The quality of these first buildings was poor, and only (a much reinforced) breakwater survives.
During this period, in 1816, the oldest public school in Australia was built in East Newcastle.
The name first appeared by the commission issued by Governor King on 15 March 1804 to Lieutenant Charles Menzies of the marine detachment on HMS Calcutta, then at Port Jackson, appointing him superintendent of the new settlement.
Philip Gidley King, the Governor of New South Wales from 1800, decided on a more positive approach to exploit the now obvious natural resources of the Hunter Valley.
In 1801, a convict camp called King's Town (named after Governor King) was established to mine coal and cut timber.
These were commonly known as "sixty-milers", referring to the nautical journey between Newcastle and Sydney.
These ships continued in service until recent times.
In the same year, the first shipment of coal was dispatched to Sydney. A settlement was again attempted in 1804, as a place of secondary punishment for unruly convicts.
The settlement was named Coal River, also Kingstown and then renamed Newcastle, after England's famous coal port.
His discovery of the area was largely accidental; as he had been sent in search of a number of convicts who had seized HMS Cumberland as she was sailing from Sydney Cove.
By the start of the 19th century the mouth of the Hunter River was being visited by diverse groups of men, including coal diggers, timber-cutters, and more escaped convicts.
Among the areas hit within the city were dockyards, the steel works, Parnell Place in the city's East End, the breakwall and Art Deco ocean baths.