About a three-hour drive north of Brisbane on Queensland's Fraser Coast
, the gracious city of Maryborough on the banks of the Mary River - both of which take their name from the wife of Governor Fitzroy - is the gateway to Fraser Island, the world’s largest sand island. Maryborough, now a commercial and administrative centre, was established in the 1840s, and hosts many fine examples of colonial architecture here, including Baddow House in Queen Street, and the Customs House Hotel in Wharf Street. St Paul’s bell tower, erected in 1887, has one of the few sets of pealing bells left tolling in Queensland. A driving tour takes in 80 of Maryborough's most significant buildings, while the city's Heritage Walk includes Old Engine House and 27 other prominent colonial buildings in a two-hour stroll. The Old Engine House rekindles the romance of steam through a series of working displays of model trains. Hervey Bay, where hundreds of humpback whales gather every spring to rest up with their new calves before the long swim to the Antarctic, is just a short drive to the north, while the scenic, unspoilt wonder of Fraser Island lies just off the coast.
Find out more about the Fraser Coast