WOW: Unlikely Fraser Coast town has been named the new Noosa

MOVE over Noosa, step aside Surfers Paradise and bye-bye Brisbane.

Queensland tourism has a new star - Maryborough.

The historic Queensland town, which has an annual festival devoted to Mary Poppins in June, has recorded a huge surge in tourist bookings for the Easter holidays, according to leading travel website Wotif.com.

Hotel bookings for the town, 30km southwest of Hervey Bay, have skyrocketed 75 per cent for the holiday period compared with the same time last year.

It's shaping as a bumper holiday period for the whole region, with nearby Rainbow Beach recording a 70 per cent increase in bookings, according to Wotif.com.

Caloundra (up 60 per cent), Redcliffe (50 per cent) and Hamilton Island (almost 50 per cent) round out the top five. Hervey Bay is also expected to be packed, according to booking data from Mantra, Queensland's biggest hotel group. But leading the pack is Maryborough, famous for its Mary Poppins festival and not much else.

Visitors are encouraged to follow the Mary Poppins Trail, in honour of the character's author P.L. Travers who was born in the town, before checking out the town's "history and heritage" and "art and culture".

Wotif.com managing director Daniel Finch said there was plenty for visitors to like about Maryborough.

"This is a small town with a big personality. Not only does it celebrate the world's most famous nanny with a town statue, visitors can also take part in a Magical Mary Trail, following in the footsteps and learning all about the region's most famous 'Mary' as well as the character filled town itself," he said.

"It's a great little town for Queenslanders looking to swap the beach for an inland stay this April."

He also said it was one of the cheapest holiday options in the state, with a predicted daily accommodation rate of $124 a night through the holiday period.

- Courier Mail

News Corp Australia


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