Fingal Bay

Fingal Bay is the easternmost suburb of the Port Stephens local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia.[5] The only population centre is the township of the same name, which itself is named after the adjacent, small, semi-circular bay.[10] At the 2021 census, the population of the town was 1,635.[1]

Fingal Bay
New South Wales
Fingal Bay
Fingal Bay
Coordinates32°45′S 152°10′E
Population1,635 (2021 census)[1]
 • Density175.8/km2 (455/sq mi) [Note 1]
Area9.3 km2 (3.6 sq mi)[4]
Time zoneAEST (UTC+10)
 • Summer (DST)AEDT (UTC+11)
LGA(s)Port Stephens Council[5]
State electorate(s)Port Stephens[7]
Federal division(s)Paterson[8]
Mean max temp[9] Mean min temp[9] Annual rainfall[9]
27.3 °C
81 °F
8.9 °C
48 °F
1,348.1 mm
53.1 in
Suburbs around Fingal Bay:
Nelson Bay Shoal Bay Tasman Sea
Nelson Bay Fingal Bay Tasman Sea
One Mile, Tasman Sea Tasman Sea Tasman Sea

Except for the township, most of Fingal Bay is included in the Tomaree National Park, which includes forested areas, coastal scrubland, beaches and most of the Fingal headland. The suburb does not include the bay itself.[2]

Fingal Bay

Fingal Bay is about 1.75 km (1.1 mi) across at its widest point and 1.3 km (0.8 mi) from the mouth to the beach.[4] The northeastern head of the bay is the Fingal headland, which is connected to the mainland via Fingal Spit, a sand spit about 900 m (2,953 ft) long.[4] Waters to the northeast of the spit are known as "Fly Roads".[11] Crossing between the mainland and the headland along the spit is considered dangerous.[12] According to a sign on the beach, people have died crossing the spit, which is covered by breaking waves at high tide. The south-western head of the bay is Fingal Head, which is located southeast of the town. Between the two heads, the mouth is over 1 km (0.6 mi) wide.[4] The bay includes a sandy beach about 1.9 km (1.2 mi) long.[4]


The bay was originally known as "False Bay", because it could be mistaken for the entrance to Port Stephens.[13][14] The name "Fingal Bay" appeared on an 1845 map prepared by Captain Phillip Parker King.[10]

Heritage listings

Fingal Bay has a number of heritage-listed sites, including Point Stephens Light on Shark Island.[15]

Tourism campaign

Fingal Spit was a location for the 2006 "So where the bloody hell are you?" advertising campaign filmed for Tourism Australia and appears at the end of the advertisement.

Headland and Point Stephens

The irregularly shaped headland, which is sometimes mistakenly called "Fingal Island", covers an area of approximately 1 km2 (0.4 sq mi), most of which is part of the Tomaree National Park, and reaches 75 m (246 ft) in height.[4][16][17] Point Stephens was connected to the mainland prior to the "Maitland gale" in 1891.[18] The southeasternmost point of the headland was named "Point Stephens" by Captain Cook when he passed on 11 May 1770, honouring Sir Philip Stephens who was Secretary to the Admiralty.[19] Stephens was a personal friend of Cook and had recommended him for command of the voyage.[20] It seems Cook's initial choice had actually been Point Keppel (named after Augustus Keppel, a Lords Commissioner of the Admiralty), but instead he used Keppel later when he named Keppel Bay.[21] The name first appeared on chart 1070, prepared by Captain Phillip Parker King in 1845.[10]


As early as 1857, the need for a lighthouse on Point Stephens was identified, due to the proximity to the entrance of Port Stephens, and the dangers of the local coastline to ships.[22] A 21 m (69 ft) high stone lighthouse was subsequently constructed in 1862.[23][24] In 1973 the lighthouse keeper was replaced by automaded system powered by solar.[25] The light is 38 m (125 ft) above mean sea level and has a range of 28 km (15 nmi).[23]


Port Stephens Coaches operate local services to Newcastle as well as an express service to Sydney.[26]


  1. Only 1.1 square kilometres (0.4 sq mi) (approximately 12%) of the suburb is inhabited.[2][3] For this reason, the population density figure shown is that of the inhabited area, rather than for the whole suburb, as this is more representative of the actual population density. The average population density for the whole suburb is 161.6/km2 (419/sq mi).


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Fingal Bay (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  2. "Fingal Bay". Land and Property Management Authority - Spatial Information eXchange. New South Wales Land and Property Information. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "2011 Community Profiles: Fingal Bay (State Suburb)". 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  4. 1:100000 map 9332 PORT STEPHENS
  5. "Suburb Search – Local Council Boundaries – Hunter (HT) – Port Stephens". New South Wales Division of Local Government. Archived from the original on 21 June 2014. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  6. "Fingal Bay (suburb)". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  7. "Port Stephens". New South Wales Electoral Commission. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
  8. "Paterson". Australian Electoral Commission. 13 July 2010. Archived from the original on 29 October 2009. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  9. "Nelson Bay (Nelson Head)". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 4 May 2015.
  10. "Fingal Bay (bay)". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 27 May 2008.
  11. 1:25000 map 93324S PORT STEPHENS
  12. Hansen, Nick (6 January 2010). "Beacon could save lives as Fingal Spit chosen for six-week trial". Port Stephens Examiner. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  13. "Erection of a lighthouse at Port Stephens". The Sydney Morning Herald. 4 February 1860. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  14. "Fingal Bay, Port Stephens Australia". Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  15. "Point Stephens Lighthouse Group". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Department of Planning and Environment. H01005. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Text is licensed by State of New South Wales (Department of Planning and Environment) under CC-BY 4.0 licence.
  16. "Fingal Island is a small island close to shore with some spectacular wall dives and soft coral gardens". Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  17. "Fingal Bay, Port Stephens NSW Australia – Totaltravel from Yahoo!7". Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  18. "Point Stephens Lighthouse Group". Retrieved 24 May 2014.
  19. "Point Stephens". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  20. "A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12".Robert Kerr.
  21. Ray Parkin, H. M. Bark Endeavour, Miegunyah Press, 2nd edition 2003, ISBN 0-522-85093-6, page 213.
  22. "The Coast and Its Harbours". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 October 1857. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  23. "The Point Stephens Lighthouse". Lighthouses of New South Wales. Lighthouses of Australia Inc. 25 October 1998. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  24. "The Port Stephens Light". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 March 1862. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  25. Blight, Taryn. "The Story Behind Port Stephens and Fingal Bay". Retrieved 16 October 2020.
  26. Bus Timetables Port Stephens Coaches
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.