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Gympie is located in Queensland
Population 18,602 (2011 census)[1]
Established 1867
Postcode(s) 4570
Location 160 km (99 mi) from Brisbane
LGA(s) Gympie Region
State electorate(s) Gympie
Federal Division(s) Wide Bay
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
27.1 °C
81 °F
13.6 °C
56 °F
1,132.9 mm
44.6 in

Gympie [2] is a regional town in the Wide Bay-Burnett region of Queensland, Australia. It is about 160 kilometres (100 mi) north of the state capital, Brisbane. The city lies on the Mary River, which floods the town periodically. Gympie is the administrative centre for the Gympie Region area. At the 2011 census, Gympie had a population of 18,602.[1]

Gympie is famous for its gold field.[3] It contains a number of historic buildings registered on the Queensland Heritage Register.


  • Etymology 1
  • History 2
    • Flooding 2.1
  • Heritage listings 3
  • Climate 4
  • Attractions 5
  • Education 6
  • Transport 7
  • Governance 8
  • Traveston Crossing Dam 9
  • Notable people from Gympie 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


Gympie's name derives from the Kabi (the language of a tribe of Indigenous Australians that historically lived in the region) word gimpi-gimpi (which means "stinging tree"),[4] which referred to Dendrocnide moroides. The tree has large, round leaves that have similar properties to stinging nettles. The town was previously named Nashville, after James Nash, who discovered gold in the area in 1867.[5] The name was later changed to Gympie in 1868.[6]


Gympie Hospital, 1891
Lower Mary Street, c.1925

Graziers were the original European settlers. Subsequently, James Nash reported the discovery of 'payable' alluvial gold on 16 October 1867.[7] At the time of Nash's discovery, Queensland was suffering from a severe economic depression. Nash probably saved Queensland from bankruptcy. A memorial fountain in Gympie's Park honours Nash's discovery.[7] The Gympie Gold Rush Festival celebrates the event today. The Gold Rush Festival holds 10 days of cultural events in October.[8] Gold mining still plays a role in the area's fortunes, along with agriculture (dairy predominantly), timber and tourism. The gold rush's rapid development led to streets that are in an irregular fashion.[9]

Gympie Creek Post Office opened on 1 December 1867. It was renamed Gympie in 1868.[10]

The railway from Maryborough completed in 1881.[9] The North Coast railway linked Gympie to Brisbane in 1891.[9] A fire brigade was in operation in 1900. The state declared Gympie a town in 1903. A powdered milk factory began operations in 1953.


Gympie residents head for higher ground during the flooding in 1870

Significant floods along the Mary River have caused inundations of the town in 1893, 1955, 1968, 1974, 1989, 1992, 1999, 2011[11] and 2013. The first recorded flood in Gympie was in 1870. Most of the floods occur between December and April and are typically caused by heavy rainfall in the headwaters to the south.[12]

The highest flood ever recorded in Gympie occurred on 2 February 1893 when the river peaked at 25.45 m.[12] Gympie was declared a natural disaster area during the 1999 floods.[13] The river peaked at 21.9 m then.

Numerous highways and roads in and around the town which were destroyed or damaged during floods in 2011 will be repaired under Operation Queenslander.[14] This is the name given to post flood reconstruction efforts in Queensland.

In March 2012, the Gympie Regional Council decided to spend about $30,000 for a cost benefit analysis on flood mitigation measures.[15]

Heritage listings

Gympie Court House, 2012

Gympie has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


Climate data for Gympie (1870-2012)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 42.4
Average high °C (°F) 31.2
Average low °C (°F) 19.6
Record low °C (°F) 12.0
Average rainfall mm (inches) 164.8
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2mm) 12.8 13.6 14.3 11.5 10.2 8.2 6.9 6.4 6.6 8.1 9.6 11.2 119.4
Source: Bureau of Meteorology[36]


"The Valley Rattler" C17 802 at Dagun station

Many attractions are in and around Gympie. The Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum houses memorabilia from the early gold mining era, as well as displays showcasing military, rural, transport, communications, and steam development in Australia. The WoodWorks Museum provides an insight into the timber industry and social history of yesteryear through displays and demonstrations. Features include a large selection of pioneering handtools, a 1925 Republic truck, bullock wagons, and a blacksmith shop.

The Valley Rattler steam train winds its way through the backyards of the southern side of Gympie and then continues west into the scenic Mary Valley where it crosses and then follows the Mary River to negotiate the valley and the Mary's main tributaries. The tourist train began operations in 1996.[37] It provides a spectacular journey through the valley beginning at the Old Gympie Railway Station in Tozer Street. This station is the original railway station for the track that passed through Gympie in the 1900s gold rush. Unfortunately the 'Rattler' is currently out of commission due to concerns of track safety. Local community, business, and council people are all working together to find funding for track repair work and formulate plans for the ongoing management and maintenance of the operation.

The Mary Valley has a stunning landscape of rolling green pastures and many beautiful forests. The countryside is spectacular with an abundance of curves, gradients, and bridges. Steep slopes portray a patchwork of pineapples, macadamia nuts, and other crops. The towns of the valley include Dagun, a pretty little ten-house town and Amamoor which hosts the National Country Music Muster, held annually in August. The muster is held over six days and nights in the Amamoor Forest Reserve.[38] Featuring 13 venues full of diverse music, the muster is the largest outdoor country music festival in Australia. The Mary Valley Scenic Drive also travels through Kandanga and Imbil.

Gympie's Mary St offers a wide array of bars, cafes, banks and stores with stunning 19th Century Victorian architecture. The historic Railway Hotel was built in 1915 and is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register.[39] In 2011, the Gympie Town Hall Reserve Complex was added to the Queensland Heritage Register.[40] The two-storey building was built in 1890 and has a clock tower.

Mothar Mountain Speedway is Gympie's local raceway which hosts the motorsport Speedway A.K.A dirt track racing. Mothar Mountain Speedway is promoted by the Gympie Saloon Car Club Ltd.

Gympie also hosts the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival in March. The festival is five days of fun, inspiration, and stimulation. Highlights include short films from all corners of the planet, special features and documentaries, parties, seminars, intimate Q & A sessions with filmmakers, and an award ceremony.

Big Pineapple, Gympie, Queensland

About 15 minutes south-east of Gympie, subtropical rainforest and spectacular rocky creeks make the Mothar Mountain rock pools a popular retreat for locals and visitors. Crystal-clear water gently cascades over ancient granite outcrops at Woondum National Park.[41] Facilities include picnic tables, barbecues, firewood, fresh water, amenities, and bush-walking tracks. Access is by dirt road and requires a four-wheel-drive vehicle.[42]

About 30 minutes' drive east of Gympie is Tin Can Bay, where one can hand-feed rare Indo-Pacific hump-backed dolphins in their natural environment. The feeding is regulated for the protection of the dolphins. Tin Can Bay is the southern access point to the Great Sandy Strait, a stunning aquatic playground protected by World Heritage-listed Fraser Island. The strait is an important ecological area with marine turtles, dolphin pods, dugongs, migrating humpback whales and valuable roosting area for migratory birds. , Gympie, Mary Valley, Tin Can Bay, Rainbow Beach, and Cooloola are part of the Great Sandy Biosphere which gives world wide recognition of the outstanding natural beauty and high levels of biodiversity in this region.

The alleged Gympie Pyramid is also a minor attraction.


Gympie has many schools, reflecting its importance as a regional service centre. State primary schools include Gympie West, Chatsworth, Monkland, Jones Hill, Gympie Central, Two Mile, One Mile, Gympie East, Gympie South. State secondary schools include James Nash and Gympie State High, which is well known for its music department and sporting facilities. Private schools offer both primary and secondary education. They include Victory College, Cooloola Christian College and St Patrick's.[43]

Gympie is home to one campus of the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE located on Cartwright Road.[44]

The University of the Sunshine Coast (USC) has a campus in Gympie located on Cartwright Road. This campus offers undergraduate study in primary education, nursing, business, and commerce.[45]


Road connection to Gympie is via the Bruce Highway. Rail connects via QR's North Coast railway line, which is served by daily Citytrain services to Brisbane and Traveltrain services for long distances. There are few public buses in Gympie and automobiles are the main mode of transportation.

Gympie Airport is a small local airport located to the south of the town. It has general aviation, recreational aviation and gliding communities.


Eight councillors are elected to the Gympie Region local government area.[46]

The Electoral district of Gympie is a safe State Liberal-National seat.[47] It was held by Elisa Roberts a member of the One Nation before Roberts left the party in 2002 to sit as an independent. She was re-elected in 2004 then defeated in 2006. In 2006, David Gibson won the seat as a member of the National Party of Australia. Gibson retained the seat with 60.6% of the vote in 2009 as a Liberal National Party of Queensland member and 53.03% of the 2012 vote.

In 1893, Andrew Fisher was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Queensland as Labor member for Gympie. Fisher was a federationist and went on to become the fifth Prime Minister of Australia.

Traveston Crossing Dam

The Queensland Government had plans to build a dam on the Mary River at Traveston Crossing, about 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) south of Gympie, arguing that there is sound geology and that the South East Queensland region needed greater water security due to the threat of climate change and population growth.[48] The project was scrapped in 2010.

The proposed dam would have flooded about 900 properties, many of them income-producing farms, including the largest dairy farm in Queensland. The affected land owners and other shire residents staged rallies protesting against the proposed dam. Strong opposition to the dam from the wider and international community based on environmental concerns related to the endangered Mary River cod, Mary River turtle, giant barred frog, Cascade tree frog and Coxen's fig parrot and the vulnerable Queensland lungfish, tusked frog, honey blue-eye fish, the Richmond birdwing butterfly and the Illidge's ant blue butterfly finally shut down the project.

Notable people from Gympie

See also


  1. ^ a b "Statistical Local Areas: Gympie". 2011 Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 21 June 2012. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  3. ^ Khan, M. Ali; A.Balakishan (2007). Encyclopedia of World Geography. Sarup & Sons. p. 45.  
  4. ^ "History". Gympie Regional Council. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Hon. C. Wallace, Gympie residents have chance to make their mark on the map, 14 January 2008. Accessed 18 April 2009.
  6. ^ Gympie Fire Station in 1955
  7. ^ a b Stoodley, June. Nash, James (1834–1913). Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography. Australian National University.
  8. ^ Golden History of Gympie
  9. ^ a b c  
  10. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Flood Warning System For The Mary River". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Jannette Parke (6 March 2010). "Mary, Mary quite contrary".  
  13. ^ "Qld flood crisis hits Gympie". (The Weekly Times). 10 January 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  14. ^ "Road flood repairs on-going".  
  15. ^ "Staying afloat". Sunshine Coast Daily (Sunshine Coast Newspaper Company). 9 March 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "Monkland State School Residence (entry 602013)".  
  17. ^ "Gympie Town Hall Reserve Complex (entry 602789)".  
  18. ^ "Gympie Court House (entry 600533)".  
  19. ^ "My Country; Old Post Office (entry 600534)".  
  20. ^ "Surface Hill Uniting Church (entry 601529)".  
  21. ^ "Gympie Court House and Lands Office (former) (entry 602778)".  
  22. ^ "Queensland National Bank (former) (entry 602773)".  
  23. ^ "St Patricks Church (entry 601503)".  
  24. ^ "Gympie Ambulance Station (former) (entry 602794)".  
  25. ^ "Gympie and Widgee War Memorial Gates (entry 600535)".  
  26. ^ "Royal Bank of Queensland (former) (entry 602774)".  
  27. ^ "Crawford and Co. Building (former) (entry 602780)".  
  28. ^ "Tozer's Building (entry 602779)".  
  29. ^ "Smithfield Chambers (entry 602777)".  
  30. ^ "Australian Joint Stock Bank (former)/Gympie Stock Exchange Offices and Club (former) (entry 602772)".  
  31. ^ "Bank of New South Wales (former) (entry 602775)".  
  32. ^ "Gympie School of Arts (entry 601910)".  
  33. ^ "Memorial Park (entry 602729)".  
  34. ^ "Railway Hotel (entry 602540)".  
  35. ^ "Gympie Railway Station Platform Complex (entry 602036)".  
  36. ^ "Gympie". Climate statistics for Australian locations.  
  37. ^ "Mary Valley". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  38. ^ "Amamoor State Forest and Forest Reserve - Camping information". Department of Environment and Resource Management. 14 October 2011. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  39. ^ Lee Gailer (17 January 2012). "Piece of history goes on the block".  
  40. ^ "State heritage listing for Gympie icon". Queensland Heritage Council. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  41. ^ "Woondum National Park". Department of Environment and Resource Management. 9 June 2011. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  42. ^ Alexia Purcell (24 March 2010). "Trip to Mothar Mountain rock pools". Sunshine Coast Daily (Sunshine Coast Newspaper Company). Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  43. ^ Gympie Regional Council - Schools
  44. ^ "Gympie". Wide Bay Institute of TAFE. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  45. ^
  46. ^ Carly Morrissey (14 May 2012). "Ready for council? My oath".  
  47. ^ "Latest on elections with The Times".  
  48. ^ Josephine Gillespie (26 March 2008). "Plan promises no more water woes".  
  49. ^ "Australians at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics: Cyclists".  
  50. ^ Edmond, Scott (2002). "Australian Dictionary Of Biography". Sunderland, Harry (1889–1964). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 

External links

  • Gympie Cooloola Tourism
  • Gympie Region
  • University of Queensland: Queensland Places: Gympie
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