First tourist stop in Maitland was the Gaol which I wandered around while Fred was playing bowls as it was only a short walk from the club. It was used up until the 1970's before being decommissioned and then turned into a Historic area and Museum, was very similar to gaols we have visited in other areas but I have to say they had the best self tour audio system I have used and believe me over the years I have used a few
Next place we visited was the Walka Recreation and Wildlife Reserve a large area of parks, lake and bushland surrounding the Walka Water Works. The Waterworks building are what is left of what was Newcastle's first waterworks. We had a really nice rambling walk thru the bushland and around the lake. Had a nice picnic lunch in the park then had to pack up in a hurry before we got caught in a deluge from the storm that blew up. Hurried home as we had left the windows and hatches open in the van and also had a load of washing on line. Didn't make it in time so washing was wet but inside the van was dry thankfully.
The rest of the day was cold windy and miserable so spent it in the van.
Morpeth was our next day out. Its a heritage town about 10 minutes from Maitland, there is a really nice heritage walk around the town looking at the old buildings most on the main street have businesses in them. Generally coffee shops and little boutique gift and clothing shops.
One was called Campbell's Store which was a treasure trove of nooks and crannies a combination of Museum and shops selling a diverse range of goods from cheap and cheerful to extremely expensive.
My favorite was the Porcelain Doll shop where you could buy the most realistic baby dolls and the food hall where you could taste a wide array of gourmet foods. Had to buy some of course.
When we got to Newcastle we walked around the Foreshore to Nobbys Beach and walked out to the Breakwater, as we walked the sky got very dark and stormy. Just as we got to the point the sky's opened and down teemed the rain, we were a pair of drowned rats by the time we got back, stopped at the Surf Club and had a coffee while we dried off a little.
We then walked up to Fort Scratchley Historic Site and explored, they had a Museum telling the history of the fort and stories of people that were involved in the site over the years. It was built in the early 1800's to defend Newcastle from invasion, it was used by the defence forces until 1972.
The views from here were stunning and as bonus we were able to watch a mother and baby whale playing in the bay.
By the time we were finished the sun was shining and we were dry.
From the Fort we walked back down to the CBD area and had a nice lunch before walking around looking at the old buildings. Then crossed back over to the foreshore and climbed the Observation Tower 180 steps up and thus 180 back down (insert the sound of creaking knees).
We then made our way back to the station and the train back to Maitland.
And thus ended our visit to Maitland