Wow Maitland – you have out done yourself!
Rich in history and culture, amazing food and produce, with a great mix of new and old. There is no doubt something for everyone, and let’s not forget the vibrant locals who bring it all to life. It’s certainly a great destination for your next get-away.
Maitland is located along the banks of the Hunter River on Wonnaraua Country. Only two hours from Sydney or 40 minutes from Newcastle. We’ve just enjoyed an awesome 3 day, 2 night family adventure and here’s our ‘Top Maitland Must-Sees’
Farm Stay Experience
When visiting the country you gotta see some animals, right?! So slip on those gumboots and embrace country life. There is certainly an array of farm stays or farm experiences available which I’m sure will be a favourite to parents and children alike.
We stayed at the gorgeous Tranquil Vale Vineyard, which is a boutique winery that also hosts a small harem of animals. This was the perfect place to unwind, let the kids run free and of course, enjoy a few sneaky glasses of Shiraz as the sun set over the vineyards.
The kids loved helping to feed the animals, while us ‘big kids’ learnt the ins and outs of the wine making process during a Vineyard tour with Connie, our host and 2nd generation wine maker.
Phoenix Park Farm
Worms, mud and bugs are the memories of our visit to Phoenix Park Farm. We spent the morning with Jesse and Carley who work with school aged children, educating them on farming and a love of growing ‘all the things’. From feeding the animals, to bug hunts, learning the importance of worms and making our own lemonade it was certainly a highlight for us all.
Phoenix Park Farm have a range of courses especially for homeschool or school groups. If you are looking for a similar experience Purple Pear Farm also offers farm tours and mums and bubs play sessions.
Games and Bowling
Who doesn’t love a fun game or two of bowling? The newly opened Dullboys Social Co. at Rutherford is the perfect place for a fun family night out. We enjoyed dinner at Charlies followed by bowling and some crazy arcade and virtual reality games. It was hard to pull our mini blondies away!
For something a little different we spent the afternoon on a self guided tour with ‘Snitch’ the gaol rat at Maitland Gaol. Aimed at Primary aged kids ‘Snitch’s Gaol Exploration’ tour, (which you access via an app on your phone) had us learning about the past prisoners, daring escapes and other interesting tales spanning over the 150 year history of this maximum security prison.
There are other self-guided and guided tours available to suit all ages as well as some creepier night tours, escape rooms and laser tag.
Maitland Regional Art Gallery
With free entry, MRAG (as it’s know by the locals) boasts a vibrant collection of over 7000 works and is a great place to visit with the family.
When you arrive, grab a clipboard and the Code Breaker activity sheet from the front desk and let the kids follow the clues throughout the gallery to help them crack a special code.
If you can, time your visit for a Sunday so you can enjoy the gallery’s Free Art Sundays program. Our Blondie tribe had a great time creating some vibrant creations with help from the MRAG art tutors. Each session is inspired by the current exhibited artworks. There are 2 sessions for Free Art Sundays, one at 10.30am and 11.45am. All materials are supplied, more info here.
The Levee & Riverside Walk
The Levee, located in Maitland’s city centre is always a hive of activity. Full of cafes, shops and a number of community events throughout the year. We enjoyed a lovely breakfast at The Whistler, (you’ve gotta try their Breakfast Stack!), followed by a stroll along the city’s High Street before looping back along the river bank (bring along the kids bikes or scooters).
There’s a wonderful mix of old vs new here, with buildings dating back to the 1800s as well as a splash of colour with some gorgeous street art. Make sure you stop for an ‘insta shot’ with ‘The New One’ mural on your way past too. If you are keen to learn more about the history here, check out the Maitland Heritage Walks.
Not too far from Maitland is the magical town of Morpeth. Take a journey through cobblestone pathways, sandstone kerbs, and heritage buildings where you’ll discover unique shopping, artisan treasures and delightful treats! We enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Savannah’s on Swan and of course, a look through the diverse range of boutiques, galleries and even the Museum! Make sure you stop in at Miss Lily’s Lollies and try a few taste tests at the Morpeth Ginger Beer Factory. The famous ‘Indian Root Pills’ building is not to be missed as well as the historic Morpeth bridge.
Get wet at Maitland Aquatic Centre
Maitland Aquatic Centre has a great kids pool with a waterslide, giant tipping bucket and splash pad. This outdoor adventure playground is only open in the warmer months of the year, but for those keen to get their head wet there is also an indoor heated pool for the cooler months.
There’s no doubt that you’re spoilt for choice when you visit this gorgeous region. Have you been? What’s your favourite place? We’d love you to share in the comments below.
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