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17 May 2023

We embarked on a road trip through the stunning Central Coast and eventually arrived at Maitland, where we settled into our hotel with a beautiful view of the countryside. After enjoying a luxurious dinner, we were filled with excitement for the much-awaited Maitland Steamfest. 

Upon reaching the festival grounds located at Maitland station, we were immediately captivated by the impressive assembly of trains, including the renowned 3801 locomotive. The electric atmosphere with live rock n roll music, heritage walks, souvenir shops, and gourmet food stalls was invigorating. Riding an ancient steam train down the Hunter Valley line was a definite highlight of our first day. We had an absolute blast.  

The interactive Rally Ground display featuring an extensive collection of antique machinery from all over Australia was equally thrilling. We couldn’t resist trying out the vintage diesel rides, steam punkers, road steam cars, and mini steam train rides, which provided an unforgettable experience. 

After an eventful day, we capped it off with a scrumptious meal at the local bar and bistro. 

The following day, we were lucky enough to be on an exhilarating train race from Maitland to the Newcastle Train port, which was undoubtedly the highlight of the trip. Our train was lined up with at least eight other locomotives, and we even had Tiger Moth Planes racing overhead. The intense energy and excitement were palpable as the engines roared and the planes soared. Although our train finished in second place, the experience was unforgettable and left an indelible mark on us. We then made our way to the Show n Shine vintage car display, where we salivated over the motoring history of 500 classic cars. Our engines were certainly revved after today. 

On our last day, we explored the eerie yet fascinating Maitland Gaol and learned about its rich history and past occupants. The sandstone building is considered one of the most intact country gaols in New South Wales, with many original structures still preserved. 

As we reminisced about our trip over our last meal together, we couldn’t help but feel grateful for the unforgettable memories and experiences. Departing Maitland, we could still hear the trains’ chugging and muffled tooting, reminding us of the fantastic time we had at the Maitland Steamfest.  

We can’t wait til next year!