Morpeth is a real gem when it comes to historic towns near Sydney

Morpeth is an historic steamship port, established in 1821 on the Hunter River. It is 168 km north of Sydney, 37km north-west of Newcastle and 5km north-east of Maitland in New South Wales. 

If you’re looking to explore some historic towns near Sydney, we’re only a day-trip away and it’s oh-so worth it.

Much of the township still retains its colonial feel with cobble stone footpaths and sandstone buildings lining the riverbank. It’s interesting to note that Morpeth is said to be named after the English town of the same name, as it is the same distance from Newcastle as the English town is from Newcastle-on-Tyne! 

Today, Morpeth is a popular tourist town, with travellers spending a whole day discovering the shops and alleyways, the museum, the Campbell Store, restaurants and cafes and of course, Morpeth Sourdough. Stay at the William Arnott Hotel, Fieldsend Cottage or the Loft Studio and explore the township and greater Maitland city.

Come to Morpeth for a day and spend a lifetime

That's exactly what we did! Our first visit to Morpeth was in 2001, a day trip to the country from inner city Sydney to see where Stephen's ancestors had settled from Scotland.

We looked through the old building, which was an antique store back then. The old Bakehouse was crumbling, it needed rescuing urgently. We never thought it would be us preserving this historic site for future generations.

As we drove out of town that day, we wondered if the owner would be interested in selling to us. In a panic, we drove back and asked if he would sell. Sure enough, he was about to list the property for sale in the coming months - It was meant to be!

There you have it. What was supposed to be a day trip to one of the historic towns near Sydney changed our entire lives, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. The rest is our history - and we love sharing it with you through our boutique accommodation, sourdough classes, and history tour.

Historic Towns Near Sydney

We may be biased..... but this is one of the historic towns near Sydney that was made to be explored

Morpeth was originally known as Illalaung, an occupied dense rainforest of the Gringgai clan of the Wanaruah indigenous people. It is known that the Wanaruah had trade and ceremonial links with the Kamilaroi people.

The first Europeans thought to have settled in the area were the party of Lieutenant Colonel Paterson, who explored the Hunter River in 1801. Paterson named this area Greenhills. 

This area of land was granted to Lt Edward Close as a gift for service as Engineer of Public Works at Newcastle. He built an impressive homestead, Closebourne House (see pictured) around 1826.

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