Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published May 10th 2014
Maryborough, more than just a Heritage City
Maryborough, Queensland is well known for being a city of "Queenslander" style homes made mostly of tongue and groove wooden walls, high ceilings and wide verandahs. And there surely are many of these in the Heritage City, which suit the tropical climate of the area.
Recently on one of my return visits, I decided to indulge in some of the pleasures that have become icons in Maryborough's history and growth instead of the usual quick weekend stop over to see my Mum.
Fond childhood memories of outings to feed bread to the ducks at Ululah Park remain along with many early morning risers, myself included, still enjoying a brisk walk or jog along the lagoon paths. The park is now a haven for family picnics and barbecues complete with a colourful playground for children. It has become so popular on weekends, that at times it's had to find a spare table or bar-be-que plate unless you arrive very early.
On one of my early morning walks I noticed that the lagoon has been cleaned up and although there still is plenty of birdlife, the paths were clear from an abundance of bird droppings so I could enjoy my walk without watching where I placed each step. The Netball, Tennis Courts and Maryborough Golf Club line the perimeters of the park and it was lovely to see the sun rise over the bottom greens. Council workers were up early on Sunday morning cleaning bar-be-que plates and emptying bins in readiness for more family activities that day.
Most Maryborough people grew up on Sauer's Pies. Father Augie and four of his sons owned a brick bakery in Park Street and each day one of their fleet of small vans would be stationed outside your workplace or at the local school yard. This was of course, long before 'tuckshop' was heard of or even invented. It was in the days when a pie would cost 10 cents, a cream bun 5 cents and I could still take home 5 cents to Mum.
Photo courtesy of Maryborough Family History Facebook Page
Although not in the same place, Gail Sauer operates her bakery "Gail Sauer's Bakery Café" on the corner of Lennox and Albert Streets. Gail's father, Norm was very much a part of the original bakery. The same old fashioned service is given and the same recipe of our favourite meat pipe can be purchased, among many other varieties. A home visit to Maryborough isn't complete without popping in to stock up on a dozen or so of your favourite pies. There are around 18 varieties of pies now, although my favourites were always the 'Pastie or Plain Pie. Family size pies are also available although not all varieties are available each day.
I would have to think their "Chester Cake" would be their signature cake as I have never come across anything like it anywhere else. It is made from a secret recipe of a pastry base, cake, brown in colour, although it doesn't taste like chocolate with sultanas, white creamy icing and coconut. It is another treat to buy in abundance, freeze and take home. A favourite with my brother was the Chocolate Cake round in shape and cream under a chocolate lid. A combination of around 40 different cakes and slices are cooked in the bakery so signalling out your favourite can be hard at times. Not all the cakes and slices are made every day so it's best to ring ahead if a particular slice is what you desire.
Gail has expanded her business into a Café style preparing sandwiches, rolls, wraps, gourmet paninis or focaccias, Di Bella Coffee, iced coffee/chocolate, tea and good old fashioned milkshakes and thickshakes. Hot platters are available; however some platters may require 24 hours-notice.
Working five days a week, the bakery does not open on a Saturday, so if you are travelling up for the weekend, best to ring a friend or in my case, my Mum, to pop around for you.
Make sure on a trip to Maryborough you put these two experiences on your list of things to do.
These are the best pies in the whole world (in our opinion). Our school TA used to drive up to the shop every Wednesday and bring back the orders. We also had no tuckshop. I remember being at my nana and pop's house when the van drove past with the bell ringing and you could buy some for tea and an apple slice for pudding. Every now and then I get mum to buy some for us before we come up for a visit.
I remember Norm stopping at our house every Friday. What I wouldn't do for a Sauer's pie. There is an Aussie pie shop in New York but my daughter said the pies are not good. I want a pie, sausage roll and cream bun and apple turnover. Norm can visit me anytime. Robyn (Pohlmann) Hickey, St. Louis, Missouri