- Historic Maitland Gaol
- A buzzing cafe culture
- Street murals & art galleries
- Picturesque riverside scenery
Discover a charming region with a rich history, emerging food scene, thriving arts community, boutique accommodation and packed events calendar. You’ll find all this just two hours from Sydney or 40min from Newcastle, on the banks of the picturesque Hunter River.
All about art
There’s creativity on every corner in Maitland. Discover vibrant murals on city streets, see artists at work in their studios and pick up works from local creators. Maitland Regional Art Gallery hosts a superb range of touring exhibitions and shows thousands of artworks each year.
Coffee & dining
It’s a good idea to arrive in Maitland with an empty stomach. Join the queue for delectable cakes and pastries, buy a loaf of the region’s best bread, discover a unique breed of coffee shop hybrids and dine all day on the best local produce.
The riverside Levee is a delight, too, with an enticing mix of boutiques, cafes, restaurants and small bars. Dine on native inspired cuisine at Coquun, a refined cafe, small bar, deli and bistro, or indulge in cakes and pastries at nearby Icky Sticky Patisserie.
From colonial philanthropist Caroline Chisholm to famous boxer Les Darcy, Maitland’s history will captivate you on the East Maitland Heritage Walk. Among the fascinating heritage buildings, you’ll see Chisholm’s cottage and the Maitland Gaol, which opened in 1848 and closed 150 years later.
Join a guided tour of the gaol or even stay a night in the gaol. The night behind bars includes a torchlight tour of the former prison. For the history of fashion from the 1860s to present, visit the Australian Museum of Clothing and Textiles and marvel at the changes.
A short drive away is a fashion icon and one of Australia’s iconic big things – the Big UGG Boots, at Mortels Sheepskin Factory and The Sheep’s Back Museum. There are factory tours where you’ll learn how the world-famous boots are made. The Mortel family business has been operating since 1958.
Fly into Newcastle Airport
The Hunter Valley is within easy reach of Newcastle Airport. Choose from a range of transport services on arrival, including car rentals, limousines and shuttle buses as well as group and private transfers. Public transport options are available from the airport to Australia’s oldest wine region.
Newcastle Airport offers direct flights to and from eight destinations throughout southeastern Australia. Jetstar flies to Brisbane, Melbourne and the Gold Coast; Virgin Australia flies to Melbourne; QantasLink flies to Brisbane; and Regional Express flies to Sydney. Link Airways operates direct flights between Canberra and Newcastle six days a week. FlyPelican flies to Ballina/Byron, Canberra, Dubbo and Taree. Virgin Australia also operates seasonal direct flights to Auckland, New Zealand, between November and February.