Summer in Maitland just got a whole lot more exciting with the news that the popular summer events program is set to return. From December to February, there will be a program of free and affordable events that the whole family can enjoy running across the city. Alongside regular flagship event New Year’s Eve, the events program includes returning favourites, such as Dive in Cinema, Street Eats and Aqua Hire. There also some exciting new additions including Disc Golf, the Maitland River Regatta and a special floating stage on the Hunter River.
Given that it has been a few years since we’ve been able to celebrate New Year’s Eve, it should come as no surprise that this will be a BIG celebration. With an extended footprint including the entire length of the river walk and RH Taylor Reserve at Lorn, it’s never been easier to secure a great vantage point for the 9pm fireworks. There is even the addition of a ticketed VIP area for those looking to bring in the new year in style. If you are interested in dinner with a view, try to secure a dinner reservation at COQUUN, Beud or CJ’s on the Levee whose outdoor areas will also provide an ideal view of events.
The Hunter River is also set to remain a key focus for other events through the program including Aqua Hire, the Maitland River Regatta, and a series of musical performances. Over three weekends in January, there will be kayaks and stand up paddle boards available for hire. Those of you adventurous enough can head downstream to Morpeth and pull in at Queens Wharf for a coffee from one of the cafes on Swan Street, or grab some nibbles from Swan Street Deli and Larder. After all that effort, why not reward yourself with a tasty treat from Icky Sticky Patisserie or a delightful lunch from Muse Kitchen Lorn.
Looking for a memorable experience? Why not join us for the 2022 Maitland River Regatta. There’s a mix of affordable and free events and activities the whole family can enjoy. Hire an inflatable raft for two and float down the Hunter River! Maitland River Regatta will be held Wednesday January 26, at RH Taylor Reserve, Lorn. Enjoy a range of stalls, amusement rides, beach activities and more.
For those that would prefer to be entertained rather than active, perhaps a series of musical performances would be more enticing. Friday 21 and Saturday 22 January will see LIVE at The Levee present Changing Tides on a floating stage on the river. Enjoy a meal at one of the local restaurants or cafes, or come prepared with a picnic and enjoy some cool performances on a hot summer’s night.
If you’re looking to beat the summer heat, there are also three Dive In Cinema sessions at East Maitland Aquatic Centre to enjoy. Whether you’re after an activity for the kids, or want to cozy up next to your partner on an inflatable while you catch a film, there will be a suitable screening available. With the films not getting started until 8pm, there is plenty of time to head out for an early dinner at a local restaurant or café before the film. If you would prefer to get the most out of your ticket, there are also laser tag or lawn games to take part in prior to the screening.
Stockade Hill Heritage Park in East Maitland will be transformed into a six-hole disc golf course from Monday 10 January until Monday 28 February. Participants can bring their own frisbee or pick one up from the Maitland Visitor Information Centre for just $5, to fling through a series of challenging holes.
Alongside the summer program, there are also a couple of major events coming in January that will make Maitland the place to be this summer. Don’t let the 4.30am start deter you from heading into Maitland Sports Ground on Saturday 15 January to witness Skywhales: Every Heart Sings, presented by Maitland Regional Art Gallery in partnership with the National Gallery of Australia. Just one week later, The Archibald Prize 2021 exhibition is heading to Maitland Regional Art Gallery and will be on display. Australia’s most prestigious art award, the exhibition will include a number of the entries from this year’s competition. Bookings are essential for both of these events, so get in early to secure your tickets.
Whatever you’re interested in, make it Maitland this summer, as there is bound to be an activity you’ll enjoy.