Great Sandy Strait - Fraser Island's Playground
GREAT SANDY STRAIT - MARYBOROUGH
Maryborough is a complete visitor experience like no other. With its glorious colonial architecture, outstanding museums, riverside dining and magnificent parklands - Maryborough is a “must-see” attraction on the Fraser Coast.
Visitors can discover what the early years were like in the Australian colony with a visit to its historic port area - Portside.
They can join in the hustle and bustle of the city’s famous weekly market; be part of the World’s Greatest Pub Crawl; or have their photo taken with a statue of the world’s most famous nanny, Mary Poppins.
At Maryborough you can be swept up in spine-tingling tales of the paranormal on a ghost tour of the city’s haunted historic sites; or ride an exact replica of the state’s first steam engine.
Visitors can cruise the waterways of the Mary River, tour homesteads more than 140 years old, and play golf at one of Australia’s finest golf regional courses.
Settled way back in 1847, Maryborough is one of Queensland’s oldest cities, and was the second largest immigration port after Sydney. It was the place where more than 22,000 free settlers took their first steps on Australian soil after months at sea.
Now the site of the original Port of Maryborough is known as Portside - the city’s newest and oldest visitor destination.
The port may be long dormant, but its history and gloriously preserved buildings remain – along with a sense of time suspended.
Around 13 heritage-listed buildings are open to the public as museums, restaurants and galleries, and as a daily witness to the city's past.
The Mary River, which winds and bends around the City of Maryborough, defines the Portside precinct.
To one end is the magnificent Brolga Theatre, a $11 million world-class theatre, host to national and international artists. Book-ending the precinct is the historic marina.
Two magnificent riverside parklands – Queens Park botanic gardens and the Mary River Parklands – connect the Brolga to the marina and to stunning streets of preserved colonial architecture.
The parklands provide a natural avenue into Wharf and Richmond streets - where colonial streetscapes appear as they did over 150 years ago and there is a precious feeling of time suspended.
For your complete guide to Portside and the wider city visit the Portside Centre.
The Portside Centre – part of the Queensland Heritage Trails Network –provides a professional, colourful and entertaining representation of Maryborough's history as major port and one of Queensland’s oldest cities.
Interactive displays include listening posts with first settler stories, time capsules and a multimedia Pepper's ghost display revisiting the time when sly grog running was rife and opium was a legal import.
Experienced guides and scores of publications help give people insight into the city and its colourful origins.
Just a few doors away is one of the largest museum collections celebrating this early history and one of the city’s oldest buildings: the Bond Store Museum.
Walk through the Bond Store, and you're stepping on history. The earthen floor and ancient handmade bricks in the original 1864 building downstairs still exist, as do many of the liquor barrels left over from that time.
Five Maryborough Experiences Not to Miss
- Enjoy a coffee or a meal at one of Portside’s restaurants, near where those first sea-tossed travellers disembarked to start life in the new colony.
- Climb through the massive roots of the amazing Banyan Fig in Queens Park. The tree is over 100 years old, while the Queens Park is one of Australia’s first botanic gardens.
- Picnic by the river in the stunning new Mary River Parklands.
- Enjoy movies under the stars down by the river at Portside's Moonlight Movies, held Friday night on the last weekend of the month.
- Try not to jump as the City’s time cannon is fired at 1pm each Market Day.