Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Maryborough, Queensland

Photo with Mary Poppins

The only thing we knew about Maryborough before we came here was that it was a long way up a river and it is where the lady that wrote Mary Poppins was born and lived.  We called the Mary River Marina and fortunately they had a mooring that had just opened up or we wouldn't have risked anchoring in the strong reversing tidal currents.  Not a bad price either ($105/week).
River mooring, taken from Queens Park

The trip up the river took 4 hours from the Sandy Straits.  We ran aground once and almost hit 2 other times.  The river has silted in from the agricultural runoff and major floods over the past 3 years.  There is almost no visibility due to the muddiness.  It is impossible to see the shifting uncharted sandbars.  Even when you are stuck on one.  Fortunately the diesel engines were able to back us off against the current.  I would much rather hit a mud bank than a coral head.
The Post Office Pub
As it turns out, Maryborough has a rich history, was a major port of entry in the mid 1800's and was slated to be the capital of Queensland.  Gold was discovered in the 1870's near here and gold fever added to the population growth. 
Inside the Post Office

The architecture in the town is some of the nicest we have seen in Oz.  The Historic District on Wharf Street has been kept to original appearance.

The Mary River has had some huge summer floods that put most of the waterfront underwater.  There were 2 in 2012 that were around 35 feet above normal river level which wreaked havoc on the marina.  The boats in the boatyards all floated away and the floating docks went higher than the pilings and were washed away.  The residents seem to take it all in stride and the boaters all keep a good eye on the weather when it starts to rain.

A 6 month old orphan Swamp Wallabee. His mum was killed by a car but he survived
We went to yet another wildlife sanctuary outside of town.  Like we haven't seen enough kangaroos.  This one had more birds than the others and the roos were plentiful.


The usual suspects, at the daily marina Happy Hour
This was a great place to explore and wait out the strong SE winds.  It looks like north winds are coming and we need to get back out to the Great Sandy Straits in position for a run south.

Check out that baby catamaran.  A guy actually lives on it.

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