• Claire Bradshaw

Something for Everyone at Wallsend


History, community, family. These are some of the key elements underpinning Wallsend, a flourishing, family friendly urban community located 11km from Newcastle’s CBD. To start with the history: in an area originally called Barrahinebin by its Aboriginal custodians, Wallsend was established after the Newcastle-Wallsend Coal Company’s first mine was opened in 1860. The suburb actually began as two towns, Wallsend and Plattsburg. Wallsend was the more developed of the two, quickly growing as commercial buildings and shops were established to service the needs of miners arriving from Scotland, England and Wales. By 1880, a wide array of business could be found in the town: general stores, butchers, bakeries, hotels, blacksmiths, bootmakers, tailors, newsagents, chemists, tobacconists, undertakers, builders, insurance agents, a cordial factory and a newspaper.

In 1874, Wallsend was proclaimed a separate municipality, and the first Council was formed with James Fletcher elected Mayor. In 1915, the amalgamation of Plattsburg and Wallsend Councils led to the area we know today becoming Wallsend Municipal Council. Finally, in 1938, Wallsend joined Newcastle City Council and is now part of the Newcastle LGA. (For those interested in Wallsend’s rich history, we recommend taking the Historic Wallsend Town Centre Walk – find more info at wallsendtown.com.au/community)

Today, Wallsend continues to grow and flourish with a population of approximately 12,500. Outgrowing its main street, the suburb has expanded into a CBD that now includes everything its residents could need. The Wallsend Village Shopping Centre boasts a wide array of major supermarkets, banks, fashion and retail stores, medical and service providers, and dining and takeaway options. Wallsend is also an op shop destination, with savvy secondhand shoppers flocking to Nelson Street’s array of outlets for preloved goods.

“Winers and diners” aren’t forgotten in Wallsend. The suburb is home to several pubs, including the ever-popular Colliery Inn and Lemon Grove Hotel. Coffee fanatics are in for a treat at the popular Drop-In Espresso Bar; Café Tempest will cater to your breakfast and lunchtime needs; and if you’re looking for a Thai or Chinese feast, you’re spoilt for choice with Wallsend’s offerings.

The award-winning Wallsend District Library, one of Newcastle’s largest, is a vibrant community hub, and a fitness focus shines through in the area’s numerous gyms and top-quality facilities like the Wallsend Swimming Centre. With on-street parking and four council carparks, visitors and residents can conveniently enjoy all that the suburb has to offer. Wallsend is also Newcastle’s gateway to the Pacific Motorway, making it a well located central hub to support visitors, travellers and the local community alike.

Sports lovers will appreciate Wallsend’s rich sporting history. The suburb is renowned for its soccer, racing, athletics and football in particular. Notably, the Black Diamond AFL Cup is the oldest sporting trophy still competed for in Australia. Instituted in 1887 as a challenge cup, it was originally to be retained permanently by any team who won it twice successively. In 1889, Wallsend’s own club took the trophy home after winning the first two years; nowadays, the Cup is presented to the Premiership side on Grand Final day before being returned to its home at the Newcastle Museum.

As well as a popular sporting scene, Wallsend is home to a variety of community events. In 2017, the Mattara Festival – one of the Hunter’s premier community-based festivals, which celebrates the arrival of spring – moved from the Newcastle CBD to Wallsend Park. The move was a great success, doubling the crowd size from the previous two years. In 2018, Nelson Street also played host to the first pop culture festival in Newcastle: the Back in Time Pop Culture Festival, celebrating iconic 80's films, characters, cars and culture.

Visit the Wallsend Winter Fair

Wallsend Winter Fair is one of the largest one day events in the Newcastle LGA. If you’re looking for the perfect excuse to spend some time in the suburb, this is it!

Now in its 34th year, the 2019 Winter Fair will be held on Sunday, August 11th, 9am–3pm. Attracting up to 30,000 visitors for a day of free, family-friendly fun, the fair commences with a Grand Parade down Wallsend’s main street, led by marching, pipe and brass bands. Afterwards, fairgoers can browse unique and handmade goods at hundreds of vibrant speciality stalls and local businesses and enjoy the thrill of amusement park rides. Stop for a bite to eat at food stalls and cafés while local musicians, school bands, choirs and dance schools perform across two stages.

Bookings for the Wallsend Winter Fair are now open for stallholders, general exhibitors, Grand Parade entrants, buskers and community stage performers. For more information, please email info@wallsendtown.com.au

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