Unique coastal mining village

Catherine Hill Bay is one of only two towns in NSW that is entirely state-heritage listed. 

Situated on a beautiful cove twice named amongst Australia’s ‘101 Best Beaches’, it is here you will find the township’s most iconic feature; a former coal-loading jetty symbolic of the area’s industrial history.

Named after an 1867 shipwreck, Catherine Hill Bay township was born when coal mining commenced in the area in 1873. The early coal mining operators estimated the area contained over 37 million tons of quality coal.
The British Wallarah Coal Company purchased the site and commenced building the jetty, from which the first coal shipment departed on 17 December 1873.

The settlement that followed coal mining in the area led
to the establishment of the Wallarah Hotel. The Wallarah Hotel (now Catho Pub) has existed on the same site since 1874, and became famous in the 1970s as the first pub in Australia with an Aboriginal Licensee; David Edward Wotherspoon.

Catherine Hill Bay is a surviving example of a “Company Town”, with no comparable coastal environment in NSW containing such an intact and compact representation
of a 19th and 20th century coal-mining town.

Download the Catherine Hill Bay
Heritage Walking Trail brochure.


Access Catherine Hill Bay from the Pacific Highway via Flowers Drive and Montefiore Road.

  • Catherine Hill Bay beach is seasonally patrolled and offers excellent surfing conditions, with rock platforms to explore at either ends of the bay. 

  • Enjoy a drink or traditional pub meal at atmospheric Catho Pub.

  • A short drive north will see you arrive at Caves Beach, home to natural sea caves and one of the best photography locations in the City. 

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