Well as the title suggests we are still in Maryborough. With strong winds blowing various wrong directions at our potential next anchorages in the Sandy Straits or Harvey Bay we have decided to stay put.
Weather has been like a British summer, not very warm, often cloady, with frequent showers. Despite this, life on the river here has been quite nice and we have had lots of time to explore this lovely little historic town, but we feel we have been here long enough now and will probably head down the river tomorrow.
Our first full day here was a Thursday
which was good timing as this is market day in Maryborough and they have the steam train running along the portside. Tied up at the marina and walked the 10 minutes to the townhall and got some information pamphlets at the aptly named Information Office.
Had a look along the market and bought some veggies. After this we led ourselves using the historic walking tour pamphlet which takes in the numerous old buildings. The details in the tour were pretty dry, mostly listing what the buildings were for, who built them, when they were rebuilt
etc etc, so didn't make for a very interesting tour. Dropped the food at the boat, continued the tour heading back to the townhall to see the cannon which they fire at 1pm each thursday.
Just before, we nipped into a bakery to pick up some lunch. Walked quickly back to the cannon with only a few minutes to spare, but just around the corner from it, we heard it fire.... think my watch must be a little slow so missed it !
They had a few folk dressed up in olde wolde clothing, so sat in disappointment watching them have their photos taken with other tourist that had seen the cannon fire. I say "other tourists" as that's what we have become in Maryborough. Lunch wasn't very good either.
Not in the best mood we continued the walking tour but got a bit fed up with it in the end. Alex wasn't happy either. Naomi went back to IGA for some more food shopping whilst I had a look around the Bond Store Museum which revolved around the various industries in Maryborough's history and the 22,000 immigrants that entered Australia here by what was then the
Old cannons Portside
Luna Ray in the distance
country's 2nd largest port.
Interesting reading the accounts of the ships coming across. One ship I read about had 30 deaths on the way over, about 25 of these were in kids less than 6 years old!.... hard to imagine. They also had 9 births on the way over and 3 of these were at anchor at White Cliffs, which was our last anchorage before coming up the Mary River. They also mentioned having a condenser aboard for drinking water. I always thought of water-makers as fairly new inventions for boats and here they have one over 150 years ago! Friday
we came back into town and tagged onto the end of the free walking tour which is guided by volunteers. Reinvigorated we finished the pamphlet's walking tour... still not nearly as interesting as having a guide. Naomi then had her agenda - first lunch at McDonalds, then to Big W for some new thongs (that's flip flops for any Brits reading this) as one of mine went missing (Alex probably threw it overboard), and then another food shop at BiLo.
Headed back to Portside and as Alex had now fallen asleep in the pram
Spirit of Harvey Bay takes descendants of early settlers on cruise down the river
we ventured into the Courthouse Museum. This involved carrying him carefully up the stairs to the entrance and dropping half the shopping in the process! Quite similar content to the other museum but it was "interactive", meaning they had recordings to listen to or watch.
I left on my own, early, to catch the start
of the guided walking tour. Left the dingy tied to the public jetty. Was a bit nervous to leave it unattended and had to estimate how much the tide would drop while I was away. Rained a lot during the tour but it was worth it, with the extra insights added. Picked up some croissants and returned to the boat for a cosy morning tea whilst the drizzle continued. Getting back onto the dingy at the public jetty was a little tricky as it now had a fresh layer of dirty river slime on it and there was also a 2 foot drop into the dingy.
This day marked the 150th anniversary of the landing of the 2nd and 3rd ships of immigrants at Maryborough. There was a special day for the descendants of these immigrants, including a cruise
down the river to Harvey Bay. We watched from our boat as the whale watching boat arrived late and took its passengers off an hour and half after they were meant to leave. They still looked pretty happy as they waved to us.
After this we took the dingy for our own cruise, passed the town, around the large bend and up Tinana Creek. Hoped to come across the grave of Bidwill, a well known botanist around 1850, but didn't, and couldn't land the boat to look for it and eventually turned around when we came to a weir. Came back in the dark.
Much drier on Sunday
and I was up early to see a beautiful pink sunrise. Didn't do much in the morning. Reflected on the trip so far.
In the afternoon Naomi was keen to get her feet onto solid ground, so we tied up at the public jetty and let Alex loose in the park on his pusher/bike zebra thing. Lost track of time a little and a fisherman who had been on the jetty came to tell us the dingy was getting trapped under the jetty as the tide was
rising. He wasn't wrong ! The outboard was now a few inches above the lower level of the beam on the edge of the jetty. So I had to climb under the beam, to the back of the dingy, then with my back pushing up against the underside of the jetty, with all my might, push down on the dingy and just managed to get the engine back outside the beam and into the river.... phew !
I then drifted/paddled the dingy to the marina where I met Naomi who walked down and we all had a shower.
Today, although a strong wind warning was present for Harvey Bay area, we had a beautiful sunny day with light winds in Maryborough. With not much left to do we decided to take the lengthy walk to where the original town settlement was. Left the dingy at the marina.
This walk included a detour into a large park with a bird sanctuary, so a chance for Alex to burn up some energy in the playground and watch the hundreds of ducks by the lake. There were lots of other types of birds too but they're all ducks
Original Maryborough site
Naomi and Alex in background
to Alex. This same lake was the reason the town was placed near here as its apparently the first fresh water up the Mary river the explorers came across.
So we continued our walk, along some muddy tracks and came to original town site. A few stumps with plaques describe what buildings were there before, on a small hilltop and also down by the river.
There's a road here too with a small turnaround at the site. When we arrived a flash looking ute turned up and parked and I saw the driver rolling a cigarette. A few minutes later another car turned up and out came this bearded guy in his 50's. He stretched his legs and remarked what a nice day for a walk it was. He then cased me out further, asking if I was a local and we talked about what there was to see here. As I walked away I saw him approach the driver in the ute, and after a minute or two he walked away clutching something in his hand. The ute drove off and the bearded guy got back into his car and drove off too.... dodgy !!! I though Maryborough was such a nice town.
After a good look around and at some settlers graves down the same road, we took the long walk back. Again Naomi's agenda struck and we again went to McDonalds for lunch and this time ALDI for more food shopping.
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