Maryborough Portside – Bringing Life Back To Wharf Street, Bringing Portside Back To Life!

Wharves in Maryborough in the early days

Maryborough has been making history ...for over 160 years!

Portside is where thousands of new settlers arrived in the new colony, when Maryborough was the second major immigration port after Sydney in the last half of the 1800s.

Port of Maryborough
A deeper site was selected to replace the first shallow port of Maryborough which was located up river at the original township.

Wool, tallow, hides and timber were exported through the busy port and many coastal vessels brought supplies for the settlers.

At one time the wharves stretched from the far end of Queens Park to beyond the Granville Bridge. At the marina you can see the last remnants of the original wharves.

Between 1859, when Maryborough was declared an official Port of Entry, and 1901, more than 22,000 immigrants from Great Britain and Europe entered Australia through the port.

Ships also brought Kanaka labour from the South Sea Islands to work on local sugar plantations.

Ship building and repair industries added to the liveliness of the port. The derelict sheds behind the marina are remnants from the site of the Walker Shipyards which closed in 1974.

The port is long dormant but you can still walk the old time streets, once the home of ruffians, sailors, brothels and opium dens, and discover for yourself the remarkable history and the gloriously preserved buildings that remain.

Listen carefully and you may hear the echoes of sad farewells, the shouts of traders seeking top prices for their wares, or the Irish lilt of new Australians, lining up to register in their adopted homeland after months at sea.

Today its once thriving port district is an unique heritage precinct called Portside that offers a complete visitor experience – with sensational parklands, museums, restaurants, art galleries, steam train rides, costumed characters, unique tours and events.

Looking down Wharf Street

Looking down Wharf Street. Post Office on left. c.1950s

Photographs courtesy of:
Maryborough Wide Bay & Burnett Historical Society Inc.

Queens Park and Wilson Hart

Queens Park (foreground), Wilson Hart Ltd.

Wharf Street

View from Post Office Tower down Wharf Street
Granville Bridge in the distance. (built 1926)

Government Wharves

Government Wharves, 1920s.

S.S. Eagle

S.S. Eagle at Maryborough Wharf c.1867