Gympie was officially established in 1868, taking its name from gimpi gimpi, a local Aboriginal word for a stinging tree. Before this time, the town was called Nashville in honour of James Nash, the discoverer of gold, who “saved Queensland.”
The town is 169 kilometres north of Brisbane, located on the Mary River. It acts as a service centre for the agricultural district known for its vegetables, tropical fruit, beef cattle, and dairy production.
The main street of Gympie is Mary Street. This is at the centre of town and features shady trees and a broad shopping boulevard.
You can pan for gold, ride on the Gympie Rattler a restored steam train and learn about Queensland’s gold rush days; its the perfect getaway away from the beach for day-trippers or the serious holidaymaker.
Charming Gympie is the town famously known for saving Queensland from bankruptcy when James Nash first discovered gold.
History has been beautifully preserved in Gympie, and now there’s boutique stores and gourmet cafés that add to the legend of the town.
Close to Gympie lies pristine, forest-clad Mary Valley Country which is packed full of national parks, reserves, rivers, waterfalls, forests and is home to the great Mary Valley Rattler Rail Journey.
If you love the great outdoors this unique and spectacular area abounds with rain-forest, open forest and the true splendour of nature with numerous natural attractions and majestic views for everyone to enjoy.
Gympie has its history as the “Town that saved Queensland.” While this may seem like a tall tale, it is actually accurate. After becoming a state, Queensland had just a decade before it faced bankruptcy in 1867. There was high unemployment, and the Bank of Queensland closed its doors. In fact, there was so much financial strain on the government; it was forced to halt work on the Ipswich Toowoomba railway.
In an attempt to raise funds, the government offered a reward to anyone who discovered gold. James Nash found gold near the modern-day site of Gympie, and overnight the wealth of this goldfield started a gold rush that saved the state.
What is even more inspiring is that Nash made his discovery with just a panning dish and a pick. He was so poor that when his pick broke, he took an ounce of gold he’d panned and walked to Maryborough to buy more equipment and rations before returning to Gympie. Within a week, he had found 75 ounces of gold, and once his find was registered, the gold rush began.
Today, Gympie has a population of more than 21,000 people and welcomes visitors from across Australia and the world.
Gympie is packed with sights and activities for visitors to enjoy. These include:
This museum is set in five hectares of land and includes 18 buildings. This includes Andrew Fisher’s home, who was Australia’s second prime minister. This is a superb folk museum, and one of its highlights is the only mining building that still stands in Gympie. In fact, some of the equipment is even fired up on a “steaming day.”
You can rediscover a bygone era with the Mary Valley Rattler. This will allow you to experience Queensland’s heritage of rail travel. Board the steam locomotive and enjoy a scenic journey from Gympie to Amamoor. You can also discover the heritage museum and enjoy refreshments in the Platform No 1 Cafe.
Lake Alford Park is a great spot for a picnic or to simply relax and enjoy the beautiful park. Be sure to seek out the Statue to the Gold Diggers. This monument showcases the crucial role gold played in the town’s evolution and the importance to Queensland.
Located beyond the north end of Gympie, this museum displays a vast selection of hand tools used during the early timber industry. There is also a replica of a timber cutter’s hut, a blacksmith’s shop, and a working replica of a steam driven bush sawmill from the 1860s. You can even see a Republic truck from 1925 that was used to winch logs.
If you time your visit right, you can see a display of cross cut sawing and pit sawing.
This is a map with 24 buildings of historical interest in the Gympie area. This includes Gympie Court House, which was built in approximately 1900, the Bank of NSW, the Stock Exchange Building, the Queensland National Bank, and the Lands Office Building
Gympie is just an hour’s drive from the Sunshine Coast. However, you don’t need to worry about navigating unfamiliar roads or finding parking, with a Coast to Hinterland tour. We’ll handle the transport for your day trip to Gympie, so you can relax and enjoy the journey.