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Maryborough trail

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Photo of a place on Maryborough trail

Start exploring Maryborough with a Portside Passport from Customs House or the nearby 1864 Government Bond Store: now a fantastic museum in Wharf Street. Historic buildings in the street include the adjacent Customs House residence, the Courthouse and Government Offices beside Queen’s Park, St Mary’s Catholic Church, two hotels and a bank building which is now a heritage research centre. The buildings here tell the story of Maryborough as a port.

While the first town settlement began further upstream in 1848, the river here provided a better anchorage for large ships. This new township was surveyed in 1850. Two hotels were established in 1858: George Howard’s ‘Maryborough Inn’, later the site of the Hotel Francis, and Edgar Aldridge’s ‘Bush Inn’ where the Royal Hotel now stands. Maryborough was declared a Port of Entry in 1859 and proclaimed a municipality in 1861. The first immigrant ship to sail direct from Liverpool to Maryborough was the ‘Ariadne’ in 1862. While the port serviced the wool, sugar and timber industries during the 1860s, it grew rapidly following the 1867 discovery of gold in Gympie. Gold seekers landed at the Maryborough wharves and travelled overland to Gympie.

A large immigration depot was built in 1876, but was converted into the Maryborough Central School in 1877. Construction of a railway line to Gympie began in 1878. A boys’ grammar school was built in 1881 and a girls’ school built opposite in 1883. A new hospital was established further out of town in 1887 on Walker Street.

Walk through Gataker’s Lane beside Brown’s Warehouse towards Kent Street. Gataker’s Art Space is open daily and a regular program of events is held in the adjacent courtyard. Kent Street has numerous hotels and bank buildings, including the Australian Joint Stock Bank. The manager during 1888-89 was Travers Goff. His daughter Helen Lyndon Goff, born in 1899, later wrote the series of Mary Poppins books under the name of P L Travers. Mary Poppins is commemorated in an annual winter festival in Maryborough.

Further north on Kent Street, visit the magnificent City Hall and School of Arts. The School of Arts is home to the local historical society which cares for a collection of original books. Nearby in Lennox Street, St Paul’s Church of England overlooks the historic railway station. One block west on Lennox Street, Brennan and Geraghty’s Store Museum provides a snapshot in time of a local general store, complete with a collection of original merchandise.


Listing 26 places within this trail.

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
28 February 2023