Discover a city alive with heritage.
Step back in time when you visit the heritage city of Gympie. Stroll through the main street and relax with a coffee at one of the cafés before embarking on a self-guided heritage tour. Visit the museums or art gallery, browse the weekend markets to sample fresh local produce or experience a range of fun activities. If you’re looking for something more relaxing, you can simply spread out a rug and enjoy a picnic at one of the many magnificent parks.
Take some time to absorb the beautiful heritage listed rotunda surrounded by century-old Jacaranda trees at Memorial Park in the heart of Gympie town centre. Enjoy the view of the city centre from the platform among the manicured gardens on Miners Hill, opposite Smithfield Street.
Children of all ages love the fantastic all-abilities playground at Lake Alford Recreation Park. There are large parking areas, fenced playgrounds, picnic tables and barbecues set amongst landscaped gardens. There is also an off-leash dog area and a lake with a variety of birdlife.
After gold was found at Nash’s Gully in 1867, a double line of prospectors’ tents sprung up along the sides of the digging bank. Over time this developed into Mary Street and has transformed into a picturesque shopping and café strip. The street has wide paths, shady trees and some wonderful heritage buildings.
Restored buildings from the gold rush era add character and charm to Gympie. Take a heritage walk to view glorious examples of 19th century architecture. Gympie’s Town Hall (built in 1890) is situated on the spot of the original gold strike by James Nash. The Land’s Office building (1873) was the first to be erected on the gold fields, and is now the home of the Australian Institute of Country Music on Channon Street. The Gympie Regional Council Chambers are located in the old Bank of New South Wales building (1890). Other magnificent examples include the Stock Exchange, Court House, Smithfield Chambers buildings and the Mount Pleasant Hotel (1870) - Gympie’s oldest pub.
An inspiring cultural attraction, Gympie’s public art gallery is housed in the beautiful School of Arts Building, built in 1905. The gallery celebrates local artists and hosts high quality touring exhibitions. For opening hours and information phone 07 5481 0733.
The museum houses memorabilia from the early gold mining era, as well as displays showcasing rural, military, hospital, transport, communications and steam development in Australia. The museum is situated on the eastern side of Lake Alford with access from Brisbane Road. Phone 07 5482 3995.
Prior to the gold rush, timber was a major industry for the region. By the 1860s the Gympie region was noted for its vast wealth of timber and the abundance and quality of red cedar. The museum provides a fascinating insight into the role of forestry in Queensland. A large collection of pioneering hand tools, equipment and transport is also on display. Phone 07 5483 6535.
You can try your hand at gold panning in Gympie and relive the town’s past. This is a great activity for all ages. Discover how James Nash turned Gympie into ‘the town that saved Queensland’ when he discovered gold in Gympie in 1867. Why not try your luck by panning for gold? Fossicking licenses are required and you can get a license and equipment from the Lake Alford Visitor Information Centre.
Immerse yourself in history by following the Gympie Region Heritage Trail comprising historic architecture and structures such as the Dickabram Bridge, Double Island Point Lighthouse and Andrew Fisher’s Cottage. The sites are individually numbered and signage is posted at each location with historical information. For travellers with a smartphone, QR codes on the signs link to the website which provides further information on each structure as you journey into the past.
Take a journey through the picturesque Mary Valley, and into the days of yesteryear on a Mary Valley Rattler rail tour. Your journey passes through the small town of Dagun, home to a beautiful heritage station. The afternoon run stops at this station where the locals host community markets and wine and cheese tasting from local producers found in the Mary Valley.
Nestled in the centre of the Mary Valley, Amamoor is an historic town bordered by Amamoor State Forest and a Forest Reserve which is home to more than 120 species of birds. Here the train will turn around on the restored turntable. You can watch this fascinating process or explore the charming community of Amamoor.