Fingal Bay, New South Wales
New South Wales
|Population||1,503 (2011 census)|
|• Density||1,366/km2 (3,540/sq mi) [Note 1]|
|Area||9.3 km2 (3.6 sq mi)|
|Time zone||AEST (UTC+10)|
|• Summer (DST)||AEDT (UTC+11)|
|LGA(s)||Port Stephens Council|
|State electorate(s)||Port Stephens|
Fingal Bay is the eastern-most suburb of the Port Stephens local government area in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia. The only population centre is the township of the same name, which itself is named after the adjacent, small, semi-circular bay. At the 2011 census, the population of the town was 1,503.
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.
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. 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. Waters to the northeast of the spit are known as "Fly Roads". Crossing between the mainland and the headland along the spit is considered dangerous. 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. The bay includes a sandy beach about 1.9 km (1.2 mi) long.
The bay was originally known as "False Bay", because it could be mistaken for the entrance to Port Stephens. The name "Fingal Bay" appeared on an 1845 map prepared by Captain Phillip Parker King.
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. Point Stephens was connected to the mainland prior to the "Maitland gale" in 1891. The southeastern most 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. Stephens was a personal friend of Cook and had recommended him for command of the voyage. 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. The name first appeared on chart 1070, prepared by Captain Phillip Parker King in 1845.
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. A 21 m (69 ft) high stone lighthouse was subsequently constructed in 1862. The light is 38 m (125 ft) above mean sea level and has a range of 28 km (15 nmi).
- Only 1.1 square kilometres (0.4 sq mi) (approximately 12%) of the suburb is inhabited. 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).
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "Fingal Bay (State Suburb)". 2011 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
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- Australian Bureau of Statistics (31 October 2012). "2011 Community Profiles: Fingal Bay (State Suburb)". 2011 Census of Population and Housing. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- 1:100000 map 9332 PORT STEPHENS
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- 1:25000 map 93324S PORT STEPHENS
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- "Point Stephens". Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW. Geographical Names Board of New South Wales. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- "A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12".Robert Kerr.
- Ray Parkin, H. M. Bark Endeavour, Miegunyah Press, 2nd edition 2003, ISBN 0-522-85093-6, page 213.
- "The Coast and Its Harbours". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 October 1857. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- "The Point Stephens Lighthouse". Lighthouses of New South Wales. Lighthouses of Australia Inc. 25 October 1998. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- "The Port Stephens Light". The Sydney Morning Herald. 21 March 1862. Retrieved 10 August 2010.
- Bus Timetables Port Stephens Coaches
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