For many thousands of years the Awabakal people lived in this area. Known as the 'Lake Macquarie tribe', the coastal strip south of Newcastle provided important resources.
Dudley was occupied by colonists early in the nineteenth century, after the discovery of coal. The present football oval was the site of a mine head and relics such as the chitter dump are still able to be observed today.
Dudley coal mine
A railway line linked Newcastle to Dudley to allow the transportation of coal. This was also used to transport the fine silica sand from the quarry at Dudley Bluff to glass factories.
As coastal suburbs became more desirable to residents of Newcastle, pressure was placed upon this area as a site for housing. Local residents recognised the importance of bushland and prevented its development, with management being passed on to the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Now classified as a nature reserve, the national park is protected for educational and scientific purposes.