The Catalina Story | Our Story – Catalina Village

Our name, street names and home designs reflect the local community history and spirit of the Lake Macquarie region.

The Catalina name was inspired by the famous Catalina Flying Boats that were operated by the RAAF and based at nearby Rathmines, on the western shore of Lake Macquarie, during WW2.

Situated only 15 minutes from Catalina Village, the Rathmines site is unique in terms of both its heritage and scenic beauty. Opened in 1939 on the eve of the outbreak of war, the Rathmines RAAF base developed into the largest Flying Boat centre in the southern hemisphere and today,as the sole surviving intact example of its kind left in Australia, is listed on NSW’s State Heritage Register.

Although there were a range of amphibious planes in operation at that time, Catalinas were the only aircraft to see service throughout the RAAF’s wartime operations against Japan, and their brave crews were involved in many key operations that ended the threat of invasion to Australia.

While the base itself closed in 1960, an enthusiastic group of volunteers who run the Rathmines Catalina Association (RCA) do wonderful work to keep the memory and history of the base and its Flying Boats alive

A nod to our history and heritage

Honouring our past, preserving our future

The Association’s volunteers are currently restoring a WW2 Catalina Flying Boat, ‘Our Girl’, which they tracked down in Puerto Rico in 2012 and shipped to Lake Macquarie’s Kilaben Bay. Once fully restored, ‘Our Girl’ will have pride of place as the centerpiece display in a memorial museum that RCA members are working to create, in honour of all those who served on the Rathmines base during WW2.

With our own experience as developers and builders, Catalina Village are also now assisting the Association’s volunteer members with planning advice around the memorial museum, as well as advising on siting and construction issues for a new aircraft hangar that is proposed to be built at the foreshore site in Rathmines.

Together, we have forged a close relationship between the RCA and Catalina Village, with future collaborations to include RCA members visiting the village to present talks on the history of the base in general and its Catalina Flying Boats in particular, and village residents who wish to do so joining with other volunteers in furthering the Association’s aims, preserving and honouring one vital aspect of this region’s history.

More information on the Rathmines Catalina Association and its great work can be found on the Association’s website, at

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