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Take a break in Maryborough
Written by Administrator   
Thursday, 18 August 2005

What to do for a weekend away from Maleny?   Recently we decided to drive to Maryborough to have a look at a piece of Queensland's history.   Leaving on Saturday and returning on the following Monday didn't leave very much time.   It was a busy break and there was plenty to see.

Maryborough is about 2.5 to 3 hours drive north off Maleny.   Whilst the road is good all the way some of the other motorists need to be watched as some take risks when overtaking.    This could easily turn to tragedy.   Double lines don't appear to mean anything to some.

Because of time shortage we didn't make any stops along the way but there is certainly plenty of things to see between here and there.

Maryborough was settled in 1847 and is one of Queensland's oldest provincial cities.    It was a major immigration port into Australia and a visit to the Wharf Street Precinct retains many reminders of this period.   Once the lifeblood of the town, the Mary River is still a haven for pleasure craft.

Maryborough Family Historical Centre

Today, Maryborough is widely recognised for the abundant examples of colonial and Queenslander architecture, majestic public buildings and beautiful gardens.    Much of the city's character has been preserved in these classic buildings, mostly built of local timber in a range of sizes and designs.   One of the interesting spots is Brennan and Geraghty's Store in Lennox Street.   This grocery shop was opened in 1871 by Irish brothers in law and closed in 1972.   It remained in the same family for the whole of that time.   Today it is a time-capsule, a corner store just as the stores were in country towns in the 30's - 40's & 50's.   The store today has been renovated but remains as it was when it closed in 1972.

Maryborough's industrial base was established over one hundred years ago and although diversified today, still retains the original base industries of engineering, sugar and timber.   Olds Engine House displays a collection of famous models by Australia's foremost model engineer, William Olds.   Queensland Rail has many of its new carriages and trains, including the tilt train built there.

Early mode of transport at Rose Hill Homestead.

If you are interested in tracing your family heritage then a visit to the Maryborough Family Heritage Centre will help.   It is also there to help source the history of buildings, war veterans or railway constructions, or to help organise family or immigrant ship reunions.

For our weekend we decided to go on the "Ghost Tours".   On this tour we thought that we would learn a lot about Maryborough in a very short time.

The evening started late afternoon when the bus picked us up at the motel and we were greeted by the tearful Mary Widow.   We were soon at the historic Rosehill homestead.    Here we enjoyed an entre and tour of historic home.   This historic home was built of handmade clay bricks and it overlooks the Mary River.   The antiques and memorabilia on display, dated back to the 1800's.    The doors feature etched and coloured glass.

The Undertaker & Minister at the Cemetery

The tour then continued to the Maryborough Cemetery for a guided torchlight tour to hear tales of pioneering times.   The Cemetery tour is full of surprises, including a lone Scottish bagpiper.   The Maryborough Cemetery is a classic old historic cemetery which includes a domed mortuary chapel.

The cemetery tells  the history of Maryborough, including about the time that "the plague" threatened the population.   Members of the Maryborough Historical Society, dressed for the occasion tell about the various graves and the people who are now resident in them.

Some of the old traditions are also explained, such as how some of the sayings that we use today came about.   Sayings such as "the grave shift" for night-workers, the bell ringer, etc.

Historic Headstones.

The main course meal was served at the Engineers Arms, now a bed and breakfast place but formerly one of the original hotels.

This was followed by a stroll through the historic Wharf Street Precinct to Queens Park by lamplight, lead by the Night Watchman.    He told tales of the ghostly spirits residing in the area and some of the goings-on from those early days.

The night finished with a visit Mavisbank, a colonial home furnished with antiques.   Browsing through the collection of antiques took one back to one's childhood.   Many of the items on display were familiar from childhood.

The Mortuary Chapel

The Mortuary Chapel
The Mortuary Chapel
The lone Piper

On the Sunday Queens Park was a great place to be.   On the day that we were there the Maryborough Miniture Steam Engine Club was meeting and they were running their miniture working railway engines.    Many of these engines are exact replicas of the day's working railway engines.

The Maryann

The Maryann
The Military Museum

The Engineer's Arms

Rides could be had on a replica of the original steam engine built in Maryborough in 1873.   This steam engine is called "The Maryanne".

The Military Museum
The Military Museum
Cobb & Co Coach

The Military Museum
The Municipal Band also played in the historic bandstand.

Because Maryborough started as a very prosperous town and had plenty of timber the original homes were majestic and they remain today.   Whilst some may now need some renovations there are many that have been kept in great repair and show the style that was popular in their own time.   These homes are now popular with people making their own "seachange" from major cities looking for a more peaceful lifestyle.

The River precinct on the banks of the Mary River show the historic character of the town and the buildings show the prosperous lifestyle that Maryborough had at its foundation.

Maryborough Court House

Maryborough Court House
Maryborough Heritage Centre

Maryborough Backpackers

This precinct includes the Military and Colonial Museum.   This museum has many items on display from WW 1  &  WW2 along with other historical items.   The Lighthorse Museum that once had its home at the Maleny R.S..L. Hall now resides at this museum.

A new passenger train ready for deliver
to West Australia


Maryborough was the home of pioneer, Helen Goff who was the author of the Mary Poppins Adventures.

Maryborough has been a very prosperous centre and has had some hard times.    Once again industry is growing in Maryborough, not more so than the EDI works area where modern trains are built not only for the Queensland Rail Services but other Australian Rail Services.

The area also still has strong links with the timber industry through the Queensland Government's pine plantations which supply pine for framing, chippings for sheeting and some laminex.

Maryborough - A place of interest and a great place to look at some history of Queensland.

Last Updated ( Friday, 01 September 2006 )
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