Drawing. ‘Reid’s Mistake’, by James Wallis.

Pencil drawing, framed.

Preliminary drawing for ‘View of Reid’s Mistake N.S.W’.

SKU SF000711 Category


The headland by the entrance to Lake Macquarie, at the north eastern corner of Swansea, is known as Reid’s Mistake after Captain William Reid who, in 1800, became the first European to make his way into the lake. Sent from Sydney to collect coal from the mouth of the Hunter River he mistook the channel for the river estuary, ventured inside and there encountered some members of the Awabakal tribe, who directed him to some embedded in the headland. It was only upon his return to Sydney that he realised he got the wrong coal. The lake was known as Reid’s Mistake until 1826 when it was renamed in honour of Governor Lachlan Macquarie.

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James Wallis


Pencil, Paper