'Valley Rattler' Steam Train, Courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Population 10156

On the banks of the Mary River, north of the Sunshine Coast, is the heritage town of Gympie. It was established when James Nash discovered gold in the area in 1867 and started Queensland's first gold rush that saved the state from near-bankruptcy. The field proved extremely rich – four million ounces had been found by the 1920s. The gold slowed to a trickle, but the dairy and agricultural industries were already well established. Gympie's streets are lined with attractive jacarandas, silky oaks, cassias, poincianas and flame trees.

Visitor Information

Matilda’s Roadhouse, 107 Mary St; (07) 5483 6411

Nearby national parks

  • Great Sandy National Park

    Great Sandy National Park encompasses World Heritage–listed Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world; nearby Woody Island;...more

  • Noosa National Park

    The natural delights of Noosa National Park include spectacular coastal scenery, wildlife and wildflowers. Rocky headlands protect quiet...more

  • Kondalilla National Park

    Kondalilla, an Aboriginal word meaning ‘rushing waters’, is an apt name for this national park in the Sunshine Coast hinterland,...more

Nearby towns

  • Pomona

    This small and relaxed farming centre is in the northern hinterland of the Sunshine Coast. Mount Cooroora rises 439 metres above the town....more

  • Kenilworth

    West of the Blackall Range in the Sunshine Coast hinterland is Kenilworth. This charming town is known for its handcrafted cheeses and...more

  • Tin Can Bay

    Tin Can Bay is a well-known fishing and prawning region north- east of Gympie. It was originally known as Tuncanbar to the local Aboriginal...more

In Town

Mary Valley Heritage Railway Known locally as the 'Valley Rattler', this restored 1923 steam train takes the visitor on a 40 km journey through the picturesque Mary Valley. The train departs Gympie every Wed, Sat and Sun on its way to Imbil, where it stops before returning. Special tours run each Sat. Tickets and information from visitor centre; inquiries (07) 5482 2750.

Woodworks, Forestry and Timber Museum: exhibits memorabilia from old logging days including a steam-driven sawmill; closed Sat; Fraser Rd.

Deep Creek: gold-fossicking area; permits from visitor centre; Counter St.

Public gallery: local and visiting art exhibitions in heritage building; Nash St.

Heritage walk: self-guided walk includes the Stock Exchange and Town Hall; details from visitor centre.

Trail rides: horseriding through Kiah Park and Mary Valley; details from visitor centre.


Amamoor State Forest Over 120 native animal species find shelter in this protected forest, a remnant of the woodlands and vegetation that used to cover the Cooloola region. See the platypus in Amamoor Creek at dusk or take the Wonga walk or Cascade circuit track starting across the road from Amama. The renowned outdoor music festival, the Country Music Muster, is held in the forest on the last weekend in Aug; 30 km S.

Gold Mining and Historical Museum: delve into the area's goldmining history. It includes Andrew Fisher House (Fisher was the first Queenslander to become prime minister); 5 km S.

Mothar Mountain: rockpools and forested area for bushwalking and excellent views; 20 km SE.

Imbil: picturesque town with excellent valley views. There is a market every Sun, and the nearby Lake Borumba offers great conditions for watersports and fishing – especially for golden perch and saratoga. Take the 14 km Imbil Forest Drive through scenic pine plantations just south of town; 36 km S.

Mary Valley Scenic Way: enjoy this scenic route through towns of the valley, pineapple plantations and grazing farms; it runs south between Gympie and Maleny, via Kenilworth.

Golf courses around town

Noosa Springs Resort 50 km

Laid out across 50 hectares of bushland on the shore of beautiful Lake Weyba, Noosa Springs takes you on a gently rolling journey between rainforest pockets, along the edges of lakes and through bloodwood forest,... Find out more

Palmer Coolum Resort 59 km

Resort courses are sometimes labelled, perhaps unfairly, as all being similar to one another: wide fairways, big undulating greens, large bunker schemes, the obligatory drinks cart. Some might even say a round of golf... Find out more

Twin Waters Golf Club 65 km

By the end of the 1980s, Queensland’s Sunshine Coast had a handful of good member clubs. In the ’90s, as the region became home to Australia’s fastest growing population, more golf courses and more... Find out more

Nearby breweries

Sunshine Coast Brewery 65 km

Queensland’s longest-running microbrewery has been operating from an industrial estate on the outskirts of Maroochydore since 1998. It was established by Jim Robinson and Queensland craft-beer pioneer Graham Howard... Find out more

Campsites around town

Glastonbury Creek camping area 13 km

This large grassy camping area with a maximum capacity of 120 people is on the south-eastern edge of Brooyar State Forest. There is a day-use area with picnic tables and wood BBQs, and open fires are allowed in the... Find out more

Cedar Grove camping area 21 km

Cedar Grove camping area in Amamoor State Forest has tent and caravan campsites in open grassy areas beside riverine rainforest of white and red cedars, as well as tall open forest and Amamoor Creek. Bring along a... Find out more

Amamoor Creek camping area 21 km

A rare find for pet owners, this camp is dog friendly. Take care though, as the creek is home to platypus and a variety of frogs. The flat, grassy campsites are suitable for tents and caravans, and surrounded by majestic... Find out more

Neebs Waterhole camping area (walk-in camping) 32 km

Bush camping for self-sufficient hikers is permitted at Neebs Waterhole, 8.1 km (3 hr walk) south of Mullens carpark on Rainbow Beach Rd in the Cooloola section. It is around 12.5 km north of the Wandi Waterhole camping... Find out more

Wandi Waterhole camping area (bush camping) 36 km

Wandi has clearings for bush camping suitable for self-sufficient hikers, around 12.5 km south of Neebs Waterhole in the Cooloola section. Access is walk-in only from the Cooloola Wilderness Trail. Carry in drinking... Find out more

Borumba Deer Park 36 km

Kids adore this friendly, family-owned park where you can take tours of the grounds and feed the deer. Set on 6 ha of bush along the banks of Yabba Creek, there are powered sites, a kiosk, laundromat, 2 amenities blocks,... Find out more

Harrys camping area 37 km

This is the only campground in the Cooloola section with vehicle (4WD only) and Upper Noosa River access. It is 10 km east of Cooloola Way on Harrys Hut Rd. Campers should be aware that goannas and brush turkeys often... Find out more

Noosa River camping area – no. 1 (boat-based camping) 38 km

Take a paddle down the Noosa River in the Cooloola section to this remote campsite, accessible only by small boat or canoe (jetty provided). It caters for a maximum of 8 campers and offers few facilities. Boil or treat... Find out more

Fig Tree Point camping area 38 km

This campground beside Lake Cootharaba in the Cooloola section has basic facilities and a maximum capacity of 25 campers. It can be reached by boat or canoe from the Noosa River, 2 km north of Kinaba, or by a 10 km walk... Find out more

Noosa River camping area – no. 4 (boat-based camping) 39 km

This campsite, just to the north of camping area no. 3 on the Noosa River in the Cooloola section, is the first of a series of isolated bush camps for self-sufficient campers. Accessible only by canoe (no motorised... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

BIG4 Noosa Bougainvillia Holiday Park 43 km

With good facilities, this is a quality park opposite the Noosa golf course. It is very popular year-round and a great base for spending a holiday in the Noosa area. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Tin Can Bay Tourist Park 46 km

In a quiet area of Tin Can Bay, this is a good quality park with facilities to suit the discerning tourist. Good value here. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies at Christmas and... Find out more

BIG4 Bonny Hills Holiday Park 54 km

This is a popular beachside spot a short walk from the surf club. The park has a popular coffee shop that sells numerous styles of coffee, or the ingredients. We like it here. Bookings are required in peak periods and a... Find out more

Coolum Beach Caravan Park 57 km

This is a popular beachfront holiday park just across the road from the centre of Coolum. Walk to the shops and restaurants, swim at the patrolled beach or soak up the sunshine, or do all three! Bookings are required in... Find out more

Big4 Maroochy Palms Holiday Village 64 km

Across the road from the Maroochy River, this very good quality park has much to offer. Book in here and enjoy the facilities, including the kids club, tennis court and pool, or relax and enjoy a cappuccino from the park... Find out more

Mudjimba Beach Caravan Park 65 km

A quality council-operated establishment, this is a neat and well-laid out park in a quieter area just a short stroll from the beach. Bookings are required in peak periods and a minimum-length stay applies.... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Chatsworth rest area 5 km

6km N of Gympie (L) or 55km S of Tiaro (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Six Mile Creek rest area 6 km

162km N of Brisbane (L) or 6km S of Gympie (R)

Just off the highway on the banks of the creek.

Gunalda rest area 24 km

29km N of Gympie (R) or 32km S of Tiaro (L)

Well off the highway among a few trees.

Tiaro camping area 52 km

At Tiaro

Just off the highway via Inman St. Facilities at adjacent town park.

Petrie rest area 53 km

T/O 1km N of Tiaro (L) or 81km S of Childers (R)

Small secluded area 1km west of the highway on a riverbank.

What's on around town

Market: Gympie South State School; 2nd and 4th Sun each month.

Gympie Show: May.

Fishing Classic: Rainbow Beach; July.

Heart of Gold International Film Festival: July.

Mary Valley Show, Rodeo and Woodchop: Imbil, Aug.

Country Music Muster: Amamoor State Forest; Aug.

Art Festival (Mary Valley): Aug.

Gold Rush Festival: 10 days in Oct.

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