24hrs in Maitland

Locals tell all

EMMA, 24, EAST MAITLAND
Emma only recently moved to Maitland and has had some fun discovering all the quirky spots her new home has to offer. Whether it’s a piccolo by day or an espresso martini by night, when her friends come to visit they head out and make the most of the nightlife.

Where can I start my day?
Somewhere that has all day breakfast. The Levee has the Bikesmith or if I’m feeling like a healthy kick start Organic Feast in East Maitland is good for a green juice and nourish bowl.

What should I do?
The Levee also has some cool shops. Preah Ko sells some unique homewares, crystals, salt lamps and incense. Hunted has a good mix of trendy clothes and if you need something to wear out, the ladies at Efagi Boutique are really helpful and it’s fun trying on all their formal dresses.

Feeling peckish?
South of the Border on High Street is a bit of an icon and is an awesome place to get a feed of nachos and enchiladas. It has a pretty cool feel and it’s a fun spot to head with friends before a night out.

Let me entertain you!
After the tacos we will either head across town to watch a live band at the Junkyard or hit up Marmook & Poom Poom’s, it’s a pretty funky little spot on High Street and it’s just across the road. It’s also great to go out with the girls for a few cocktails and onto the Whistler for an espresso martini.

KERRIE, 60s, MORPETH
Along with husband Chris, Kerrie lives in the historic homestead that was once home to a former Mayor of Maitland. Kerrie has now opened her home to more than just family and friends, operating a B&B called The Villa at Morpeth. If anyone knows how to show off Maitland in its best light, it’s Kerrie.

Where can I start my day?
I like to head down to Blackbird Artisan Bakery at Maitland Gaol to pick up some bread, then pop up the street to get some local milk products that come from Udder Farm Milk in Luskintyre then I head home to have some breakfast in the garden.

What should I do?
Central Maitland is a haven for historic architecture. Check for the Look Up spots on the footpath to give you the cue to glance skywards. But it isn’t just the buildings that are of significance in Maitland, the gardens are a special attraction on their own. Every year over a weekend in September the Maitland Garden Ramble shows off the city’s fantastic gardens.

Feeling peckish?
High tea at Mansfield House is a fabulous way to spend an afternoon with the ladies, a perfect excuse while the men are getting acquainted with the Pourhouse craft beer selection.

For dinner we’ll usually head to Fratelli Roma, a cute little Italian restaurant on High Street, Maitland that specialises in handmade pasta. They have a great wine list too.

Let me entertain you!
There is always something on at the Maitland Repertory Theatre with at least five multi week shows held in the historic theatre each year. Located in the heart of the city’s cultural precinct, the theatre was a church in its former life. Their traditional Christmas production is always a popular choice too. The My Maitland website is the place to find out what the upcoming shows are. You can even buy your tickets online, or from the Maitland Visitor Information Centre.

MICHELLE, 35, MAITLAND
Young mum Michelle is hot on the trail of the next best thing to keep seven year old Mia entertained during those long school holiday periods (little Mia is a tough critic). Being one of eight brothers and sisters, Michelle is forever hosting nieces and nephews on family visits too.

We follow Michelle and ‘mini me’ Mia to the family friendly spots to visit in Maitland.

Where can I start my day?
If we are heading out, the Common Grounds Café in Morpeth is a good one. There is a nice view over the Hunter River and their coffee window is open from 7.00am. Illalung Park is next to the café and has a grassy spot in the sun overlooking the river to spend some time relaxing with the kids.

What should I do?
If it’s raining we’ll head inside. Mia loves the trampoline park Flip Out at Thornton and going to the movies at Reading Cinemas at The Levee because there is a gelato bar next to it (Jubilo Gelato) as a bit of a treat. Shopping at The Levee is also great, particularly because there are a number of shops with books and kids toys. There’s also some great children’s wear stores, check out Blue’s Child and Mod Bodz for a start.

Feeling peckish?
We’ll pack a picnic and head to one of the parks. Lorn ‘beach’ is a favourite in summer as it’s nice by the river, but we pick any of the playgrounds around town. Maitland Park has the best play equipment.

Let me entertain you!
Heading out with kids can be stressful at the best of times, let alone when our whole tribe gets together (including eight cousins under 10 years old). We’ve found Maitland has some great kid friendly venues. Kids eat free at a range of pubs and clubs on the not so busy nights of the week, so it isn’t too hard to sniff out a bargain.

Story by Tess Campbell.