Maitland, population 50 100, on the Hunter River, 28 kilometres from Newcastle, is a small town in the heart of the Yorke Peninsula. Economic activities include agriculture, tourism, mining, manufacturing, transport and construction industries. Its long history is reflected in the many historic buildings built in the mid 1800s, using local sandstone and cedar.
The town was proclaimed and named in 1872 after the wife of the First Lord of Kilkerran in Scotland and was later settled in 1818 when convicts were put to work as cedar-getters. Maitland flourished in the 1840s and as a result many beautiful buildings still stand.
Today the town is in the centre of rich farming land. The limestone soils are ideal for the growing of barley and wheat.
The Maitland National Trust Museum contains a good collection of local memorabilia and the old Maitland gaol is now a historical museum.