The quaint town of Maryborough can be found in South West Queensland, Australia. In fact, walking through this town is a bit like traveling back in time. Calling itself the Heritage City of Queensland, it is dedicated to preserving and showcasing the past. As a tourist destination, there are plenty of things to see and do right in Maryborough. However, there are many destinations less than two hours drive from town. Here are five unique and popular choices to consider.
Take a short trip to this amazing destination just outside the Maryborough city limits. The Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary will allow you to get up close and personal with many of Australia's iconic animals. Kangaroos, kookaburras, wallabys, dingos and more have been given refuge in this not-for-profit organization that you can visit seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm. Take a tour or visit on one of their market days and receive free admission.
2) Hervey Bay Historical Village & Museum
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If you are not sure where to go for short trip, the town of Hervey Bay is just about 35 minutes northwest of Maryborough. Go back in time by stopping into this museum to learn what life was like in Hervey Bay before the tourists came. Focused on the 19th and early 20th century, this site is dedicated to helping visitors understand the past. You can visit 21 buildings, see over 12,000 artifacts or take part in hands-on demonstrations. The museum is open on Fridays and Saturdays from 1 until 4:30 pm and on Sundays from 10:30 until 4:30 pm.
For a very unique and spectacular experience, book a tour with Freedom III. During your six hour cruise, you will have the chance to see whales in their natural habitat. The boat offers many amenities including lunch, a morning and afternoon tea, flat screen television, a comfortable lounge and more. Being on a boat that offers 360 degrees views on three levels will guarantee you do not miss any of the action. Don't forget to bring your camera! Tour time and dates may vary depending on the weather, so be sure to contact them ahead of time.
4) Great Sandy National Park
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For a Queensland road trip, head southeast towards the coast and visit the Great Sandy National Park. This park will give you the chance to see untouched, wild Australia. It offers two sections: Cooloola and Fraser Island. You can see natural beaches, sand dunes, swamps, lakes, mangroves and more. Bring a picnic lunch, hike a trail or two, see some shipwrecks or go fishing. If you visit Fraser Island, you will be able to see the colorful sand cliffs on the eastern side. You can also witness the only rainforest that grows in sand here. Note that access to both sections of the park requires a four wheel drive vehicle with permit.
5) Australia Zoo
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Continue down the coast to Brisbane and visit the Australian Zoo. As the home of the famous crocodile hunter, Steve Irwin, this zoo is like no other zoo on the planet. What makes it different is the Irwin family's commitment to animal conservation and their dedication to helping visitors connect with animals. You will be guided along the way by the zoo's team of conservationists. With regular exhibits, interactive experiences and daily shows, this award-winning zoo should not be missed.
Maryborough in South West Queensland is the perfect place to experience some of Australia's past history while still being close to some wonderful and entertaining day trips that will help you learn about Australia's past, present and future.