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Gympie Town Hall, 2015.jpg
Gympie Town Hall, 2015
Gympie is located in Queensland
Coordinates 26°11′24″S 152°39′56″E / 26.19°S 152.6655°E / -26.19; 152.6655Coordinates: 26°11′24″S 152°39′56″E / 26.19°S 152.6655°E / -26.19; 152.6655
Population 20,810 (2015)[1]
 • Density 300.29/km2 (777.7/sq mi)
Established 1867
Postcode(s) 4570
Area 69.3 km2 (26.8 sq mi)[2] (2011 urban)
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
Localities around Gympie:
Two Mile Araluen Victory Heights
Widgee Crossing North Gympie Victory Heights
Southside Monkland Monkland

Gympie /ˈɡɪmpi/[3] is a town and a locality in the Gympie Region, Queensland, Australia.[4][5] Located in the Wide Bay-Burnett district, Gympie 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 June 2015 Gympie had an estimated urban population of 20,810.[1]

Gympie is famous for its gold field.[6] It contains a number of historic buildings registered on the Queensland Heritage Register.


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"),[7] 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.[8] The name was later changed to Gympie in 1868.[9]


Map of gold mining leases and claims on the Deep Lead, 1869

Graziers were the original European settlers. Subsequently, James Nash reported the discovery of 'payable' alluvial gold on 16 October 1867.[10] 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.[10] The Gympie Gold Rush Festival celebrates the event today. The Gold Rush Festival holds 10 days of cultural events in October.[11] 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.[12]

Gympie Creek Post Office opened on 1 December 1867. It was renamed Gympie in 1868.[13]

Gympie Hospital, 1891

The railway from Maryborough completed in 1881.[12] The North Coast railway linked Gympie to Brisbane in 1891.[12] A fire brigade was in operation in 1900. The state declared Gympie a town in 1903. A powdered milk factory began operations in 1953.

Lower Mary Street, c.1925


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[14] 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.[15]

The highest flood ever recorded in Gympie occurred on 2 February 1893 when the river peaked at 25.45 m.[15] Gympie was declared a natural disaster area during the 1999 floods.[16] 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 was repaired under Operation Queenslander,[17] 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.[18]

Heritage listings[edit]

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[39]


"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 hand tools, 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.[40] 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. The 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.[41] 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.[42] In 2011, the Gympie Town Hall Reserve Complex was added to the Queensland Heritage Register.[43] 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.[44] 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.[45]

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 worldwide recognition of the outstanding natural beauty and high levels of biodiversity in this region.

The alleged Gympie Pyramid is also a minor attraction.

Gympie Cemetery Crawls are run by the Gympie Family History Society.[46] Participants learn more about the pioneering families that created the town.


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.[47] State secondary schools include James Nash [48] and Gympie State High.[49] Private schools offer both primary and secondary education. They include Victory College, Cooloola Christian College and St Patrick's.[50]

Gympie is home to one campus of the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE located on Cartwright Road.[51]

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.[52]


Road connection to Gympie is via the Bruce Highway. Rail connects via QR's North Coast railway line, which is served by daily Queensland Rail City network 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.[53]

The Electoral district of Gympie is a safe State Liberal-National seat.[54] 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[edit]

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.[55] The project was scrapped in 2010.

The proposed dam would have flooded about 900 properties[citation needed]. 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[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "3218.0 – Regional Population Growth, Australia, 2014–15: Population Estimates by Significant Urban Area, 2005 to 2015". Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Bureau of Statistics. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2016.  Estimated resident population, 30 June 2015.
  2. ^ "2011 Census Community Profiles: Gympie". ABS Census. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  3. ^ Macquarie Dictionary, Fourth Edition (2005). Melbourne, The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd. ISBN 1-876429-14-3
  4. ^ "Gympie - town in Gympie Region (entry 15149)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 6 November 2017. 
  5. ^ "Gympie - locality in Gympie Region (entry 46339)". Queensland Place Names. Queensland Government. Retrieved 6 November 2017. 
  6. ^ Khan, M. Ali; A.Balakishan (2007). Encyclopedia of World Geography. Sarup & Sons. p. 45. ISBN 8176257737. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "History". Gympie Regional Council. Archived from the original on 17 March 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  8. ^ Hon. C. Wallace, Gympie residents have chance to make their mark on the map, 14 January 2008. Accessed 18 April 2009.
  9. ^ Gympie Fire Station in 1955
  10. ^ a b Stoodley, June. Nash, James (1834–1913). Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography. Australian National University.
  11. ^ Golden History of Gympie
  12. ^ a b c Environmental Protection Agency (2000). Heritage Trails of the Great South East. State of Queensland. pp. 90, 148. ISBN 0-7345-1008-X. 
  13. ^ Premier Postal History. "Post Office List". Premier Postal Auctions. Retrieved 10 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Flood Warning System For The Mary River". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  15. ^ a b Jannette Parke (6 March 2010). "Mary, Mary quite contrary". The Gympie Times. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  16. ^ "Qld flood crisis hits Gympie". The Weekly Times. 10 January 2011. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  17. ^ "Road flood repairs on-going". The Gympie Times. 7 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Staying afloat". Sunshine Coast Daily. Sunshine Coast Newspaper Company. 9 March 2012. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Monkland State School Residence (entry 602013)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  20. ^ "Gympie Town Hall Reserve Complex (entry 602789)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  21. ^ "Gympie Court House (entry 600533)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  22. ^ "My Country; Old Post Office (entry 600534)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  23. ^ "Surface Hill Uniting Church (entry 601529)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  24. ^ "Gympie Court House and Lands Office (former) (entry 602778)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  25. ^ "Queensland National Bank (former) (entry 602773)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  26. ^ "St Patricks Church (entry 601503)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  27. ^ "Gympie Ambulance Station (former) (entry 602794)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  28. ^ "Gympie and Widgee War Memorial Gates (entry 600535)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  29. ^ "Royal Bank of Queensland (former) (entry 602774)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  30. ^ "Crawford and Co. Building (former) (entry 602780)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  31. ^ "Tozer's Building (entry 602779)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  32. ^ "Smithfield Chambers (entry 602777)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  33. ^ "Australian Joint Stock Bank (former)/Gympie Stock Exchange Offices and Club (former) (entry 602772)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  34. ^ "Bank of New South Wales (former) (entry 602775)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  35. ^ "Gympie School of Arts (entry 601910)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  36. ^ "Memorial Park (entry 602729)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  37. ^ "Railway Hotel (entry 602540)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  38. ^ "Gympie Railway Station Platform Complex (entry 602036)". Queensland Heritage Register. Queensland Heritage Council. Retrieved 8 July 2013. 
  39. ^ "Gympie". Climate statistics for Australian locations. Bureau of Meteorology. March 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2013. 
  40. ^ "Mary Valley". Queensland Places. Centre for the Government of Queensland, University of Queensland. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  41. ^ "Amamoor State Forest and Forest Reserve – Camping information". Department of Environment and Resource Management. 14 October 2011. Archived from the original on 9 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  42. ^ Lee Gailer (17 January 2012). "Piece of history goes on the block". The Gympie Times. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  43. ^ "State heritage listing for Gympie icon". Queensland Heritage Council. 9 September 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  44. ^ "Woondum National Park". Department of Environment and Resource Management. 9 June 2011. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  45. ^ Alexia Purcell (24 March 2010). "Trip to Mothar Mountain rock pools". Sunshine Coast Daily. Sunshine Coast Newspaper Company. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  46. ^ "Cemetery Crawls". Gympie Family History Society Inc. Retrieved 19 March 2016. 
  47. ^ "School opening dates". Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  48. ^ "James Nash SHS". Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  49. ^ "Gympie SHS". Retrieved 29 January 2017. 
  50. ^ Gympie Regional Council – Schools
  51. ^ "Gympie". Wide Bay Institute of TAFE. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  52. ^
  53. ^ Carly Morrissey (14 May 2012). "Ready for council? My oath". The Gympie Times. Retrieved 20 May 2012. 
  54. ^ "Latest on elections with The Times". The Gympie Times. 3 March 2012. Retrieved 21 May 2012. 
  55. ^ Josephine Gillespie (26 March 2008). "Plan promises no more water woes". The Queensland Times. APN News & Media. Retrieved 19 December 2010. 
  56. ^ Dicker, George. "Boase, Allan Joseph (1894–1964)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Australian National University. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  57. ^ "Glen Boss Australian Champion Jockey". ProGroup Racing. Archived from the original on 2013-03-09. Retrieved 28 April 2017. 
  58. ^ "Former Members". Parliament of Queensland. 2015. Retrieved 15 April 2016. 
  59. ^ "Andrew Fisher". Wikipedia. 2017-04-24. 
  60. ^ – cyclist"Australians at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics: Cyclists". Australian Sports Commission. Archived from the original on 20 January 2000. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  61. ^ Edmond, Scott (2002). "Australian Dictionary Of Biography". Sunderland, Harry (1889–1964). Australian Dictionary of Biography. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 

External links[edit]