Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Maitland SA


Postcode: 5573

Maitland is a town in South Australia located 168 km west of Adelaide 164 km south of Port Pirie near the centre of northern Yorke Peninsula. The town was named in 1872 after Lady Jean Maitland, the wife of the First Lord of Kilkerran, a family connection of the governor of South Australia at this time, Sir James Fergusson; the local aborigines calling it “madu waltu”, meaning white flint.

Maitland has a grain receiving depot operated by AWB Limited, serviced only by road.[1] Maitland is also the home base of the Narungga Aboriginal Progress Association. Maitland’s urban design is patterned after Adelaide’s central business district: a neat grid of streets surrounded on all four sides by parkland.

The town was proclaimed and named in 1872 after a family connection (Lady Jean Maitland, the wife of the First Lord of Kilkerran in Scotland) with Governor Fergusson who was the Governor of South Australia at the time of the establishment of the town. The local Aborigines called the area ‘madu waltu’ which meant white flint which was common in the area.

The town was laid out in the same style as Adelaide with a series of radiating squares. On the outer edge are North, West, South and Shannon Terraces. Road radiate in from the corners of this square. There is a smaller square and then two smaller squares. This is not a typical Australian grid pattern. It is much too unusual and elaborate.

Today the town is in the centre of rich farming land. The limestone soils are ideal for the growing of barley and wheat and the area enjoys a good rainfall.