Home' Hunter Its People : Hunter Our Backyard June 2011 Contents 19
IT was a go-to destination in the early days of
Australia's colonisation and, by coincidence,
Maitland today is again the place of choice
for those wanting a tree change.
The historic city, boasting many a heritage
building, is the state's fastest-growing
community with people flocking to the area
because of its attractions and because it is only
a two-hour trip from North Sydney and an easy
drive to beaches, the bay and lake.
The appeal of a rural setting with city
facilities is a drawcard for those wanting to
escape the rat race, and the city is expanding at
such a rate that a new suburb has been created,
Known for its rich alluvial floodplain,
Maitland LGA covers 396 square kilometres
stretching from Woodberry in the east to Tocal
in the north, Gillieston Heights to the south and
Lochinvar to the west.
Acclaimed crime writer Barry Maitland and
his wife Margaret are residents and the mystery
novelist says there is plenty to enjoy because of
Maitland's central location.
''Maitland is well placed to enjoy the best of
both Newcastle and the vineyards, as well as
its own special character formed around its
heritage of excellent 19th century buildings,'' he
says. ''It has very lively art gallery and public
library programs, friendly people and the fine
riverside park where we walk the dogs each
Maitland Mayor Peter Blackmore believes
the city is the ''thriving heart'' of the region.
"The Hunter itself is a great place to live, and
I feel that Maitland is the thriving heart of the
''Maitland offers a combination of both
rural and urban lifestyles. There are a
variety of beautiful and affordable housing
options that embrace the location, the
Hunter River and the city's heritage
''Within half an hour of the city of
Newcastle, the beaches of Port Stephens and
the vineyards in Pokolbin and still less then
two hours drive to Sydney, Maitland truly is
the perfect place to call home.''
The original inhabitants in the Mindaribba
Local Aboriginal Land Council boundaries
were the people of the Wonnarua nation,
''people of the mountains and the plains''.
The Hunter River was the big lure when non-
indigenous settlement took place in the early
1800s. The new town, or towns as it was then,
included West Maitland, East Maitland
and Morpeth. They grew as a direct
result of a thriving river trade with
large warehouses and commercial
properties, many of which faced the
high street and backed onto the
For almost 20 years until the
Victorian gold rush, Maitland was the
second-largest town in Australia.
The arrival of the railway from Newcastle
in the 1850s, coupled with the increasing
silting of the river and the appearance of
larger ships, spelt the end of traditional river
traffic, but these early prosperous times
can be evidenced from the structures that
remain -- the beautiful churches, premises for
businesses and government and homes. The
well-preserved buildings are now proudly shown
off during organised heritage walks and regular
The rich history and affluent times that came
as a direct result of the Hunter River were not
its only influence, and the township has seen its
share of sad times and events in which the river
played a part. Devastating floods have ripped
through the heart of the city and been a cruel
blow at various times over the past 150 years.
People still remember the deadly flood of 1955,
considered one of the most devastating natural
disasters in Australia's history. It led to the
Hunter Valley Flood Mitigation Scheme, which
involved building 170 kilometres of protective
levees and flood-control structures. It was tested
in 2007 when another flood hit Maitland, but
further knowledge was gleaned from that event
to further safeguard the town.
The 69,000 residents who call Maitland home
enjoy extensive shopping and sporting facilities
among the infrastructure created to
cope with the growing population.
Numerous sporting fields, parks
and their accompanying facilities
ensure local suburban areas and all
ages are well catered for. The city
boasts extensive recreation areas,
including Walka Water Works and
Maitland Park, which draw crowds
in the hundreds. A stunning
riverside walk in the heart of the
CBD attracts many keen to take
in the sights of the river and the
beautiful heritage buildings.
The recently re-opened
Maitland Regional Art
Gallery in what has been
dubbed ''the cultural
quarter of Maitland CBD'',
is a highly regarded destination
and complements the nearby
Repertory Theatre, which has
regular live productions.
Maitland is home to many
shopping precincts, making the
21st century just as bustling as the
early years of settlement. Centres
include Stockland Green
Hills at East Maitland,
High St Mall in
Maitland City Centre,
Melbourne and Lawes
streets, East Maitland.
Morpeth is also a
not just for shoppers, but
tourists who flock there for
its fashion boutiques, cafes
and speciality shops.
MAITLAND IS . . .
A diverse city productive in agriculture on the rich
alluvial flats of the Hunter and Paterson rivers, as well
as having tourism, mining, manufacturing, transport and
construction industries. Its history is reflected in buildings
from the mid-1800s using local sandstone and cedar.
NAME: Believed to be named after the man who accepted
the surrender of Napoleon after the Battle of Waterloo, Sir
Frederick Maitland, a friend of Governor Darling.
MOTTO: Justitia et Fortitudo Invinc Ibilia Sunt, broadly
interpreted as ''Justice and Fortitude are Invincible''.
398 sq km.
BIGGEST AGE GROUP:
35 to 49 (21.4 per cent)
ORIGINAL INHABITANTS: Awabakal, Wonnarua and
MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE:
MEAN MAXIMUM TEMPERATURE:
MEAN MINIMUM TEMPERATURE:
MEAN ANNUAL RAINFALL:
FAMOUS SONS AND DAUGHTERS: Dr Herbert Evatt,
a High Court judge, was one of the nation's most influential
Labor leaders and became the first president of the United
Nations General Assembly, and Cheryl Kernot became one
of Australia's most prominent female politicians. Samuel
Walker Griffith was Chief Justice of Australia's High Court
and one of the main men behind the Australian Constitution.
Businessmen Caleb Soul (Soul Pattinson), William Arnott
(Arnott's Biscuits) and Joseph Bramble (Brambles Transport)
all lived in the area. Oscar-nominated scriptwriter Nick
Enright was a contributor to the arts as was actress Ruth
Cracknell and Bell Shakespeare Company founder John Bell.
In sport the legendary Les Darcy came from Maitland, Charlie
Macartney was considered the best batsman in the world
from 1920 to 1926, in rugby league Australian representatives
have included Maitland players Noel Pidding, Don ''Bandy''
Adams, Johnny Graves and Jim Morgan, and Ken Tubman
was one of the best-known rally drivers in the world.
LOCALITIES: Aberglasslyn, Allandale*, Anambah,
Ashtonfield, Berry Park, Bishops Bridge*, Bolwarra,
Bolwarra Heights, Brisbanefield, Buchanan*, Campbell Hill,
Chisholm, Dagworth, Dalwood*, Duckenfield, East Maitland,
East Greta, Eastville, Farley, Gillieston Heights, Gosforth,
Greenhills, Greta*, Harpers Hill, Hillsborough, Horseshoe
Bend, Lambs Valley*, Lambs Creek*, Largs, Lochinvar,
Lorn, Louth Park, Luskintyre, Maitland, Maitland North,
Maitland Vale, Melville, Metford, Metford Meadows, Millers
Forest, Mindaribba, Morpeth, Mount Dee, Oakhampton,
Oakhampton Heights, Oswald, Parkwood Village,
Phoenix Park, Pitnacree, Rathluba, Raworth, Rosebrook,
Rutherford, South Maitland, St Peters, Telarah, Tenambit,
Thornton, Tocal, Windella, Windermere, Woodberry,
at Melville near
from left, the
crowd rocks at
the Bitter and
This page, the
Overall NAPLAN results for 2010
place the College as the leading
School in the immediate area*
* Source: www.myschool.edu.au
Kindergarten to Year 12 on one campus.
Visit our website for bus areas serviced.
Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College is a caring, Christian,
learning community which offers quality education and
pastoral care through an accessible fee structure.
256 Minmi Rd, Fletcher 2287
ph: (02) 4979 8484
Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College
School of Choice
Limited Places Still Available
A partnership in Hunter growth
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