Our weekend escape from the Melbourne city life lead us to drive through the historical town of Maryborough on our way home from Avoca. Whilst we’d never been to Maryborough we quickly realised this is a place we want to return to explore.
With gold being found nearby in 1854 at White Hill lead to many prospectors rushing to Maryborough. It didn’t take long for a town to be built and eventually becoming a city in 1961. A town that was originally established during the gold mining era later became a town known for its wool industry. The last gold mine closed in 1918.
As you drive around the town you see the beautiful architectural buildings.
There are so many lovely historical towns to explore nearby, from Bendigo, Ballarat, Daylesford or Avoca to name a few.
If you are a cyclist with a passion for history of the gold mining areas you may be interested in the Ballarat-Maryborough Heritage Trail. At the train station they had details of the cycle tour.
Our Experience in Maryborough
Maryborough Train Station
Our drive through Maryborough took us to the remarkable Maryborough Train station which dates back to 1874 when it first opened. The station has an interesting theory that it was built in error!! It is said that perhaps the plans were for either Spencer Street Station Melbourne or the larger Maryborough town in QLD. Whatever the reason there is one thing for sure this is a great historical train station in Victoria.
We were not expecting to see such a grand station in country Victoria.
Whilst the train station had closed in 1993, it was restored in 2006/2007 and we are really pleased to see it was back operating and had been since 2008. In 2010 trains began the route between Maryborough and Ballarat.
As you enter the station you walk into a spacious waiting area where you can buy your train ticket, the ceiling is so high!!! They still have the old ticket boxes which the inspectors used to stand in to punch your ticket.
To the right of the entrance there is a lovely cafe which appears to be a popular destination. The cafe looked lovely and cosy and had a good vibe. Whilst we did not have anything to eat or drink again its a place we’d like to return to.
After checking out the cafe we walked along the station platform…..it’s so long!!! It’s thought to be the longest platform in country Victoria. We could see how people thought that the station was built here in error!! The station also has a Museum, which we did not explore.
Maryborough McLandress Square
We couldn’t leave this town without stopping by Maryborough McLandress Square where we saw the old post office, court house and town hall dating back to the gold mining era. When you visit the square you can read up on the history of the historical gold mining town.
We checked out the Court House which dates back to 1892 and is still in use today. The Court House is one of the largest court houses outside of Melbourne. Imagine the stories these walls have heard, the criminals that have sat eagerly waiting their punishment. Then again the innocent that are their to prove their innocence….
Maryborough Post Office
This is a post office we would have loved to have gone inside to purchase a stamp and send a parcel off. Another grand looking building in this town. They certainly don’t build post offices like this today. This grand Post Office was built in 1876/77, however in 1879 the clock tower was added. Originally built for the purposes of a post office, court house and colonial office until 1892 when it was used solely as a post office.
We found ourselves in awe at such a stunning post office, if only buildings of today were built with such interesting architecture. How lovely it is to see the Australian flag flying proudly in the wind. After traveling Asia for a year in 2017, one of the things that really stood out to us, is how proud countries like India are, in majority of the cars you’ll see the Indian flag sitting on their dashboard.
Maryborough Town Hall
The Australian flag was also flying proudly on the Town Hall which was built in 1887. This decision was made due to the old Town Hall that was part of the Post Office was not large enough to hold functions. In 1988 it was opened and ready to host balls and functions. Again we find our imaginations thinking of the balls that would’ve been held here and the dress attire of the gold mining era.
Belltower, Maryborough Fire Station
The last place that took our eye was the old Fire Station once used by volunteers and now used as a gallery. The Fire Station is another historical building dating back to 1861. The eye catching bell tower was built in 1888. This is another building we would loved to have explored inside and climbed up the tower.
Our weekend escape
Maryborough was part of a weekend escape from Melbourne. As we love to camp we first headed off to Ararat where we spent Friday night at Greenhill Lake Reserve free camping area. We spent a lovely day exploring the historical gold mining town of Ararat including a tour of the J Ward Ayslum, before spontaneously hitting the road to Avoca where we stayed at Waterfall Campground, Percydale. Another scenic place to stay whilst exploring Avoca the heart of the Pyrenees.
If you would like to see how we spent our weekend escape follow the links below or you can follow our 3 day itinerary Melbourne – Ararat – Avoca – Melbourne by clicking on the link.
Free campground Ararat
Free Campground Avoca
Another great place and what we consider a must go to place to explore is Halls Gap, Grampians. Check out our following link to see how we have spent 3 nights at Halls Gap, Grampians which is approximately 135km, 1hr 35mins from Maryborough.
If you love camping another great escape nearby is to Mt Franklin Reserve which is a free campground 9km from Daylesford. If you still have some days to continue exploring this is a place worth staying on your way back to Melbourne. Click on the link to see how we spent 3 days at Mt Franklin Reserve.
Maryborough Victoria Location
- Approximately 27km, 22mins from Avoca
- Approximately 90km, 1hr from Ararat
- Approximately 53km, 41mins to Mt Franklin Reserve
- Approximately 62km, 46mins from Daylesford
- Approximately 66km, 51mins from Ballarat
- Approximately 169km, 2hrs from Melbourne CBD
- Approximately 135km, 1hr 35mins from Halls Gap, Grampians
Maryborough McLandress Square Location
Civic Square, Maryborough VIC 3465
If you are like us and enjoy exploring new areas of Victoria we’d love to hear about your adventures and tips on where you think we should head to.