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Maryborough, Queensland

Maryborough City Hall, built in 1908, on Kent Street.
Maryborough is located in Queensland
Population 21,777 (2011)[1]
Established 1847
Elevation 11.0 m (36 ft)
Time zone AEST (UTC+10)
LGA(s) Fraser Coast Region
State electorate(s) Maryborough
Federal Division(s) Wide Bay
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
26.9 °C
80 °F
15.3 °C
60 °F
1,155.6 mm
45.5 in

Maryborough [2] is a city located on the Mary River in Queensland, Australia, approximately 255 kilometres (160 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane. The city is served by the Bruce Highway. It is closely tied to its neighbour city Hervey Bay which is approximately 30 kilometres (20 mi) northeast. Together they form part of the area known as the Fraser Coast. At the 2011 Australian Census the city recorded a population of 21,777.[1] The city was the location for the 2013 Australian Scout Jamboree.


  • History 1
    • Pneumonic plague 1.1
    • War memorial 1.2
  • Heritage listings 2
  • Economy and industry 3
  • Transport 4
  • Education 5
    • Primary 5.1
    • Secondary 5.2
    • Tertiary 5.3
  • Ecology 6
  • Climate 7
  • Notable people 8
  • Rugby League side 9
  • Sister city 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


S. S. Eagle
Flooding of the Mary River, 1893
Ship building along the Mary River

Maryborough was founded in 1847, was proclaimed a municipality in 1861, and became a city in 1905.[3] During the second half of the 1800s, the city was a major port of entry to immigrants arriving in Queensland from all parts of the world.[4]

The name was derived from the Mary River which was named in 1847 after Lady Mary Lennox (1790–1847)[5] the wife of Sir Charles Augustus Fitzroy, then Governor of the colony of New South Wales. Lady Mary was killed in a coach accident very soon after, devastating Sir Charles.

Maryborough railway station was opened in 1882 after a branch into Maryborough was built from the North Coast railway line.

Pneumonic plague

Australia's only outbreak of pneumonic plague occurred in Maryborough in 1905.[6] At the time Maryborough was Queensland's largest port—a reception centre for wool, meat, timber, sugar and other rural products. A freighter from Hong Kong, where plague was rampant, was in the port of Maryborough about the time that a wharf worker named Richard O'Connell took home some sacking from the wharf, for his children to sleep on. Subsequently, five of the seven O'Connell children, two nurses, and a neighbour died from the disease. There were no more cases but the ensuing fear, panic, and hysteria totally consumed the town, and a huge crowd gathered to witness the family's house being burnt to the ground by health officials. A memorial fountain was built in the grounds of the City Hall and dedicated to the nurses, Cecelia Bauer and Rose Wiles.[7]

War memorial

Maryborough War Memorial, circa 1922
Maryborough War Memorial, 2008

The foundation stone of Maryborough War Memorial was laid on 22 May 1921 by Lieutenant Colonel James Durrant. It was dedicated on 19 November 1922.[8]

Heritage listings

Maryborough has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:

Economy and industry

Maryborough's Post Office Hotel on Wharf Street, one of the city's many heritage buildings.
A new train for Brisbane's suburban network sits next to an older refurbished unit at Downer Rail's facility in Maryborough

Tourism plays a significant part in the economy of the city today. Maryborough is the self-styled Heritage City of Queensland and holds heritage markets each Thursday. The city has many preserved 19th and 20th century buildings including the General Post Office and Customs House.

The main industrial company in the city today is Downer Rail, formerly Walkers Limited, a heavy engineering business which has built much of the rolling stock and locomotives for Queensland Rail and in past years was involved in shipbuilding. Downer Rail, together with Bombardier Transportation, built and tested Transperth's relatively modern B-Series trains in Maryborough, which were launched in Perth in late 2004. It has built many trains for Queensland Rail.

Maryborough Sugar Factory, in Kent Street was established in 1956. There were many smaller sugar mills which were established by sugar cane farmers along the Mary River. Island Plantation had one of the first sugar crushing mill set up along the river. One of the old settlements in Maryborough is at a place called Dundathu. Here the first timber mill was established in the 1800s. The timber was bought down the river and carted to the Timber Mill by horse and cart. The timber mill burnt down in the 1900s.

Maryborough's income also comes from numerous farming and station prospects in and around the city and has a healthy fishing industry. The city also has had traditional ties to the timber industry and is home to Hyne & Son one of the largest producers of natural timber products in Australia.

Maryborough was once a prominent centre of railway and tramway operations, including a branch to the wharf on the Mary River.[44][45]


Maryborough West station is located on the North Coast line. It is served by long-distance Traveltrain services; the Spirit of Queensland, Spirit of the Outback and the Bundaberg and Rockhamption Tilt Trains.[46]

This station, on the western outskirts of the city was built in the late 1980s as part of a seven kilometre new alignment built when the North Coast line was electrified.[47] It replaced Maryborough station in the central business district, although the eight kilometre branch remains in use to service the Downer Rail workshops.

Maryborough is served by Greyhound Australia coach services to Brisbane, Hervey Bay, Agnes Water and Cairns,[48] Premier Motor Services services to Brisbane and Cairns[49] and Tory's Tours services to Brisbane and Hervey Bay.[50]

Local bus services are provided by Wide Bay Transit as part of the QConnect network.[51]



There are numerous primary schools in Maryborough. Some include: State



State High




Maryborough's environment supports rare and endangered terrestrial and aquatic fauna including the Mary River Turtle.[52]


Climate data for Maryborough
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 38.4
Average high °C (°F) 30.7
Average low °C (°F) 20.6
Record low °C (°F) 13.3
Average precipitation mm (inches) 165.6
Average precipitation days 13.1 13.8 14.5 11.8 10.6 8.3 7.1 6.2 6.4 7.9 9.0 10.7 119.4
Source: [53]

Notable people

Maryborough is the birthplace of P.L.Travers, author of the Mary Poppins books, who moved to Bowral at age eight.[54] Her father managed a bank, the Australian Joint Stock Bank, in the building where, in a room on the second story, she was born. This is in the centre of town and still in use, no longer as a bank but as a retail shop. A life-size bronze statue of Mary Poppins, as P.L. Travers described her, complete with umbrella was erected outside the old bank premises at 331 Kent Street, on the corner of Richmond Street, in 2005. It is now one of Maryborough's most famous and photographed icons.[55]

Naval Officer, Wilfred Hastings (Arch) Harrington (1906-1965) was also born in Maryborough.[56]

Maryborough is also the birthplace of the late Mary Hansen of Stereolab, whose father Brendan Hansen represented Maryborough on the Maryborough City Council, Queensland State Parliament, and Federal Parliament.

Rugby league player Maurice Blair was born in Maryborough.

Former NBL player and now Basketball Australia CEO Larry Sengstock was also born here.

Former Ironman Grant Kenny was born in Maryborough in 1963.

It is also the birthplace of Brisbane Lions premiership ruckman Jamie Charman.

Queensland Chief Justice Paul de Jersey grew up in Maryborough, where his father was the headmaster of Albert State School.

Maryborough is the birthplace also of Olympic swimming medalists David Theile and Robert Cusack, both of whom were coached by another Maryborough Olympian, Arthur Cusack.

Maryborough is the birthplace and hometown of Queensland Bulls cricket player, Gavin Fitness who began his cricketing career at a young age.

A number of Australian hockey representatives have come from Maryborough including Jenny Morris, John McBryde, Don McWatters, Mark Hagar, and Clover Maitland.

Three time world (WDFPF) benchpress champion Nathan Flick grew up in Maryborough.

Prolific Australian record producer and musician Mark Moffatt was born and educated in Maryborough.

Author and prominent political journalist Margo Kingston was born in Maryborough and raised in Mackay.

Rugby League side

Maryborough's premier rugby league side is the Maryborough Wallaroos, which competes in the Bundaberg Rugby League competition. The team won the Bundaberg competition in 2009, won the Fraser Coast Rugby League competition in 2010 and 2011 after moving back into that competition and will now contest the reserve grade final in the Bundaberg competition against Past Brothers.

Sister city

Maryborough has one sister city, according to the Australian Sister Cities Association.

See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
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  7. ^ Bauer and Wiles Memorial Fountain
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  46. ^ Timetable Queensland Rail 16 December 2014
  47. ^ Hansard Queensland Parliament 27 February 1986
  48. ^ Timetables Greyhound Australia
  49. ^ Timetables Premier Motor Service
  50. ^ Timetable Tory's Tours
  51. ^ Route Map Wide Bay Transit
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External links

  • University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Maryborough
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