These twenty-one aerial posters of suburbs across Newcastle and Lake Macquarie were originally published by the Newcastle Sun. They were entitled “A Bird’s Eye View: A Portfolio of outstanding aerial photographs of Newcastle and suburbs. A Special ‘Newcastle Sun’ Reader Service”  They look more like a early prototype of Google Earth for the Region, and provide a mid-seventies snapshot of the townships across the region. The photographs included Newcastle, Newcastle East, Stockton, Carrington, Merewether, Hamilton, Mayfield East, Waratah, Valentine, Wallsend, Cooks Hill, New Lambton, Adamstown Heights, Redhead, Charlestown-Highfields, Belmont, Toronto, Booragul, Warners Bay and Beresfield. The text that accompanied each poster is also interesting, as it provides insight in the hopes and aspirations at the time.
The full set can also be viewed in a variety of sizes on our flickr site here:
We have also provided larger images below, to see the higher resolution scan, click on the image. The text has been transcribed below each poster.
A Bird’s Eye View – Newcastle
Newcastle…a busy harbour, a bustling city.
At Lee Wharf a visiting Russian liner gets up steam, while unloaded containers are stacked like children’s blocks on the other side of the cargo sheds.
A tug fusses around the ship in mid-harbour, launches and fishing boats dot the waters of the port. A ship undergoes refit in the Floating Dock at the extreme left; seven bulk carriers wait for berths off the port at the top of the photograph.
A half-built vessel can be seen on the slips of the State Dockyard.
At right, the city sprawls across the hills, with the trees of Civic Park making a dark splash against the buildings.
Cars line Wharf Rd. at extreme right, Honeysuckle goodsyards alongside look suitably busy. Buildings that stand out include the Gibson Street parking station, Royal Newcastle Hospital in centre skyline, and the Zaara Street power station at the end of the peninsula.
A Bird’s Eye View – Stockton
Stockton is separated from heavy industry by only a narrow strip of water in this picture of the suburb.
The BHP can be seen in the background, separated from suburbia only by the north arm of the Hunter River.
Rawson Park fronts Stockton Beach on the far right of the picture, with the Olympic swimming pool in the bottom right.
Pitt St runs from the park down to the bottom left of the photo and intersects first with Clyde St, then King St, Pacific St and Breen St.
Mitchell St runs diagonally through the centre of the picture, past the park and along the beach-front.
Stockton Bridge can just be seen in the top right of the picture.
M2099 – A Bird’s Eye View – Merewether 
Merewether is dominated by a large number of homes and blocks of flats.
Townson Oval can be seen on the far right of the picture, bordered by Berner St on the left.
Mitchell St runs horizontally along the bottom half of the picture and intersects with (from left) Caldwell St, Llewellyn St and Berner St.
A larger number of blocks of flats are readily visibly in the area.
South Newcastle Leagues Club is seen in the centre top of the picture, with its car park behind it.
Merewether Bowling Club and RSL are in the top left quarter of the photo.
A Bird’s Eye View – Hamilton 
Beaumont St on the left and Lawson St on the right – two long thoroughfares that carry a dense population from one side of Hamilton to the other.
Halfway along Lawson St is the Hamilton Telephone Exchange – for thousands of people, the heart of their communications network.
On the left, in Beaumont St, can be seen a coner of Newcastle’s Racecourse. Farther along this important street, the Hamilton Arcade building towers over its neighbours.
Almost in the shadow of this modern office building lies Hamilton Wesley Church – an old and long established house of worship. It stands of the corner of Beaumont and Denison Sts.
Scarcely visible at the top of the picture is busy Tudor St – an immensely busy road that gives no indication of the quiet tree-studded suburb that nestles to its south.
A Bird’s Eye View – Valentine 
Valentine is one of the lakeside’s newest and fastest developing suburbs.
Large, modern houses are being built, spreading from the waterfront into the wooded hills.
Many of the blocks are still vacant, nestling between partially built homes.
Dilkera Ave follows the waterfront closely in the bottom of the photograph.
Victor Ave curves through the centre of the photo from left to right and intersects with Albert st.
Many homes have tree-filled yards and much of the natural timber has been left around the suburb.
The house are set well back from the roads, which are rarely straight or narrow.
A Bird’s Eye View – Wallsend 
There appears to be no regular pattern to the streets of Wallsend – one of Newcastle’s oldest suburbs.
Rows of small, weatherboard houses hug the narrow streets and laneways of this suburb.
Linesley’s bus depot dominates the centre of the photo, with its rows of buses and large workshop.
Clark St runs along the lower half of the picture, hugged closely by a large number of homes.
Devon St runs through the centre of the photo, curving slightly where it meets Harriet St.
Hannah St runs vertically down the right hand side of the picture, while Nelson St can be seen in the top left corner.
A number of trees dot the suburban landscape and a number of backyard pools can be seen.
A Bird’s Eye View – Waratah 
Waratah, from the air, is a fascinating mixture of suburbia and industry.
Waratah Infants’ School dominates the block at the bottom right of the picture.
Turton Rd runs up towards the top right of the picture, punctuated by pedestrian crossings.
High St runs diagonally across the bottom left hand corner and Dawson St runs at right angles from the Infants’ School
The Town Hall Hotel can be seen at the intersection of Turton Rd and Station St.
Tighe St runs diagonally through the centre of the picture and the main norther railway line is seen in the top right corner.
A Bird’s Eye View – Cooks Hill 
One of the oldest suburbs in Newcastle, Cooks Hill is in the process of undergoing dramatic changes. Once a popular inner residential suburb, it is now resisting the encroachment of commercial and light industrial interests, and seems destined for a future as a high density residential area.
One block of home units dominates the scene in the top left quarter of the picture, diagonally opposite the green areas of No. 1 and No. 2 sports grounds.
Long and busy Parry St. runs past the sports grounds, down past the gardens of Centennial Park on the left, to cross Dawson St. at the bottom of the picture. In the centre of the block, and old engineering plant stands alone, surrounded by red tiled roofs.
Fronting Laman St. in the top right of the picture is the dark forbidding shape of Cooks Hill Public School – soon to be closed by the Education Department.
A Bird’s Eye View – Carrington 
The suburb of Carrington, the busy bustling harbour, the commercial heart of the city proper and the coastal beaches on the Pacific are all shown in this one sweeping panoramic view.
The centre of the picture shows the small harbourside suburb of Carrington, with its unusually wide streets, notably Young St on the right.
To the right of the picture, the waters of Throsby Creek wind around Carrington, under the Cowper St Bridge (which links the suburb with the city), into the harbour.
On the left are the Dyke shipping wharves, which extend to the State Dockyard at the end of the point. The stretch of water in the centre is The Basin.
On the opposite side of the harbour, the tall buildings of Royal Newcastle Hospital stand out on the left. Along the top right is the coastline of Bar, Dixon Park and Merewether Beaches.
A Bird’s Eye View – Newcastle East 
From the air, Newcastle’s east end takes on the appearance of one massive car park. As far as the eye can see all streets are lined with parked cars.
On the left can be glimpsed a section of Newcastle South Beach. Above that is the road leading down to the Bogey Hole, and above that again is the main part of King Edward Park
The outpatients’ block of Royal Newcastle Hospital dominates the lower left corner of the picture, while in the centre, the three buildings that comprise Newcastle Court House clearly stand out.
Beyond the Court House are the extensive grounds of Watt St. Psychiatric Hospital.
In the top right corner, Christ Church Cathedral which, from ground level, dominates the skyline, strangely looks almost insignificant.
A Bird’s Eye View – New Lambton 
From the air, the Lambton – New Lambton – New Lambton Heights area is an immense and variegated patchwork of streets.
Streets criss-cross at various angles and some even curve off at tangents.
Rugby Rd and Russell Rd wind their way from New Lambton to the Heights, intersecting with Westcourt Rd and Baker St.
New Lambton School can be seen on the centre left of the picture and is bounded by Regent St on the left and Evescourt Rd on the right.
Regent Park, surrounded by trees is in the top centre of the photo and the Newcastle Women’s Hockey Club fields in Orchardtown Road are in the top right hand corner.
St James Rd is directly below Regent Park and Queens Rd above it.
Curzon Rd and Carrington Pde run down from New Lambton Heights from the right of the picture.
A Bird’s Eye View – Adamstown Heights 
This section of Adamstown Heights and Kotara shows four vital facets of the community – housing, industry, commerce and education.
A large park dominates the lower centre of the photograph, surrounded by a large number of suburban streets.
Kotara Fair dominates the landscape in the top left corner, with its huge car park sprawling out from the buildings.
The main Newcastle-Belmont railway line winds through the centre photo and it is bordered on the right by Westwood Ave and on the left by Northcott Drive.
Adamstown Pipe Works can be seen in the right of the picture, with St Anne’s High School in the top right corner and St Pius X, a little further to the left.
A Bird’s Eye View – Charlestown Highfields 
The Pacific Highway winds snake-like along the borderline of the fast-growing suburbs of Charlestown and Highfields.
The homes seem to hug these hills for every inch of space, and many have some of the city’s most spectacular views.
An unusual feature of the Highfields-Charlestown area is the many cul-de-sac streets such as Dickinson St (centre) and Maltarra Place running from it into the bush reserve at bottom of picture.
The cul-de-sac right is Gurra Place, which leads off Kerr St in the bottom right corner.
A Bird’s Eye View – Mayfield East 
From the air Mayfield has the appearance of a model train set, with orderly right-angled streets bordered by the Industrial Highway and the Port Waratah Line.
The Industrial Highway on the far right is surprisingly free of traffic, but the picture was taken at mid-morning.
The huge Australian Wire industries plant is bordered by George St above it and Greaves St on its left.
The Port Waratah railway line crosses the bottom half of the picture and is followed by the Selwyn S above and Ferndale St below it.
The BHP training centre can just be seen in the right of the photograph and Dangar Park is partly shown on the far left.
Ingall St can be seen on the right of the par, with Margaret St, Henson Av and Smith St running parallel to it.
Mounter St runs horizontally across the lower half of the photograph from Dangar Park to the railway line.
A Bird’s Eye View – Redhead 
Redhead looking north, with the road from Dudley in the top right of the picture, and Lambton colliery on the left.
Left of centre are the Redhead public school buildings and palyground on the corner of Stokes and Hutchinson Sts.
Redhead Bowling Club, on the corner of Burns and Steel Sts, is in the top right-hand quarter.
Dodds St runs across the lower half of the picture and the next cross-street up is Brown St.
At bottom right can be seen a section of the beach off Sandy St.
A Bird’s Eye View – Belmont 
Wide, spaced out streets are a feature of Belmont as seen from the air.
The six-lane Pacific Highway runs diagonally across the picture, dividing Belmont in half.
The unusual design of Belmont Primary school is surrounded by paying fields to the right of the picture playing fields of Belmont High can be seen in the top of the picture, next to the highway.
Belmont RSL is in the centre on the corner of Pacific Highway and Marks St.
In the next block down we can see Young and Green’s showrooms, with its steamers, and a service station on the corner of Maud St and the highway.
Henry St runs parallel to the highway on the left and in the top left corner is Albert St.
A Bird’s Eye View – Toronto 
Rows of houses in regimental lines, and deep narrow housing blocks are a characteristic of Toronto.
The streets are long and wide and resemble those of country towns.
The main street, Toronto Boulevarde, runs through the business and shopping centre to the swimming baths at the top of the picture.
Thorne (left) and Brighton Streets run parallel with it, and intersect with Cook and Carey Streets forming the regular grid pattern of housing development.
The Toronto Bowling Club can be seen near the waterfront in the top left of the picture.
Large playing fields are visible at the intersection of Thorne and Cook Sts at left.
A Bird’s Eye View – Booragul 
On the western shore of Lake Macquarie, nestled between Cockle Bay (left) and Marmong Point, (top right) is Booragul.
It’s a sprawling suburb, with a crazy-maze of streets.
Booragul High School, on its very large grounds dominates the landscape.
Running diagonally from left are Weatherley and First Streets.
Fourth Street, starts at centre right of the picture, but takes a sharp left turn and intersects First Street. Marmong St runs from Fourth St and dog-legs around the school in the centre of the picture.
Rens St runs parallel to Fourth St.
A Bird’s Eye View – Warners Bay 
Streets running at odd angles and an abundance of backyard trees seem to be features of Warners Bay from the air.
Street criss-cross and turn, forming irregularly shaped housing blocks and many corners.
A number of homes in this picture have backyard above-ground swimming pools.
The Esplanade runs along the bottom of the picture, following the shores of warners Bay.
Howard St runs from the Esplanade and turns left into King St, at the left of the picture.
Queen St runs diagonally across the top half of the picture and after the cross roads, closely follows King St.
A number of service stations can be seen in King St, fronting the shopping centre.
A Bird’s Eye View – Speers Point 
Large numbers of trees are prominent in many Speers Point backyards.
Trees fringe the waterfront along the Esplanade and the Speers Point jetty can be seen at the bottom of the picture.
The Speers Point Hotel is in the centre of the photo at the bottom, with Main Rd to the right and Mary St, curving off to the left.
Across the road is the Golden Fleece Service Station and the Post Office.
Running parallel to Main Road are Lake View, Albert, Barford and Alley Streets.
Private homes make up most of this photograph of Speers Point.
A Bird’s Eye View – Beresfield 
The outer suburb of Beresfield is a curious mixture of old and new. For many years it developed only slowly, but now, with the scarcity of building lots in the inner city area, it’s going ahead like wildfire.
This picture shows part of the more established section of Beresfield.
The streets running from the top of this picture to the bottom are, from left, Tennyson, Ruskin and Lawson Streets.
In the centre of the top right quarter of the picture, the Amoco service station can be distinguished on the corner of Lawson and Ogilvie Streets. Opposite it in Ogilvie Street is the public library an baby health centre.
Farther down Lawson Street and along Newton Street (running across the centre of the picture) is the suburb’s fast-growing shopping centre, with the supermarket car park standing conspicuously.
Spreading out to the top left and top right of the picture are the newer areas of Beresfield.
Digitised and transcribed by Gionni Di Gravio
University Archivist and Chair, Coal River Working Party