A place where magic was created by one of Australia’s favourite authors is a must go holiday destination, meet Mary Poppins in Maryborough
Maryborough, part of Queensland’s heritage trail network is primarily known as an agricultural hub for the sugar, beef and timber industry. The well known visitor destinations of Rockhampton and Charters Towers mean Maryborough’s legacy can be overlooked. Maryborough lacks a substantial portfolio of heritage buildings yet it is home to quirky, single subject museums. Maryborough, with its fine old Queenslander houses and heritage public buildings is located on the banks of the Mary River. The historic river port memory is reflected in the boat marina and slipways. Maryborough was designated as a port immigration clearance making a substantial contribution to the growth of modern Australia.
- Mary Poppins & the life of author PL Travers
- One of Australia’s oldest river port towns
- Military museum collections
- Heritage retail stores & buildings
A favourite is always a free guided city tour. In Maryborough the guides get to play dress up. Dressed in period costume, the guide will regale visitors with Maryborough’s vibrant past. Stories about the town as a thriving port fascinate. Free tours depart City Hall Monday to Saturday at 9am, not available some Public Holidays. The tour is weather dependent. Check with the visitor centre for details.
Bond Store Museum with its earthen floors, handmade bricks reminds visitors of the hard labour to construct the building. The building (1864) provided secure storage for opium legally traded in 1860’s, alcohol and tobacco. The store has been reimagined as a store showingr regional produce alongside exhibits, displays, photographs and artefacts narrating Maryborough’s Portside history. There is a gift shop marketing regional boutique liqueurs.
- Admission fees apply
- Open daily
Where else in the world can you get a quirky character complete with an umbrella advising pedestrians it is safe to cross the road. Maryborough, home of P J Travers, author of Mary Poppins pays deference to Mary Poppins with an annual mid-year festival, modified the street-crossing signs in the city centre and the Story Bank Museum a homage to all things Mary.
Something for kids and lovers of the hiss, whistle and belch of a steam locomotive. The Maryborough Railway Museum has railway memorabilia to keep visitors happy for several hours poring over the artefacts and equipment on display. Maryborough City Whistle Stop Inc. is the custodian of the B15 Steam Locomotive #299 and is stored in the old heritage listed Railway Goods Shed. The Mary Ann Steam Train operates on the following days
- Thursday (Heritage Market Day in Maryborough) between 9am and 12.30pm.
- The last Sunday of the month – 9am to 12.30pm.
- Admission fees apply
Wide Bay Hospital Museum is the work of passionate volunteers, custodians of Maryborough’s early public hospitals and maternity services from the 1850’s. The museum is open Open Thursdays 9am-12pm however email beforehand to ensure you are not disappointed. For researchers contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Panemdics and the impact on the world makes the Bauer & Wiles Memorial Fountain a place to think about health care workers and the vital role placed to keep us safe. Australia’s only outbreak of pneumonic plague was in Maryborough in 1905. This fountain, situated adjacent to City Hall, commemorates Cecilia Bauer and Rose Wiles, two local nurses who courageously volunteered to care for victims. Both nurses contracted the deadly disease and died.
Australian military history is acknowledged at the Duncan Chapman Memorial as well as the The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum at Portside and the McMillan Light Horse and Military Museum at Mavis Bank gives visitors glimpses of the personal stories of Australian soldiers in the Vietnam War 1964-1973 and other areas of conflict, noteably the Boer War with an extensive collection of medals. For military buffs and researchers Maryborough is a must visit destination.
- Open: The museum is open from 9.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 12.30pm Saturday and Sunday. Closed Public Holidays.
- Admission fees apply
This place is fun, A PRESERVED RETAIL STORE, Brennan and Geraghty’s Store Museum one of three preserved retail stores in the world. Opened in 1871, the store is a step back to a period when self-serve did not exist. The wooden shelving and wide counters are glorious. Experience what shopping was like in the nineteenth century and get your gift beautifully wrapped in period style wrapping paper.
TREEROOTS, Maryborough Family Heritage Institute. Maryborough Family Heritage Institute holds one of the largest collections of geneaology records in Queensland. Every year an annual celebration of the arrival of immigration vessels to Maryborough, Queensland. Our annual event is usually celebrated in May. Find out if your ancestors swam or came by boat to the Port of Maryborough. Descendants of passengers from these sailing ships are invited to this event. Also, descendants from other ships are welcome to attend.
Maryborough historic cemetery is now Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens. Complete with picnic tables, The Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens was the site of Maryborough’s second official cemetery, closed in 1873. By 1907 due to concerns about health risks the cemetery was closed with headstones and remains relocated to the current site. The land was converted into a public park. The current cemetery has a pioneer graves relocated section sorted according to denomination and religious belief.
Aboriginal habitation reaches back at least 6,000 years ago. The Gubbi Gubbi (Kabi Kabi) and Batjala (Butchulla) people were the original inhabitants of the region.
TRAVEL PACK INFORMATION
- Pick up a free copy of a self guided walking tour, brochure available from the Bond Store and Visitor Information Centre.
From THE CHRONICLE … Maryborough …
Maryborough was first settled in 1847 by Europeans and is one of Queensland’s oldest cities.
George Furber established a woolstore in this time and the arrival of the Aldridge exploratory party in 1848 generated a relatively rapid expansion of the fledgling township.
The port was a home and trading post for wool and other primary industries such as timber and served as the Fraser Coast immigration port in the early days of Australian settlement.
In 1859 Maryborough was declared a “port of entry” for settlers coming to Australia and it became a municipality in 1861 and was second only to Sydney as an eastern seaboard port for free settlers.
Immigrant labour was needed for the township to prosper. An advertisement inserted in the Wide Bay & Burnett Times on January 23, 1861, by Messrs Melville and Travis announced they would be transitioning British migrants, while a second advertisement by Henry Hamburger said he would support the emigration of German settlers.
Of the migrants who disembarked at Brisbane in 1862 from the ship Suldanha, 160 came to Maryborough by the paddle steamer Clarence.
The 42 Germans among them had already been engaged for work on nearby sheep runs. The pioneering efforts of Melville lives on in one of Maryborough State High School’s houses, Melville-Russell.
In the following decades, trades, commerce and industry consolidated into a sound community and city. This was the same time the colony of Queensland was separated from the colony of New South Wales.
The number of settlers to arrive via the Maryborough port of entry reached 23,000 by the end of the 1860s. The rapid growth of the new port and the town was stimulated by the timber, sugar, tallow, wool and hide industries. Trade and commerce were later consolidated with the Gympie gold rush.
By the early 1860s there were several timber mills in Maryborough. In 1882, Queensland pioneer Richard Matthews Hyne started the National Sawmill on the banks of the Mary River. R.M. Hyne, using his knowledge of the building trade, saw new opportunities in this expanding timber business. He had chosen his site with good judgment, as Maryborough was well served with magnificent stands of blue gum, spotted gum and ironbark and, as well, hoop and kauri pine. The Hyne company has grown from strength to strength and now has 11 sites throughout Australia and South East Asia.
Maryborough State High School has catalogued the history of the city and highlights this in the selection of their sporting houses. These names include Sir Thomas WM Glasgow, an “old boy” who became Minister for Defence and High Commissioner to Canada, the well-known Horsburgh family, and Mr. H.G.S. Morton, an “old boy” who was a brilliant scholar and a talented sportsman, among others.
Source The founding of Maryborough 2016
The journey is worth it.