Charlestown is a suburb of the City of Lake Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia, and the largest town within the city. It is approximately 10 kilometres (6 mi) west-south-west of the central business district of Newcastle.

Charlestown has the largest business centre within the Lake Macquarie city, with a greater turnover than that of the neighbouring Newcastle CBD.[citation needed] The suburb serves as the district's transport hub.


Originally granted to the Waratah Coal Company, the area was the site of the company's first shaft, sunk in 1873. Officially called South Waratah Colliery (later just Waratah Colliery), the pit was variously known as Charles' Pit, Raspberry Gully or The Gully Pit. These names all applied to Charlestown in its early days and the surviving name seem to have been derived from that of Charles Smith, the company's manager. The first settlers were miners from the pit. The colliery closed in 1961.

The company had the area surveyed on 29 April 1876; the first subdivision later became Ida Street, Pearson Street, Milson Street and Frederick Streets. Harry Wright bought the first lot when it was auctioned later in 1876.

The town had its first water main in 1927 and was connected to civic sewage in 1959.


The suburb is home to the largest shopping centre in the region, Charlestown Square,[2] which is located just off the Pacific Highway.

The suburb contains four primary schools; the State schools of Charlestown Primary, Charlestown South Primary and Charlestown East Primary, and the Catholic diocese's St Joseph's Primary School. The state primary schools feed into nearby Whitebridge High School, while the catholic primary school feeds into nearby St Mary's Catholic College at Gateshead and St Pius X High School at Adamstown.

The suburb has a police station and a fire station. The NSW Ambulance Service has its Northern Communications Centre in the suburb, off Dudley Road.


According to the 2016 census of Population, there were 12,912 people in Charlestown.

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people made up 2.3% of the population.
  • 83.8% of people were born in Australia. The next most common countries of birth were England 2.2%, New Zealand 0.9% and India 0.8%.
  • 88.1% of people spoke only English at home. Other languages spoken at home included Macedonian at 0.9%.
  • The most common responses for religion were No Religion 30.4%, Catholic 23.3% and Anglican 17.4%.[1]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Charlestown (State Suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 9 February 2018. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^

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Coordinates: 32°57′54″S 151°41′06″E / 32.965°S 151.685°E / -32.965; 151.685