Maryborough, Australia

Maryborough is a city on the Mary River in Queensland, Australia, about 225 km (160 mi) north of Brisbane. The nearest major town to it is Hervey Bay, about 30 km to the northeast. Maryborough has a population of around 25,000 people (2012 estimate).

More on Maryborough

Maryborough was founded in 1847, when it was named after Lady Mary Lennox, wife of Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy. A few months after the proclamation, Lady Mary was killed in a coach accident. The town lives on in memory of her. Maryborough was elevated to municipality in 1861, and to city in 1905.

For a while Maryborough was the largest port for Queensland. This is where it received imports from around the world. In 1905, a freighter in Hong Kong arrived in Maryborough, introducing the only pneumonic plague outbreak in Australia. It is traced to sacking material which wharf worker Richard O’Connell took home for his children to sleep on. The plague killed five of his seven children as well as two nurses and a neighbor. To check the spread of the disease, health officials burned his house down. A memorial fountain stands on the grounds of the Maryborough City Hall in memory of the two nurses.

Today Maryborough styles itself as the Heritage City of Queensland. It has a high number of well-preserved historic buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries which it promotes for their tourism value. In addition, the city derives an income from its farming and fishing industries.

Visiting Maryborough

Maryborough is on the A1 (Bruce Highway) north of Brisbane. You can take a train there from Brisbane to the Maryborough West Station. The nearest airport is the Hervey Bay Airport (HVB) some half an hour away.

Sights & Attractions to visit in Maryborough

  1. 264 Kent Street
    Historic building dating to 1875. It was formerly occupied by J.H. Bliss, a watchmaker and jeweler. Bliss also doubled as a maker of artificial teeth.

  2. A Touch of the Past
    A period shopping experience for everything from antiques to furniture, jewelry and souvenirs.

  3. Achievers Walk
    Plaques honoring the pioneers in Maryborough are placed on the streets in Richmond and Wharf Streets, providing details of the past individuals who have exceled themselves in the city.

  4. ANZAC Park
    Public park centered on the Ululah Lagoon. The first landsale in town was held here in 1852.

  5. Bauer and Wiles Memorial Fountain
    Fountain commemorating Nurses Cecilia Bauer and Rose Wiles who died while caring for patients of the only pneumonic plague in Australia in 1905.

  6. Brennan and Geraghtys Store Museum
    Timber grocery store that provides an insight into the store of the 19th century. It is now managed by the National Trust of Queensland.

  7. Elizabeth Park Rose Gardens
    Rose Gardens occupying the site of Maryborough’s second official cemetery. The cemetery was closed and the remains relocated in 1873. The rose gardens opened in 1921.

  8. Excelsior Band Hall
    This is a modern band hall, yet designed faithfully in the Victorian style, to replicate the earlier building that was destroyed by fire in 1987.

  9. Fairy Fountain and Band Rotunda
    Memorial structures erected in 1890 by Janet Melville in memory of her brother Andrew, who was the mayor of Maryborough in 1863. The structures were brought over from Scotland and assembled in Maryborough.

  10. Fay Smith Wetlands
    One of the only remaining wetlands in the Maryborough area.

  11. Maryborough Cenotaph
    Cenotaph built in 1922 in memory of those who died in the First World War.

  12. P.L. Travers Birthplace
    Birthplace of Pamela Lyndon Travers, an Australian novelist who wrote the story of Mary Poppins. She was born at the brick bank building of an unsuccessful bank manager, who was later demoted to bank clerk.

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