The River

The picturesque Hunter River played a significant role in the development of the region, and now provides the perfect backdrop to our wonderful city

The Hunter River

The first glimpse of the Hunter River for Maitland is as it winds into the historic town of Morpeth, which was once one of the busiest trade ports in NSW. Visitors can relive this voyage into Morpeth from Newcastle with tours scheduled regularly by local tour company Nova Cruises.

The river then meanders from Morpeth and into Central Maitland providing a perfect backdrop to the city. The link from the city to the river makes for an ideal stroll that captures the historic architecture dotted along the city’s High Street before looping back along the river bank.


Maitland’s relationship with the Hunter River has been one of give and take. On one hand the river and surrounds have provided a rich natural resource and a significant passage of transport and trade as the city was established. But it has also shown its devastating worst with major flooding occurring throughout Maitland’s history, none more confronting than in 1955 which is etched in the folklore of the city.

Want to know more? Have a listen to the podcast on Maitland’s Floods. The podcast project was lead by Associate Professor Susan Kerrigan, who was funded through the Centre for 21st Century Humanities as a start-up project. 

We acknowledge the Wonnarua People as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of the land within the Maitland Local Government Area. We pay respect to all Aboriginal Elders, past, present and future with a spiritual connection to these lands.

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