Wangi Wangi, located on the western shores of Lake Macquarie was originally home to the Awabakal Aborigines and was referred to as Wonde Wonde on an 1826 map. Edward Gostwyck Cory of Paterson became the first European settler when he selected 500 acres at the site in 1829 but he did very little with it. Wangi Wangi is situated on a long, narrow peninsula which juts out from the western shore of the lake. Situated 121 km north of Sydney and 4 m above sea-level. Because Wangi Wangi is so close to the lake the major drawcards for visitors are fishing, swimming, boating, picnics , camping and the general scenic value of the area.
Many visitors take advantage of this peninsula location. No matter what the weather , one of the lakeside beaches is bound to be protected and ideal for a swim or family picnic as some of the historic photos below will show.
The word Wangi has been translated variously over time one translation is water another is night owl or dark green tree so Wangi Wangi means place of much water, many night owls or many dark green trees. The very early settlers most of whom were fishermen used the word to mean peninsula and Point Wollstonecroft was called “Little Wangi”. Captain Dangar’s 1826 sketch of the Lake marked Wangi Point as “Wonde Wonde”. There is no explanation of the marked difference between spelling and pronunciation.
As mentioned Edward Gostwyck Cory did not develop Wangi Wangi and this was because he already had large land holdings at Paterson. Early on Wangi Wangi became a haunt or hot spot for cattle thieves because of the ease with which the cattle could be penned on the narrow peninsula.
D.R. Israel bought the land about the turn of the century. Right up until 1916 a Chinese market garden, on the site which is now the Wangi Wangi Workers’ Club, and a vineyard were the only permanent residences. There was a tollgate near Lakeview, where a 6 pence entry fee was charged.
First subdivision D.P.8840 was declared on the 1/2/1916, being part of portion 38. It was Newcastle businessman DA. Israel who formed the Wangi Wangi Development Company and began to subdivide in 1916. A reserve had already been declared over the area at the actual Point in 1 897. A 100 ft reserve was also placed on the entire foreshore. With the development of the Cessnock coalfield, Wangi Wangi became a popular Christmas camping spot for the miners. A tent city sprang up along the shore of the bay during December and January when the mines were closed. A picture of the Wangi Wangi Tent city can also be seen in the display below.
D.R. Israel also developed tourism in the Wangi Wangi area, using his three ferries. There were three ferry wharves located at Lake View, Wangi Wangi and Wangi East, and local baths were also constructed nearby. There was also guesthouse built at Lake View.
The Wangi Wangi Public School first opened as a provisional public school in September 1920.