There’s plenty to love about Maitland.
From a vibrant arts scene and great eateries to its heritage buildings and close-knit community. We take a quick look at its fascinating history and why Maitland is growing in popularity today.
How Maitland got its name
The Hunter Valley was explored by Lieutenant-Colonel Paterson in 1801, and he called the area now known as Maitland Schanck’s Forest Plains. But by 1833 when a Government settlement was proclaimed, it had become known as Maitland.
Maitland is believed to have taken its name from Sir George Maitland, who was Under Secretary for the Colonies and M.P. for the Borough of Whitchurch, in Hampshire, England.
Maitland is in the Lower Hunter Valley of NSW, and is an easy two-hour drive (166-kilometres) north of Sydney or 40-minutes (35-kilometres) northwest of Newcastle.
As of the 2016 census, Maitland had 78,015 residents, most of whom live along the strip of the New England Highway between Rutherford and Metford, with the city centre located on the right bank of the Hunter River, protected from flooding by a levee.
The average age of residents is 36, and many of them find work in coal mining or healthcare, with trades and professionals making up over a third of workers’ occupations.
The history of Maitland
The first people of the land of Maitland were the Wonnarua people, the traditional owners of the land that is now known as the Hunter Valley. Their creation spirit is Baiami or Koin, the ‘creator of all things’ or ‘Keeper of the Valley’.
Maitland has also had a rich and diverse history since colonisation as evidenced by the range of beautiful architecture in town.
Some of the first white settlers were convicts, who were used to clear the area and suffered very harsh treatment which was investigated in an 1820 Royal Commission.
Farming was established in the area in the early 1800s, then mining, industry, trade and commerce followed.
The present city of Maitland is an amalgamation of three local government areas: West Maitland, East Maitland and Morpeth. The area’s tidal access to the Hunter River meant that in its early days, before the trainline to Newcastle was established, many goods were transported by river and unloaded and distributed here from large warehouses which faced the High Street and backed onto the river. Some of these remain today.
Prior to the Victorian gold rush, for two decades Maitland was the second largest town in Australia. And it’s famous for its many floods over the years.
87.1% of residential properties in Maitland are free standing houses, with just 8.9% semi-detached, terrace houses or townhouses and only 2.2% flats or apartments.
According to realestate.com.au, the median house price in Maitland is currently $441,500 and rents for $370 per week. The average unit rental price is $321 per week.
Maitland is something of a property hotspot, having experienced around 40% price growth over the past five years.
Realestate.com.au has reported a surge in regional suburb searches since COVID-19, with more home buyers seeking a sea change. As people have begun working from home more, many are considering whether it could be time to swap expensive cities for more space and a better lifestyle in areas such as Maitland, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie.
Altitude is excited to be opening a new office in Maitland. We look forward to helping more people buy and sell in this great area.
Why the locals love it
1. Plenty of lifestyle appeal
For a small country town, Maitland packs a big punch when it comes to having an enviable lifestyle. From colourful murals adorning the city streets to local artist studios and the Maitland Regional Art Gallery, there’s plenty for art lovers to appreciate here.
Foodies can also enjoy the best of the outstanding local produce, with Maitland boasting great bakeries, cafes, restaurants and small bars. Feast on native and local produce at the upscale bistro Coquun or indulge your sweet tooth at the Icky Sticky Patisserie. They’re also local Thai, Vietnamese, Indian and Mexican eateries, many of which can be found in or around the riverside Levee Central Maitland, a lifestyle precinct home to eateries and retail.
And if a sport or the outdoors is your thing, you’re also well catered for with the river, parks, sports complexes and much more.
2. A rich history
History buffs will admire Maitland’s many historic buildings, from the cottage of colonial philanthropist Caroline Chisholm to Grossman House and Brough House – two outstanding examples of Australian Victoria Regency houses. You can also tour the now-closed Maitland Gaol, which once housed some of Australia’s most notorious criminals.
3. Location, location, location
Maitland’s accessibility to Newcastle and Sydney make it ideal for working professionals or families seeking a tree change that still offers city access. You have all the amenities of a regional hub with a relaxed pace of life, but Newcastle Airport is right nearby, providing connections to much of southeastern Australia with direct flights to destinations including Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and the Gold Coast. You’re on the doorstep of the Hunter, and the beaches of Lake Macquarie, Newcastle and Port Stephens are just a short drive away.
If you’re looking to buy or sell in Maitland, Lake Macquarie or Newcastle contact our team today.