M’boro No.1 on LA Times list of 14 offbeat destinations

MARYBOROUGH has leapt to fame in the US after topping the LA Times' list of 14 offbeat travel destinations for 2014.

In an international coup for the Fraser Coast, the major US newspaper's website promotes June's Mary Poppins Festival as a "supercalifragilisticexpialidociously g'day"

With a picture of Poppins characters in the festival street parade, the website says: "A chimney-sweep challenge, umbrella-painting workshops and a race with costumed nannies pushing carriages are among the weeklong activities June 23-29 in the town where Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers was born.

"Festivities stretch from the Mary River through Queens Park to the central business district and a statue of the famous fictional nanny. Visitors could have a supercalifragilisticexpialidociously g'day.

For more information on the festival, visit http://www.marypoppinsfestival.com.au.

Fraser Coast Opportunities credits the success to the film Saving Mr Banks.

"It is a fantastic outcome for the region," FCO general manager David Spear said.

"Right from the opening scenes, the movie is educating millions of viewers to the little known fact that the author was born in Maryborough, Queensland.

"We knew the movie presented a rare, once-in-a-lifetime, opportunity to promote the region to a world-wide audience and that is why we've grabbed it with both hands.

"We will continue to capitalise on this renewed passion for Mary Poppins-related experiences."

The Times is not the only Poppins-mad entity in Tinseltown: Los Angeles' Mary Poppins collector and "historian" Mat Plendl has thousands of items of Poppins memorabilia.

The growing collection of Mr Plendl - in Australia to star in a hula hoop act at Jupiters Casino on the Gold Coast - featured in a Sydney Morning Herald article in which he was quoted as saying "Mary Poppins reflected my life".

Mr Plendl is heading to Maryborough next month after the casino show to visit the home of Poppins author P. L. Travers.

Other offbeat reasons to visit Maryborough

  • Dress up as, well, just about anything and join in the annual World's Greatest Pub Craw- ... err.. Fest
  • Don a pith helmet and head out in a tinny to catch a glimpse of big Mary Croccins, the Mary River crocodile.
  • Tour the CBD and brainstorm a brilliant plan for every empty shopfront you see.