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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Journey back to a fascinating, bawdy past on new Maryborough Port Tour

Relive the lively, bawdy days of colonial Queensland on a new fully guided lamplight tour around Maryborough’s historic Portside Precinct.

Hosts Mary Rivers and the Night Watchman will take guests through the early days of this pioneering Queensland town; spinning tall tales of sailors, smugglers, brothels and opium dens from years gone by when Maryborough was one of the busiest ports in Australia.

Carmel Murdoch – aka Mary Rivers – said Maryborough had such a rich and sometimes sordid history just waiting to be unlocked on the Portside by Night tour.

“There was a time when Maryborough was the gateway to Queensland and indeed Australia and thousands of immigrants from England and Europe disembarked in this very area; some of them upstanding citizens, and some not so much.

“Needless to say there are countless tales of these scoundrels and scallywags and the mischief they used to wreak upon the streets of Maryborough,” she said.

The tours will be held on the second Friday of every month and conclude with a port tasting among rum barrels left over from the 1860s in the basement of the Bond Store.

Now a museum, the Bond Store is one of Maryborough’s oldest buildings and once stored all the imports and exports for the bustling port, at a time when sly grog running was rife and opium was a legal import.

“The Bond Store is one of the real highlights of tour. The earthen floors, the old handmade bricks from the 1860s, and the original rail tracks and rum barrels create an amazing atmosphere and it really feels like a step back in time,” she said.

Tickets are just $25 per person and all guests will receive a free tour memento as part of the experience.

Councillor for Tourism, Marketing and Communication Stuart Taylor said historical tourism was still an untapped market on the Fraser Coast.

“We are finding a lot of visitors are looking for heritage experiences and what better place than Maryborough,” he said.

Bookings are essential and can be made at the Bond Store Museum, Wharf Street - Ph: 4190 5722 or the Maryborough Visitor Information Centre, City Hall - Ph: 1800 214 789.

This first tour will be held on 11 April, and will run from 5.30pm – 7.30pm.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
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