Plenty to see, and do, in Maitland

Have dog will travel! That is the motto of almost everyone in the greyhound industry and is the reason why its followers are among the most travelled of any Aussie. Each month Chase will highlight a spot on the map of Australia, usually coinciding with a major greyhound race, and explain why you should stop off and smell the roses. This month we look at NSW’s Maitland.

JUST two hours from Sydney and 40 minutes from Newcastle sits the thriving Maitland region.

Maitland today is known for its buzzing café culture, historic Maitland Gaol, vibrant street murals and galleries, and its picturesque riverside surroundings.

The Levee on High Street, sitting parallel to the Hunter River, is a hive of activity with everything from entertainment and dining, retail stores, farmers markets, family events, and a number of small local businesses.

The best spot in town for a coffee and cake is the Icky Sticky Patisserie. Located just over Belmore Bridge, this little gem serves up the most decadent desserts in town. Try their glossy chocolate raspberry mousse bomb, or their orange syrup cake with fig, pistachio, rose petals and cream cheese frosting. Get in early on a Saturday morning as many locals will be collecting their sweets.

Maitland Gaol first opened and took its first prisoners in 1848 and being the longest continuously run correctional institution in Australia, its definitely seen its fair share of infamous inmates. These include Ivan Milat, Chow Hayes, Arthur ‘Neddy’ Smith, John Travis, Kevin Krump and Darcy Dugan. The crimes for these notorious prisoners ranged from murder to being a bank robber and later an escapologist. 

Taking a tour of Maitland Gaol will have its visitors go back in time and see how the gaol ran its daily routines … and executions. Visitors will also learn about the women who lived in the gaol, the riots and protests, and the drugs and alcohol that were smuggled in.

The Gaol, located at 6-18 John Street is open Monday to Friday, 9am-4pm and Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm.

The perfect end to the day would be a stroll through the East Maitland Heritage Walk. The walk has over 28 buildings and sites, including Caroline Chisholm’s cottage (1840) and St Peter’s Church of England (1886).

Lastly, for any Ugg boot lovers, Mortels Sheepskin Factory in Thornton is the oldest continuously operating Ugg boot factory in the world, just 9 minutes from Maitland.

Take a tour around the factory and see the history of sheepskin manufacturing and raising of wool throughout Australia.

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