East Maitland offers visitors a stunningly nice of historic and modern. Fine buildings from years gone by line the wide streets and house a number of excellent restaurants, cafés, antique shops and service providers. Shopping centres offer a large range of speciality stores and supermarkets. Stop for a drink and a meal at one of East Maitland’s great hotels and even stay the night in one of the many accommodation options available. Beautiful churches St. Peters and St. Josephs overlook the area with stunning views and the historic Maitland Gaol is open for tours. Some may choose to explore the sites relating to Les Darcy, a big-hearted, courageous 19-year-old boxer who was idolised around the country and who at the time (1909 – 1916) was the middleweight and heavyweight champion of Australia.
East Maitland was known as the “government town” and was designed in such a way. Surveyor G.B White defined the limits of the township with liberal provision made for public buildings, churches, schools and public reserves and the town was officially proclaimed in 1833. A historic highlight whilst within Maitland is undoubtedly the Maitland Gaol. Maitland Gaols foundation stone was laid in 1844, built of sandstone from Morpeth and Farley. After holding some of Australias most hardened criminals, including Ivan Millat, Maitland Gaol closed on the 30th January 1998.