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Maryborough, Queensland facts for kids

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Lamington bridge over the Mary River
Historic Criterion hotel in the Port district
School of Arts building
From left to right; Lamington Bridge over the Mary River
Criterion Hotel, and the School of Arts
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Population 27,282 (2018)
 • Density 159.82/km2 (413.9/sq mi)
Established 1847
Postcode(s) 4650
Elevation 11.0 m (36 ft)
Area 170.7 km2 (65.9 sq mi)(2011 urban)
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
Localities around Maryborough:
Aldershot St Helens Island Plantation
Maryborough West Maryborough Walkers Point
Tinana Bidwill Granville

Maryborough is a city and a suburb in the Fraser Coast Region, Queensland, Australia. As of June 2018 Maryborough had an estimated urban population of 27,282, having grown slightly at an annual average of 0.12% year-on-year over the preceding five years.


StateLibQld 1 47936 Eagle (ship)
S. S. Eagle
StateLibQld 1 52544 Flooding of the Mary River along Richmond Street, Maryborough, 1893
Flooding of the Mary River, 1893
StateLibQld 1 47056 Maryborough (ship)
Ship building along the Mary River

Maryborough was founded in 1847, was proclaimed a municipality in 1861, and became a city in 1905. 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.

The name was derived from the Mary River which was named in 1847 after Lady Mary Lennox (1790–1847) 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.

The first section of what is now the North Coast Line opened on 6 August 1881, connecting the mining town of Gympie to the river port at Maryborough and followed the Mary River valley. The Queensland Government was under constant pressure to reduce expenditure, and so despite the potential for the line to be part of a future main line, the line was constructed to pioneer standards with minimal earthworks, a sinuous alignment and 17.4 kg/m (35 lb/yd) lightweight rails.

Coal had been discovered at Burrum, 25 km north of Maryborough, and a line was constructed to serve the mine, opening in 1883. The line was extended to Bundaberg in 1888 so coal could be shipped there as well. When the Burrum line was built, it junctioned from the Maryborough line at Baddow, 3 km from the station, creating a triangular junction, with platforms ultimately being provided on all three sides. Maryborough station was situated immediately adjacent to the commercial centre of the city, and converting it into a through station would have been prohibitively expensive.

When through trains commenced running from Brisbane to Bundaberg and beyond, trains ran into Maryborough, a fresh steam locomotive was attached to the other end of the train, and it then departed.

Once diesel locomotives were introduced, there was no need to replace engines, and through trains paused at Baddow on the 3rd leg of the triangular junction before proceeding north. A one carriage connecting service was provided from Maryborough to meet the through train at Baddow, and then return. As trains became longer, the platform on the 3rd leg was not of sufficient length, and the trains would stop on the platform on the line to Maryborough, having to reverse out of, or back into the platform before proceeding further, adding about 15 minutes to the journey. The situation was finally resolved with the opening of the Maryborough West bypass in 1988.

Pneumonic plague

Australia's only outbreak of pneumonic plague occurred in Maryborough in 1905. 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.

War memorial

StateLibQld 2 74239 War Memorial, Maryborough, ca. 1922
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.

Heritage listings

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


Maryborough West Railway Station, Queensland, July 2012
Maryborough West station in July 2012

Maryborough West station is 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.

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. It replaced Maryborough station in the central business district, although the eight kilometre branch remains in use to service the 66 Rail workshops.

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

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


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


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
Precipitation mm (inches) 165.6
Avg. 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

Sister city

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

Economy and industry

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. Bombardier Transportation closed its factory in Maryborough in December 2015.

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.


Rugby League is popular in Maryborough. The premier club is the Maryborough Wallaroos, which competes in the Queensland Rugby League Central Division Bundaberg Rugby League competition. The team won the Bundaberg competition in 2009 and won the Fraser Coast Rugby League competition in 2010 and 2011 after moving into that competition.

Association football is very popular; there are 5 clubs located in Maryborough and affiliated with Football Maryborough - Doon Villa, Granville, Maryboough West, Sunbury and Tinana. These clubs offer football for all ages and abilities - juniors and seniors, girls and boys, women and men. In 2021 Doon Villa celebrated 50 years since its establishment in 1971 and in 2022 their long-time rivals Sunbury will celebrate 50 years since their establishment in 1972. Federation Park in Banana Street, Granville is Football Maryborough's home football complex comprising 11 active fields.

The Maryborough Bears Australian rules football club is based out of Federation Park and compete in the AFL Wide Bay competition since 1998.

Maryborough Cricket Club is in Maryborough & District Cricket Association

Point Lookout Croquet Club is at 23 North Street (25°31′54″S 152°42′18″E / 25.5317°S 152.7051°E / -25.5317; 152.7051 (Point Lookout Croquet Club)).


Maryborough Central State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 471 Kent Street (25°32′07″S 152°41′58″E / 25.5354°S 152.6994°E / -25.5354; 152.6994 (Maryborough Central State School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 302 students with 26 teachers (24 full-time equivalent) and 26 non-teaching staff (14 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.

Maryborough West State School is a government primary (Early Childhood-6) school for boys and girls at 149 North Street (25°31′25″S 152°41′40″E / 25.5237°S 152.6945°E / -25.5237; 152.6945 (Maryborough West State School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 365 students with 30 teachers (28 full-time equivalent) and 21 non-teaching staff (13 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.

Albert State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 210-220 Albert Street (25°32′48″S 152°42′14″E / 25.5467°S 152.7038°E / -25.5467; 152.7038 (Albert State School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 128 students with 8 teachers and 11 non-teaching staff (6 full-time equivalent).

Sunbury State School is a government primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 545 Alice Street (25°31′30″S 152°40′40″E / 25.5251°S 152.6778°E / -25.5251; 152.6778 (Sunbury State School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 211 students with 16 teachers (14 full-time equivalent) and 15 non-teaching staff (10 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.

St Mary's Primary School is a Catholic primary (Prep-6) school for boys and girls at 167 John Street (25°32′02″S 152°42′08″E / 25.5339°S 152.7022°E / -25.5339; 152.7022 (St Mary's Primary School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 312 students with 22 teachers (20 full-time equivalent) and 21 non-teaching staff (11 full-time equivalent).

Maryborough State High School is a government secondary (7-12) school for boys and girls at Kent Street (25°32′04″S 152°41′51″E / 25.5344°S 152.6975°E / -25.5344; 152.6975 (Maryborough State High School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 778 students with 72 teachers (69 full-time equivalent) and 46 non-teaching staff (35 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.

Aldridge State High School is a government secondary (7-12) school for boys and girls at Boys Avenue (25°30′59″S 152°41′19″E / 25.5165°S 152.6885°E / -25.5165; 152.6885 (Aldridge State High School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 1031 students with 93 teachers (87 full-time equivalent) and 58 non-teaching staff (40 full-time equivalent). It includes a special education program.

St Mary's College is a Catholic secondary (7-12) school for boys and girls at 51 Lennox Street (25°32′33″S 152°41′48″E / 25.5424°S 152.6968°E / -25.5424; 152.6968 (St Mary's College)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 377 students with 38 teachers (36 full-time equivalent) and 24 non-teaching staff (19 full-time equivalent).

Maryborough Special School is a special primary and secondary (Prep-12) school for boys and girls at 164 Woodstock Street (25°31′03″S 152°41′44″E / 25.5174°S 152.6955°E / -25.5174; 152.6955 (Maryborough Special School)). In 2018, the school had an enrolment of 81 students with 23 teachers (19 full-time equivalent) and 28 non-teaching staff (17 full-time equivalent).

Maryborough TAFE Campus is at 89 Adelaide Street (25°32′30″S 152°41′58″E / 25.5416°S 152.6994°E / -25.5416; 152.6994 (Maryborough TAFE campus)).

Notable people

  • Barbara J. Bain, an eminent haematologist at the Imperial College, and St Mary's Hospital, London, was born in Maryborough.
  • Maurice Blair, rugby league player, was born in Maryborough.
  • Tom Burns, former Deputy Premier of Queensland, was born in Maryborough
  • Arthur Cusack, Olympic swimming coach
  • Robert Cusack, Olympic swimming medallist was born in Maryborough and coached by Maryborough's Arthur Cusack
  • Jamie Charman, Brisbane Lions premiership ruckman, was born in Maryborough.
  • Paul de Jersey, Governor of Queensland, former Chief Justice of Queensland grew up in Maryborough, where his father was the headmaster of Albert State School.
  • Quentin Dempster, journalist, was born in Maryborough and began his career at the Maryborough Chronicle
  • Brendan Hansen represented Maryborough on the Maryborough City Council, Queensland State Parliament, and Federal Parliament.
  • Mary Hansen of Stereolab was born in Maryborough (daughter of Brendan Hansen)
  • Wilfred Hastings (Arch) Harrington (1906-1965), naval officer, was born in Maryborough.
  • Grant Kenny, ironman, was born in Maryborough in 1963.
  • Margo Kingston, author and political journalist, was born in Maryborough but raised in Mackay.
  • Joe Kilroy, rugby league player, was born in Maryborough.
  • Arthur Lambourn, NZ Rugby Union All Black, was born in Maryborough and educated at Maryborough Central State School
  • Clover Maitland, hockey player, comes from Maryborough
  • John McBryde, hockey player, comes from Maryborough
  • Don McWatters, hockey player, comes from Maryborough
  • Jenny Morris, hockey player comes from Maryborough.
  • Larry Sengstock, former NBL player and now Basketball Australia CEO was born in Maryborough.
  • David Theile, Olympic swimming medallist, was born in Maryborough and coached by Maryborough's Arthur Cusack
  • P. L. Travers, author of the Mary Poppins books was born in Maryborough. She moved to Bowral at age eight. Her father managed a bank, the Australian Joint Stock Bank, in the building where, in a room on the second storey, she was born. This is in the centre of town and still in use, no longer as a bank but as a museum about Travers, called The Story Bank. 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.

In 2017, the Fraser Coast Regional Council established Maryborough's Walk of Achievers which places plaques along the streets of Maryborough celebrating the achievements of its residents.

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