Situated on the Mary River, the City of Maryborough is the commercial centre of the Fraser Coast. A city based on servicing the surrounding sugar, grazing and timber industries, Maryborough has a large number of beautiful buildings erected in the prosperous colonial era.
Maryborough is the self-styled Heritage City of Queensland and holds heritage markets each Thursday. Tourism plays a significant part in the economy of the city today, both as a tourist destination itself and as the gateway to Wide Bay, Fraser and Burnett coasts and Fraser Island.
Where is it?: Queensland: Burnett/Fraser Coast. Maryborough is 264 km north of Brisbane via the Bruce Highway on the Mary river. Maryborough is 111 km south of Bundaberg, 35 km south of Hervey Bay and 88 km north of Gympie.
Plan And Book
Natural features: Mary River; Wide Bay; Mount Bauple National Park; Fairlie's Knob National Park; Poona National Park; Woodgate National Park
Heritage features: Baddow House (1883); Teamsters Paddock; Bush Inn (now the Royal Hotel); Brennan & Geraghty's Store (1871); St Paul's Anglican Church and Tower (1879, 1887); City Hall (1908); Post Office (1869); Customs House (1901); Customs House Hotel (1870); Court House and Lands Office (1875-77); Maryborough Family Heritage Institute Building (1878); Bond Store Museum; Maryborough Technical College Group (from 1983); Lambert Hyne residence (1889); Band Rotunda, Queens Park (1890).
Join an evening story trail, led by a member of the ancient guild of story tellers, at Maryborough Portside on the first Saturday of the month at 6pm. The Maryborough Stories by Night multi-media experience begins in the basement on the Bond Store, then continues through the heritage streets of Maryborough. Be enchanted, shocked and moved as you experience stories of mystery, adventure, love and sorrow. A mixture of theatre, sound and light and a bit of magic to breathe life into the past.
Gatakers by Night is held on the Saturday night of the last weekend of each month at Gatakers Artspace Courtyard at Maryborough Portside from 5pm to 9pm. Featuring artists' demonstrations, free live music, licenced bar, wood-fired pizza, hot food, coffee and dessert. A perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and something light to eat in a chilled out, intimate setting. Bring a folding chair and enjoy a great night out in our beautiful courtyard. Free entry and music.
Sunday Riverside is held on the first Sunday of the month from 3pm to 8pm at Maryborough Portside. Live entertainment showcasing local and visiting artists on the Riverstage. Sit at a table in the Riverside Restaurant or under the River Terrace, or bring a rug for a picnic on the lawn. Outdoor heaters will be provided in winter. Bring a jacket or a warm blanket as it can get cool by the river. Licensed premises provides casual dining options and full bar facilities. No BYO food or alcohol.
July: Mary Poppins Festival
Did you know that the author P.L. Travers, who inspired the Disney movie Mary Poppins was actually a Queenslander? She was born in Maryborough and her birth town believe this is something worth celebrating. Whilst they have a Mary Poppins statue in Cherry Tree Lane (aka Richmond St) in the town and a few other nods to the famous resident, every year, without a doubt, the highlight is the Mary Poppins Festival. People come from far and wide to join in this magical celebration that pays homage to Mary Poppins and P.L. Travers, with a range of wonderful events guaranteed to delight both young and old.
The 10 dat Mary Poppins Festival is held during the winter school holidays each year so that everyone can make the most of what is on offer. The Festival offers something for all the family. The 'Art of Storytelling' program includes film, art, music, performance and literature during the 10-day event. Events are held in various locations in the CBD as well as heritage-listed Queens Park, and the Wharf Precinct.
The old wharf area has been re-established as riverside parklands, and is perfect for a picnic or riverside walk. Within short walking distance are the pick of Maryborough's historic buildings; these include the City Hall (1908), Maryborough Post Office (1869), Customs House (1859), Customs House Hotel (1870), Court House (1875-77), former Bank of NSW, now Maryborough Family Heritage Institute Building (1878)' Bond Store Museum.
Queens Park can make claims to being one of the most delightful city parks in Queensland. Set around the Monaboola stream, the heritage listed gardens were laid out in 1860 and contain the Maryborough War Memorial. The huge banyan tree, the elegant band rotunda, the city fernery, the Melville or Fairy Fountain, and the views over the river all make it an ideal place to relax. The band rotunda is a very early example of prefabrication. It was actually built in Glasgow and shipped out in 1890. Near the rotunda are some 13-cm gauge railway tracks.
On the last Sunday each month the Model Engineers and Live Steamers Association meet here to re-live the steam age in the chug of engines, the glow of brass and coal fires and the cheery sound of the whistle. You can ride the Mary Ann, a full-size replica of Queensland's first steam locomotive which was built in Maryborough in 1873, or a miniature steam engine run by members of the Association. Also to be heard and seen are Maryborough's Brass Bands playing in the rotunda. Location: Sussex Street, Maryborough.
Maryborough is the birthplace of PL Travers (real name Helen Lyndon Goff), author of the Mary Poppins books. The the city has honoured the author and character with a bronze statue of Mary Poppins in the city centre near Queens Park. A perfect mementos of one's visit to Maryborough is a photograph taken with Mary, or better still, to visit the city in July and attend the Mary Poppins Festival where the characters from the books are recreated and attend Heritage Market day.
Fairlies Knob National Park
Fairlies Knob National Park is located on an offshoot of the Sea View Range, 50km west of Maryborough. There are several access tracks and fire breaks running through the park. These are accessible to visitors with four wheel drive vehicles. The terrain is steep and the roads highly susceptible to erosion following high rainfall. The landscape comprises creek flats, hills and lowlands on granitic rocks. The park has a common boundary with Wongi State Forest (hoop pine plantation) for about half of its perimeter, while the remaining park boundary borders Wongi National Park.
The area holds high importance to Aboriginal people and there are many sites of Aboriginal cultural importance across the region. These include the nearby Wongi Waterholes which were used by Aboriginal people travelling from Mount Bauple to Urangan and Fraser Island. The park has not been formally assessed for Aboriginal cultural heritage values but artefact scatters, scar trees and burial sites have been found in the surrounding region.
Wongi State Forest Recreation area
The Wongi Waterholes are a popular spot for bush camping. The camping sites are shaded by large eucalypt trees, fairly level and in a nice setting. There are sites suitable for caravans/motohomes and ohers that are more suited to tent based camping. The waterholes attract a large amount of wildlife and is a great spot for bird watching. The lakes are also a lovely spot to go kayaking. The water holes are pretty deep and nice for a swim, don't be fooled by the tea coloured water, it is just the tannins from the native vegetation and does not mean the water is dirty. There are cold water showers, flushing toilets and picnic tables provided. Camping fees apply but day use is free.
The Wongi area has a significant association with timber harvesting dating back to the 1860s. The old Maryborough Gayndah, Golden Fleece and Convict roads run through the park and were major carriageways for the transport of produce to the port of Maryborough. Other cultural heritage sites in the Wongi area include the remains of an old Cobb and Co. coach road, Yellow Waterhole Forestry Camp site, Billygoat Mountain fire cabin site and the Brooweena Forest Station site.
Wongi is 25km north-west of Maryborough. Head 12.5km towards Childers on the Bruce Highway then turn left at the signpost (the last reliable mobile phone reception is at this turnoff). Drive 10km into the picnic and camping areas along a gravel road.
Mount Walsh National Park
Mount Walsh and The Bluff Mount at the northern end of the park are prominent landmarks in the Biggenden area. Steep forested slopes, sheltered gullies, rugged ridge lines with spectacular exposed granite outcrops and cliffs support an amazing diversity of vegetation. The park is a wildlife refuge for a large variety of wildlife including amphibians, reptiles, mammals and birds. There is no formal camping area at Mount Walsh National Park. Bush camping is available in remote areas. The Bluff has a shelter shed, toilets, barbecue and tank water for picnics and bushwalking.
The northern tip of Mount Walsh National Park is approximately 5km due south of Biggenden township. Turn off the Maryborough-Biggenden Road 2km east of Biggenden or 80km west of Maryborough. Travel a further 5.3km along the signposted National Park Road to the picnic area.
Waterfall Creek rock pools and Utophia Falls are part of the Mt Walsh National Park. Locals slide down over the waterfalls and swim in the rock pools. From Biggenden travel along the Maryborough-Biggenden Road for 22km, turning right at Innooroolabar Road. Follow this road for about 2.5km and then take the first right at Utophia Road (no street sign). Follow Utopia Road until you reach the car park. Utophia Falls is a 2.4km walk from the Mount Walsh picnic area.
A good place for a day trip and oceanside picnic is Woodgate Beach, east of Childers. The flat 18-km beach boasts beautiful clear water and is ideal for fishing and sailing. You can also take a short drive heading north along the Esplanade to the stunning Theodolite Creek where you can swim in shallow waters and go for a fish. Woodgate is a typical retirement village which is also a popular holiday resort for people wanting to 'get away from it all'. It has a caravan park and other accommodation, petrol and a kiosk.
The Woodgate Section of Burrum Coast National Park extends from the town south to the Burrum River estuary. Access to the Burrum Point campground is 4WD only, although there is an 800-metre circuit boardwalk through a teatree swamp which departs from Acacia St (off Sixth Avenue) in Woodgate. Those wanting to see more can take the 5.2-km Banksia Track which starts from the same spot. It pases from the swamp to Livistonia palm forest, to open forest and on to a wallum heath plain decorated by wildflowers from August to October.
Access to the rest of the Woodgate section is via Walkers Point Rd which can be approached via Twelfth Avenue in the town of Woodgate. Burrum Point campground is located along a side track which runs off Walker Point Rd. It sits behind the beach and is a popular relaxing getaway, with fishing opportunities around the nearby river estuary.
Located on Hervey Bay, Point Vernon (35 km north) is the largest rocky promontory on the coast between Noosa and Bundaberg. Visit Point Vernon's beautiful Gatakers Bay and explore its esplanade to discover a number of picnic and swimming areas. At The Gables, learn about Hervey Bay's sandy dunes, vegetation and shorebirds from interpretive signs in the park. Spot the resident Ospreys as these stunning birds of prey nest on a dedicated platform.
Just off the shoreline at the Gables is a coral reef, popular with snorkellers, where it is possible to see an interesting mix of subtropical and temperate species of hard and soft corals as well as many marine creatures, including stingrays, turtles, squid and several fish species. The best time to enter is one hour either side of low tide.
The tiny inlet of Maaroom in Queensland's Fraser Coast region is nestled along the spectacular shoreline of the Great Sandy Strait - with panoramic views across to the world's largest sand island, Fraser Island. This tranquil seaside hideaway, just 20 km south of Maryborough along the Cooloola Coast Road, is one of a string of quaint fishing villages dotted along the water's edge of the Great Sandy Strait - the waterway between Fraser Island and the Fraser Coast Mainland. Follow the Great Sandy Strait Discovery Drive to experience these coastal villages, surrounding national parks, coloured sands and sand blows, incredible birdlife, fishing and boating. It has a caravan park and an all-weather boat ramp with tidal access for fishing. Down at the water's edge is a pleasant spot to have a picnic with sheltered gazebo and playground.
Boonooroo, Pooina and Tinninbar
Like Maaroom to the north, Boonooroo (28 km south) and neighbouring Tuan on Queensland's Fraser Coast are not your typical sleepy fishing hamlet - they also boast spectacular views across the Great Sandy Strait to Fraser Island, the world's largest sand island. With a caravan park, bowls club, golf course, tennis court, and bike and boat hire, Boonooroo is the perfect place for a holiday filled with great fishing and relaxation. At nearby Poona National Park discover wallum heath and a unique collection of Australian flora and fauna including tea trees, kangaroos, eucalypts, galahs, bottle brush and sea eagles. The area is also the second largest protection area in Queensland for the dugong. Dolphins and Sea Turtles are also seen.
Further south, the little township of Poona (38.5 km south) is tucked away in the Great Sandy Strait between Boonooroo and Tinnanbar, adjacent to Fraser Island and is an ideal place to pitch your tent and lap up the serenity. Throw in a line, have a dip in the ocean, let the kids play in the sand while you relax. You can reach Poona via the Cooloola Coast Road, from either Maryborough or Gympie.
Tinnanbar (50 km south) is also on the Great Sandy Strait, the spectacular waterway located between the Fraser Coast mainland and Fraser Island. Tinnanbar's safe, pure waters are perfect for swimming and sailing at all tides and a haven for sea turtles and dugongs. For fishing enthusiasts, Tinnanabar has a number of nearby creeks and good access to offshore fishing grounds.
If you're up for a day trip or want a weekend away that's close by, head to Rainbow Beach (94 km south), a pleasant, quiet holiday spot with a wonderful wide strip of beach. The small town serves as a gateway to Fraser Island to the north, and Cooloola National Park. Discover the refreshing swimming holes at Searys Creek, about seven kilometres south of Rainbow Beach. A timber boardwalk leads the short distance through forest to Searys Creek. Don't miss the Carlo Sand Blow, just off the beach to the south of the Rainbow Beach township.
Carlo Sand Blow
The nearby Cooloola Recreation Area is part of Great Sandy National Park, a vast coastal national park. It features untouched beaches, large sand dunes, heathlands, rainforests, swamps, creeks, freshwater lakes and mangrove forests. Cooloola Recreation Area is situated on the coast between Noosa Heads in the south and Rainbow Beach in the north and covers 184,00 ha. From Rainbow Beach you can take the Cooloola Great Walk, a five-day hiking trail, showcasing the very best of the Cooloola Recreation Area's outstanding natural attractions. Up to 102 km long, this extensive walking track system winds through rainforest, tall eucalypt forest, dry coastal woodland and heath plains.
Inskip Peninsula, accessed by driving north from Rainbow Beach, is a narrow, sandy finger of land built up by wind and waves. It forms a natural breakwater at the entrance to Tin Can Inlet and Great Sandy Strait. Inskip is a gateway to World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. Beach she oaks, cypress pine and other coastal trees and shrubs shade the very popular camping areas ringed by open ocean beaches and sheltered estuary shores. All are within 15 minutes drive of Rainbow Beach. Inskip Peninsula Recreation Area offers clean beaches, good fishing and coastal camping. The southern tip of Fraser Island, Hook Point lies just off Inskip Point, the northern tip of the peninsula. Two ferry services run between Inskip Point and Hook Point during daylight hours.
Tin Can Bay
A tranquil and picturesque village, situated on the mainland opposite the southern end of Fraser Island, that has become a popular holiday getaway. Tin Can Bay is one of only two locations on the Queensland coast where it is possible to interact with wild dolphins (the other is Tangalooma Beach near Brisbane). Tin Can Bay is situated in a sheltered position within a deep but narrow inlet protected by a peninsula that juts out from the mainland near Rainbow Beach.
The town and river were named in 1847 after Lady Mary Lennox (1790 1847) the beloved wife of Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy, then Governor of the colony of New South Wales. Lady Mary was killed in a coach accident very soon after, devastating Sir Charles. Wharves were established at Maryborough in 1847-1848 to provide transport for wool from sheep stations on the Burnett River. The town was initially located further south on the Mary River, but moved to its present location in 1852. It was declared a port in 1859. The Mary River has such a wide mouth that at one stage Maryborough was nominated as possible capital city status before Brisbane.
On 7 January 1905 Maryborough achieved City status, and a Town Hall was built on the corner of Kent and Adelaide Streets and became the administrative centre of the City. On 17 February 1917, as part of a restructuring of local government in the Wide Bay-Burnett area, the Shire of Granville was abolished and split between the Shire of Tiaro and City of Maryborough.
For many years, the Walkers shipbuilding yard was a major employer in the town. The main industrial company in the city today is EDI Rail, formerly Walkers Limited, a heavy engineering business which has built much of the rolling stock and locomotives for Queensland Rail and in past years was involved in shipbuilding.