Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published May 11th 2014
One Sunday my girlfriends and I took a leisurely drive to Tiaro which was once known as the district of the Tiaro Shire Council. It is now under the direction of the Fraser Coast Regional Council. Twenty-five kilometres or around 20 minutes south of Maryborough on the Bruce Highway is the town of Tiaro. Tiaro is one of those towns that hasn't yet been by-passed by a new highway and for all travellers needing a passage north, Tiaro must be driven through. Perhaps detrimental to motorists who have to slow down to 50klm/hour, yet it is advantageous to the local community whose businesses line the main street.
Situated behind the Royal Hotel in Mayne Street is the "Memorial Park RV Camp and Rest Area" which is a free-camping area for self-contained RVs and vans. There are no showering facilities, although toilets are provided and commuters can stay for a maximum of 48 hours. All rubbish must be removed on vacating.
Memorial RV Park & Rest Area Tiaro
Tiaro Arts and Crafts now occupy an old railway station building and are open 7-days a week. Manned by volunteers the business also has a room full of maps and tourist brochures on places to visit. Local people have stocked the shelves with home-made condiments, craft creations and turned wooden articles, something for everyone to take home. Gifts with Australian themes are also available for purchase.
Across the street we found the "Hippie Shop" selling batik style clothing and imported wooden items such as giraffes, cats, dogs etc. An interesting shop to wander through and the colourful clothing hung outside the shop certainly captures the eye of any passer-by.
Petrie Park was named after explorer Andrew Petrie, a Superintendent of Works in Brisbane who set out in a whale boat to explore the rivers north of Moreton Bay including a deep, wide river which Aborigines called Moonaboola.
In 1842, for three days, he had his party rowed up the river from its mouth at River Heads near Hervey Bay until they reached this point. Petrie named it Wide Bay River and reported back to authorities that the area had potential for timber and grazing. This led to squatters taking up selections along the river and the establishment of Maryborough in 1847. Also around this time, pastoralist John Eales came overland with 20,000 sheep to establish a station in the area. This marked the beginning of settlement for the Tiaro area.
Returning to Maryborough, our outing concluded with a visit to the old township of Maryborough situated off the northern end of Alice Street, Maryborough. House stumps of yester-year give you a visual of where the first house was built and small plaques on these stumps relate the story. The land is subject to flooding and this was found out early to the settler's grief. Historic graves of Maryborough's first pioneers reside here and the picnic area is named after George Furber. Furber had taken possession of land near the site of the old township and was to open a shop, a shanty and build a wharf.
In 1847 Furber was erecting a fence when a blackfellow chopped his head with a squaring axe. He survived to later shoot the blackfellow; however this caused a feud and in 1855 Furber and his son-in-law William Wilmshurst were murdered.
The Village of Wide Bay, George Furber Picnic Area
To really understand a town's history, one must start at the roots. This park area gave us a very nostalgic feeling as we stood on the lush green hill discussing where the houses would have been built and what would have gone through the minds of the settlers at times of flood and destruction when their dwellings were simply washed away.