Ballad of Maitland Gaol

Unlock the history of Maitland Gaol, built in the 1840s, and tour the heritage-listed site that once housed some of Australia’s most notorious criminals. Explore the historic town of Maitland too, with its colonial buildings, bustling market and superb art gallery.

  • Illalung Park, Morpeth, Hunter
  • Hunter River, Maitland

About Maitland

On the banks of the beautiful Hunter River, Maitland is one of the oldest heritage centres in Australia. Just two hours’ drive north of Sydney and 35 minutes from Newcastle Airport, this historic town in the Hunter Valley wine region has many beautifully restored colonial buildings.

You can take the train from Sydney to Maitland, where you’ll find rural vistas and country hospitality alongside bustling shopping areas, including The Levee, a delightful mix of boutiques and cafes, restaurants and small bars. With 600 stalls to browse, the monthly Maitland Markets is brimming with fresh local produce, gourmet food and home-baked treats.

Maitland Gaol, Maitland

A great way to explore Maitland’s history is on the East Maitland Heritage Walk. Among the many fascinating buildings, you’ll see colonial philanthropist Caroline Chisholm’s cottage and Maitland Gaol, which opened in 1848 and closed 150 years later. Join a tour of the goal or visit for one of the events held inside the walls, such as the Bitter and Twisted Boutique Beer Festival.

Maitland Regional Art Gallery has a superb collection of works by famous Australian artists, including Margaret Olley, Brett Whiteley, Fiona Hall and John Olsen. The Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles and the National Trust-listed Grossman House offer wonderful experiences, too.

Food at The Levee, Maitland

Accommodation options suit various budgets – you can even book a night in the gaol. A vibrant events calendar celebrates the region’s food, wine, music and diverse cultures. Talented local chefs create delights at the Maitland Taste Festival in autumn. In winter, the Maitland Aroma Coffee and Chocolate Festival will warm you up. In spring, celebrate at the Maitland Riverlights Multicultural Festival.

Maitland is great base for exploring Australia’s oldest wine region. You’ll find many tours in the region of the vineyards and cellar doors in Pokolbin, Lovedale, Rothbury and Broke. Just 12 minutes’ drive away is historic Morpeth, a colonial river port and an enchanting shopping destination.

Fly into Newcastle Airport

Newcastle Airport is located 25km from Newcastle’s city centre. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rental, limousine, and door-to-door shuttle buses to make the short journey south into Newcastle. Public buses operate from Newcastle Airport to Newcastle train station approximately every hour (Monday to Friday). Public bus services are also available to Nelson Bay, Greenhills, and Raymond Terrace. 

Newcastle Airport offers up to 50 direct flights a day to cities along the east coast.

Jetstar flies direct to and from Melbourne, the Gold Coast, and Brisbane. QantasLink operates direct flights to and from Brisbane. Virgin Australia flies direct to Brisbane and Melbourne.  FlyPelican operates direct flights to and from Dubbo, Mudgee, Coffs Harbour, Ballina, Canberra and Sydney. Regional Express also flies to and from Sydney.

  1. Aerohunter

    Your only opportunity to fly in Australia's rarest war birds. Experience the thrill of a lifetime with an authentic war bird military experience flown by an experienced RAAF or Ace aerobatic pilot...

  2. East Maitland Heritage Walk

    The ‘Government town’ of East Maitland, as it was known, was officially proclaimed in 1833. The Heritage Walk features buildings of stature like Maitland Gaol, East Maitland Court House, and sites associated with...

  3. Easts Leisure and Golf

    Located just off Raymond Terrace Road on Tenambit Street at East Maitland, the Club is an easy 10 minute drive from Maitland or 25 minutes from Newcastle. The Club offers a championship 18-hole...

  4. GravityX Indoor Trampoline Park

    GravityX is a locally owned and managed business, established in 2015. They are passionate about providing a friendly, unique atmosphere which encourages fun and exercise through trampolining. Their new park, based in...

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