Maryborough is a city in Victoria, Australia, located on the Pyrenees Highway, 80 kilometres (50 mi) north of Ballarat, 168 kilometres (104 mi) north-west of Melbourne, in the Central Goldfields Shire. At the 2001 census, Maryborough had a population of 7,471
The area was originally inhabited by the Jajowurrong people. The first Europeans to settle were the Simson brothers, who established a sheep station, known as Charlotte Plains, in 1840. Gold was discovered at White Hill, 4 kilometres north of Maryborough, in 1854, leading to prospectors rushing to the area. At its peak, Maryborough had a population of up to 50,000.
The town site was surveyed in 1854, with a police camp, Methodist church, and hospital amongst the first infrastructure. The settlement was originally known as Simsons, but later changed to Maryborough by the gold commissioner James Daly, after his Irish birthplace. One of Victoria’s earliest newspapers, The Maryborough Advertiser, was established in 1854. Land sales commenced in 1856, and Maryborough became the administrative and commercial centre of the area. The town became a borough in 1857.
The last gold mine in Maryborough closed in 1918. In 1924 the Maryborough Knitting Mills opened, which established the town as a centre for the wool industry. Maryborough became a city in 1961.
The town hosts a market on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month, a Highland Gathering on New Year’s Day (which has been held since 1857), the Golden Wattle Festival in August or September, the Gourmet Grapes & Gardens Weekend in October, and the Australasian Goldpanning Championships in October or November.
Maryborough also plays host to the RACV Energy Breakthrough in which thousands of students, teachers, parents and spectators from around Australia come to the town to witness a Human Powered Vehicle race where teams can complete up to 900 kilometres in 24 hours.
In early February 2007 transmission of Goldfields FM 99.1 commenced. The Maryborough golf course is a great 18 hole golf course.