Today, Pindimar and North Arm Cove are sleepy hamlets on the northern shores of Port Stephens, but more than 100 years ago both areas were under consideration for major developments that would have, had they proceeded, drastically changed Port Stephens.

A NSW Royal Commission, established in 1899, had considered the area between Balberook Cove and North Arm Cove as the sixteenth of forty potential sites for the Nation’s capital with plans to develop Port Stephens as a deep water international port suitable for overseas shipping.


On 6th May 1918, the American architect Walter Burley Griffin (best known for his role in designing Canberra) had a plan for Port Stephens City Site approved by Stroud Shire Council. This plan centred on the region occupied by present day North Arm Cove village. It included wide green spaces along most of the shoreline.

There was provision for jetties and wharves, civil, administration and service buildings and two railway stations linked to the main northern line. Advertisements soon began appearing in the Sydney Morning Herald foreshadowing an auction of land at Port Stephens City towards the end of that year.

This auction did not eventuate but similar advertisements appeared again in early 1919. Around this time Walter Burley Griffin’s company went into liquidation and ownership of the subdivision passed to his friend Henry Halloran.