Visit turns to extended stay as couple fall in love with city
THE sense of history adopted by the Maryborough people has Cairns retirees busily Facebooking to the world to visit the city.
Helene Young and her husband Graham Wade are travelling the Queensland coast in their catamaran, Roo Bin Esque.
They were headed to Brisbane for repairs on the vessel when they sailed up the river to Maryborough.
"We are enjoying this part of the world while we have got some time, it is great for inspiration, loving it,” Helene said.
Helene was a senior airline pilot with QantasLink for 21 years while Graham was a building manager.
Helene said she was on the ground now and busy writing.
"I was writing all the other books while I was working full time but now I have a bit more luxury of time and the luxury of doing a bit more research.”
And Helene found plenty of it in the Heritage City.
"We spent a day in the military museum which was just amazing,” Helene said.
"I had a great grandfather that was in the Boer War and then went back and served in the First World War so being able to go through the military museum and read other people's stories was amazing.
"For me the poignant things are reading the letters from nurses who have gone to the family of somebody that they nursed or
stories like the mother who lost five sons and a husband.
"This is all back stories for the next books I am writing - so being able to go through the museum was fantastic.
"And such enthusiastic volunteers - they were just gorgeous.
"In fact all the volunteers around town are amazing.
"The lovely lady is the Customs House was just fantastic - she had a story to go with whatever we were looking at which was great.
"They bring it to life - all the stories.
"Maryborough itself certainly takes its history very seriously - I think that it is wonderful. So many people live and breath it.”
Helene and Graham arrived on the last weekend of the month only planning to stay a couple of days, stayed for a week and are planning a return trip on the way back from Brisbane.
"It is a small city so to be able to reinvent itself to tourism it's really wonderful - should be more of it.
"This is cute to be able to walk up the main street, see all that amazing architecture - that's just fascinating - and then you have all this beautiful artworks dotted all over the place - it is really well done.
"It makes you smile and really that is what you want - you want the tourists to go around smiling and you want the locals to look happy.
"I have been busily Facebooking saying all you yachties need to come up the river and stay at the wharf, come visit Maryborough it is amazing.
"There is such pride in the city and it really shows through in the volunteers and everybody making the tourists feel welcome.
"Thank you Maryborough - it has been fantastic - it's a hidden gem.”