Seven really good things to do in Maryborough, Fraser Coast

Maryborough Town Crier Ken Ashford with a statue of Keith Payne VC … the city has a proud military tradition.
Maryborough Town Crier Ken Ashford with a statue of Keith Payne VC … the city has a proud military tradition.

The historic, slightly inland city of Maryborough was a highlight of my recent visit to Queensland’s Fraser Coast. Here are seven really good things to do in the historic, slightly inland city. 

1. Cross the street under the guidance of Mary Poppins 

Cross the street when Mary Poppins says it’s OK.

Cross the street when Mary Poppins says it’s OK.

Maryborough is the birthplace of PJ Travers, creator of Mary Poppins. The city pays due deference to her with an annual mid-year festival, and through having modified the street-crossing signs in the city centre.

2. Mark time with a visit to Maryborough City Hall

Maryborough City Hall … an appropriately resplendent one.

Maryborough City Hall … an appropriately resplendent one.

Maryborough is one of Queensland’s oldest cities and its town hall, dating from 1908, is an appropriately resplendent one … one still used for functions in the modern era.

3. Wonder at people’s sacrifice by the Bauer & Wiles Memorial Fountain

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.

4. Grab some bargains at the Maryborough Heritage City Market

Held every Thursday from 8am to 1pm in Adelaide and Ellena Streets. It’s a bustling affair and provides a great opportunity to witness the firing of the daily canon, which has historically signified 1pm. The gun used is a miniature replica of the one fired in days before the city had a town clock.

5. Hold a slice of Australian military history at the Duncan Chapman Memorial

The Duncan Chapman Memorial … a fitting tribute to the first Australian shore at Gallipoli.

The Duncan Chapman Memorial … a fitting tribute to the first Australian shore at Gallipoli.

Maryborough’s Major Duncan Chapman was the first of our troops ashore during the Gallipoli campaign, and died later on the Western Front. His statue is the centrepiece of a park that will mark Australia’s contribution to fighting World War I.

6. Bow your head at Queens Park and the local war memorial

Maryborough has a proud history of participation in Australian war efforts. The First World War Memorial is situated in a dominant position at the entrance to the Botanic Gardens, surrounded by a low rock wall garden bed.

7. Definitely take some time out to visit the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum

Maryborough Town Crier Ken Ashford takes cover as John Rozentals lights the city’s 1pm canon.

Maryborough Town Crier Ken Ashford takes cover as John Rozentals lights the city’s 1pm canon.

As already mentioned, Maryborough has a proud military tradition and it’s evocatively exemplified here. Treasures held there include the originals of many of the country’s awards garnered during battle, including the VC earned by Maryborough’s Keith Payne during the Vietnam War.