Military tourism could lure visitors to the region

AIRCRAFT hangers, museums and air-raid shelters on the Fraser Coast will be packaged and promoted to the growing market of tourists searching for genuine military history.

The Fraser Coast Regional Council has allocated $1 million in this year's budget to develop the Fraser Coast Military Trail.

Beginning at the Maryborough Military Museum, the history trail will include a Vietnam War museum in Toogoom, the Duncan Chapman statue at Queen's Park and the training ground on Fraser Island.

The council has committed $500,000 to get the project under way but the future will hinge on State or Federal government funding.

Maryborough Military Museum founder and director John Meyers said this region had a proud military history that wasn't being shown off.

"We've tried advertising - but we find that generally our best advertisements are the people coming through the place. They go away and mention it to their friends."

Regarded as the second- best collection of military history in the nation, Mr Meyers said the museum had grown immensely since opening in 2005.

"The strength of the museum is not only what we've got in it but also the people who support it," he said.

And once visitors have toured Maryborough's museum they'll be able to travel to Hervey Bay's Freedom Park and then out to Toogoom for the Vietnam shed.

Boxed in crates stamped with the year 1969, the shed at Toogoom was built for, but never made it to Vietnam's war zone.

After being discovered in a shed last year, the pre-fab building is now being put together and is expected to be open on June 13.