As the heritage and cultural centre of the Cooloola Region, Gympie boasts a tradition that few areas in Queensland can offer. A city of 16,000 people, Gympie offers the warm hospitality of a country town with all the modern conveniences.
Known as the "Town that Saved Queensland", Gympie's proud heritage began in 1867 with the discovery of gold by prospector James Nash at the site now occupied by the Town Hall. At the time, Queensland was facing bankruptcy due to drought and the fall in wool prices.
However, Nash made the five day journey down the Mary River from Maryborough and, after digging up 75 ounces of gold in six days, staked his claim. The Gympie Gold Rush was on, injecting the boost to the Queensland economy that enabled the colony to survive.
Nowadays, you can relive the tradition that has given Gympie its special place in history. At the Gold Mining Museum, displays covering the gold rush days are mingled with exhibits such as the Lighthorse Museum and Andrew Fisher House to provide an outstanding range of cultural as well as historical exhibits.
Other attractions such as the Mary Valley Heritage Railway and Woodworks Forestry and Timber Museum provide outstanding links to the region's railway and timber history.
The city's heart is Mary Street, a fantastic blend of shopping, heritage and nearby parkland that combines the activity of a regional centre with the relaxed, carefree experience of a holiday.
Take a heritage walk past traditional shopfronts as well as excellent examples of 19th Century architecture. Or stroll to a coffee shop and take in the casual atmosphere that seems to be lost in the modern era.
Gympie's location, right on the Bruce Highway under 2 hours drive north of Brisbane, makes it easily accessible for travellers looking for a special slice of Queensland. And it's centrally located to the breathtaking coastline of Rainbow Beach, the dolphins of Tin Can Bay, and the rural hinterland of the Mary Valley.
Come and visit us in Gympie and see what makes us one of the most unique holiday destinations in Australia.