Component sites all situated along the striking coastal topography of Newcastle Harbour's South Head: sites of Aboriginal cultural significance and occupation and probable subsurface evidence; Fort Scratchley, Signal Hill Convict Coal Mine Workings, associated post-convict coastal defences; Macquarie Pier
Mine Workings: unknown;
1796 - Informal accounts reach Sydney of the reserves of coal at 'Coal River'.
1797 - Lt Shortland and his crew enter Coal River and confirm the coal resources
1801 - Formal identification of the great potential of the coal reserves and the river and first and brief attempt to set up a coal mining camp.
1804 - Formation of a permanent convict/military outpost to mine coal, harvest timber and prepare lime. A light beacon and gun emplacement were built on the southern headland. Nobbys Island was seen as a useful place for confinement. Aboriginal-European encounters
1814 - Expansion of the settlement in line with Governor Macquarie's policies. Lumberyard developed. Coal mining extends away from 'Colliers' Point'. A farming outpost was established at Paterson's Plains, inland from Newcastle
1816 - Marked increase in development of convict settlement from 1816 to 1822
1818 - Increase in trading envisaged. Macquarie Pier commenced, also other aids to navigation. Significant expansion of building program including hospital, stores, accommodation, gaol, church and windmills.
1822 - Penal settlement was moved to Port Macquarie. Variable convict workforce retained for public works such as road making, breakwater building, coal mining, property and tools maintenance, and so on.
1823 - Beginning of era of transition from a penal/military establishment to a civil settlement with civil administration. Work was suspended on the Pier. The built environment of the penal era was gradually replaced.
1831 - End of era of government-controlled coal mining and beginning of private enterprise mining by the Australian Agricultural Company.
1830s - Work resumed on Pier building and was completed in 1846. Ballast and sand reclaimed the foreshore. Building wharfage and harbour formation, and pilot facilities and navigational aids were ongoing.
1847 - Occupation of new military barracks. Lumberyard stockade was reused for other purposes from the late 1840s.
1855 - The barracks complex was vacated by the Imperial military when the last convict workers left Newcastle
1857 - Lighthouse was built on Nobbys Island.
South Head later was used for fortifications and colonial and then national military purposes. Newcastle East emerged as a complex rail, warehousing, industrial, commercial, residential and leisure precinct (Hunter, C. 2001/HO).