impacts on the people and on their long established trading links. Battling disease, armed conflict, loss of lands and dwindling resources, Aborigines still assisted many victims of shipwreck - see ‘Aboriginal Contacts’ (ShipwrecksAboriginalContact.pdf, 28KB). They also provided valuable labour in various areas including the fishing fleets.

Page last updated: 31 August 2012