Nestled just three hours north of Queensland’s Capital City is the colourful and quaint city of Maryborough. Situated within one of state’s most popular holiday destinations, the Fraser Coast, and a stone’s throw from neighbouring coastal haven, Hervey Bay, behind Maryborough’s striking streetscapes is a city rich in history and culture. Today, the city’s strong art scene, architecture, memorials and museums continue to tell the story of one of Queensland’s oldest cities.
First settled by Europeans in 1847, its riverbanks fast became one of Australia’s most important ports of entry for white settlers after 1859 (second only to Sydney), with 23,000 settlers arriving over the following decade. The city was also the new State of Queensland’s first industrial powerhouses in the final decade of the 19th century, producing naval ships in 1887 (it would go on to build 31 ships for the RAN between 1940 and 1974), sugar milling equipment and railway rolling stock. The town’s major foundry, Walkers Ltd, built the first steam locomotive manufactured in Queensland, the Mary Ann, in 1873.
Today, Maryborough calls home to 27,000 locals, with the heavy industry still a major influence and driver on the local economy, along with timber, sugar, munitions, health, education and a bustling tourism scene. An allrounder with something to cater for everyone, Maryborough is well-placed on the Bruce Highway, Queensland’s main travel route, linking the south east population to its northern counterparts. Visitors can also access the region by rail or air travel (via the Hervey Bay Airport).
History buffs can delve into the region’s rich military past, and spend the day exploring the newly established, world-class Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial at Queens Park. The centrepiece memorial features stones and sand from Gallipoli, and a life-sized bronze sculpture of Maryborough’s Lieutenant Duncan Chapman – the first Australian ashore ANZAC Cove in 1915. A walk through the memorial is filled with audio and visual stories of the many local men and women from who have served our country.
After embarking the memorial and grounds of Queens Park, visitors can stroll to the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum, showcasing the largest collection of military artifacts outside of the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.
Art lovers will love The Maryborough Mural Trail, one of the city’s fastest growing tourist attractions. Walking the 37 installations paints some of city’s most colourful and quirky stories, adorning buildings in the city’s Central Business District.
Maryborough’s historic charms do not stop there – head to Cherry Tree Lane on Richmond Street to find the bronze statue of Mary Poppins, standing proudly beside the heritage-listed Australian Joint Stock Bank, where author, P.L. Travers, was born in the upstairs bedroom in 1889. The building has now been beautifully restored into The Story Bank. Visitors can learn about storytelling, explore the interactive displays, collection of original documents, characters and settings from the beloved Mary Poppins stories.
“Practically perfect in every way”, Maryborough has a little something for everyone, what’s not to love about a holiday to this magical town?
Looking to spend some time in Maryborough? View our comprehensive 4 day and 3 night itinerary here.