Please note: The Bond Store is closed while building works take place. Visit our Building Works Updates for more information.
Step back in time
See the earthen floors of this former store for her Majesty’s Customs Service and discover a time when opium was a legal import and the rum trade flourished. Experience the former Maryborough Bond Store and learn about Maryborough’s fascinating past.
The core of the building dates back to 1864 and still retains the original floors, handmade bricks and barrel rails. It provided secure storage for goods that attracted a tax including cigars, tobacco, rum, wine, spirits and opium.
Maryborough's Historic Customs Precinct
First established in the 1840s, Maryborough quickly became a thriving port settlement. The town saw significant changes in the late 1850s as Queensland separated from the colony of New South Wales. Gazetted as an official Port of Entry from 1859, the Maryborough Customs House processed new immigrants to the Colony of Queensland. The Customs House also processed goods into and out of Queensland. Alcohol, sugar, tobacco, and opium were taxed on exit and entry, and until these taxes had been paid the wares were “bonded,” or held, at the Bond Store nearby.
This is the site where 21,000 immigrants and goods from faraway places made their way into the colony of Queensland. It has played a significant role in making our region the wonderfully diverse community we know today. These buildings illustrate the rapid growth and prosperity of the port of Maryborough in the nineteenth century.
The first part of the Bond Store was designed by Charles Tiffin in 1863. It was expanded several times to form the building we see before us by 1883. John Murdoch Smith designed the current Customs House and adjacent Residence in 1899. Together, the Customs House, Customs Residence, and Bond Store form the Customs Precinct.
Places of Cultural Heritage Significance
The buildings that make up the Customs Precinct are listed on the Queensland Heritage Register and the Fraser Coast Regional Council Local Heritage Register.
Maryborough’s Bond Store appears to be the oldest surviving in Queensland and the second-oldest surviving purpose-built government bond store in Australia. Given the Customs House and Residence also remain existent, Maryborough’s Customs Precinct is highly significant due to its rarity, intactness, and the fact that it is a comparatively early example of a customs complex in Australia.