Hunter River Paddle – (3days / 54km)

Hunter River, NSW, Australia: From its beginnings high in the Barrington Tops, the Hunter River meanders 468km through historic townships of the Hunter Region and ends its course flowing through the heads at Newcastle.
First inhabited by indigenous Australians, and later discovered by European explorers in the late 1700’s, the Hunter River was originally called Coal River after fisherman found vast amounts of coal in the area. Today, the Port of Newcastle is the world’s largest exporter of coal.
Most of the Hunter River before Newcastle holds rural villages with farmland and cattle. It is a nice surprise and a lovely peaceful paddle. However the Port of Newcastle is awe-inspiring. The towering ships and industrial setting is really something to experience on a stand up paddle board.

*Make sure to read Trip Preparation before commencing any journey as it contains valuable information about planning your paddle
hunter overview


• Nearest Major City:   Sydney, NSW
The Hunter River is located in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales and flows into the ocean at the city of Newcastle, 160km / 100miles North of the major city of Syndey.

• Maitland to Newcastle

• 54km / 34miles

• 3 days

• River Royal Inn, Morpeth
• Hathaway Bed & Breakfast, Raymond Terrace

• Drive to Newcastle which is 2½ hours from Sydney by car.
• Public Transport:  Train
Departs Newcastle to Maitland.
* Alternatively, if you have the option of two cars, leave one at Newcastle and drive the other to Maitland to begin.

morpeth main st
• Maitland to Morpeth, River Royal Inn

• 9km / 5½miles

• Sandy Beach, Maitland
• Boat Ramp, Morpeth

• River Royal Inn

• The paddle on the first day is quite short, so experience the townships of both Maitland and Morpeth
• Indulge in some fine bread and goodies from Morpeth Sourdough (the Arnott’s family bakehouse)

new friend



• Morpeth to Raymond Terrace, Hathaway Bed & Breakfast

• 18km / 11miles

• Boat Ramp, Morpeth
• Boat Ramp / Wharf, Raymond Terrace

• Hathaway Bed & Breakfast

• Raymond Terrace is quite a historic town and the old main street, King St, is now a quiet back-street and lovely to check out. This is where the marriage trees are.
• The paddle is beautiful from Morpeth, as the river widens and the Williams River joins the Hunter at Raymond Terrace.

king st raymond terrace


• Raymond Terrace to Newcastle

• 27km / 17miles

• Boat Ramp / Wharf, Raymond Terrace
• Boat Ramp / Wharf, Newcastle

• Leaving Raymond Terrace, at the end of the long straight, keep an eye out for the Oakfield Ranch where you can see camels. A stand up paddle board is perfect for the huh vantage point.
• Keep your wits about you when paddling through Newcastle harbour / Port of Newcastle. The big cargo and coal ships entering the port can scare you, but they do not create large wakes. Just move to the side and experience something special.
• There are only a few exit points at Newcastle. One near the train station (look for the clock tower when paddling into the city) that is a low wharf. Another at the heads, but it is a little further to paddle. And one before the town near the ferry terminal.

hunter river map

beaunixonHunter River Paddle – (3days / 54km)

Comments 2

  1. Colin

    I did this trip from Newcastle to maitland in to rubber duck boats with some mates way back in 1984. We where teenagers about 14 years old Mosquitos everywhere, no food just a bit off water but lucky the tied was going in, so we let the tied take us most of the way. Just under 24 hours we hit maitland I’ll never forget it. Great fun. Then we jumped on a coal train back to waratah. Because being teenagers we had no money for the train back.

    1. Post

      Hi Colin,
      Sounds like you and your mates are very adventurous! Thanks for sharing your trip. It would have been quite the experience.