The Gympie Region covers 6,898 square kilometres and includes diverse geographical rural, urban and coastal localities.
The Gympie Region is part of the Wide Bay Burnett Region, 160km north of Brisbane.
Gympie is a thriving town situated on the banks of the Mary River. Well known for the town that saved Queensland because of the discovery of gold within the area by James Nash in 1867. This provided great stimulus and development for the area after struggling when it was separated from New South Wales eight years earlier. The town was originally named Nashville, but was changed to Gympie after a local species of stinging tree was found, known to the Indigenous Australians as the Gimpi-Gimpi. Many hopeful prospectors and business men and women flocked to the town and soon substantial buildings, such as shops, churches, music halls and hotels were built to cater to the population. This is how Gympie came into existence.
Kilkivan was settled in the early 1840’s by John Daniel Mactaggart who established a sheep run in the area. He named his selection "Kilkivan" after the family farm in the Kintyre region of Scotland. The town however became more established after gold was also found in the area in 1868. After the decrease in gold found in the area, agriculture then partly took over the economy for the town.
Goomeri was settled in 1846. Stations were more so classified as villages because of the extensive staff and self-sufficiency during the late 19th century. In the early 20th century these stations ceased with the arrival of the railway. The railway through Goomeri was used as a siding for timber haulers and farmers. With a great land sale in 1911, many flocked to Goomeri to more permanently established the township. Goomeri’s name is allegedly derived from the Aboriginal word for “broken shield”.
The Mary Vally is made up of a number of small rural townships including Imbil, Kandanga, Dagun, Brooloo, Melawondi & Amamoor. All linked by the Mary Valley Railway Line.
These towns were mostly stations or agricultural land, dating back to settlement in the 1850's (Imbil). After the discovery of gold in Gympie in 1867 many stations that existed in these areas were subdivided to make way for agricultural prospects such as dairy, timber, bananas, cattle and pigs. With the introduction of the Mary Valley Branch Railway to Kandanga in 1912 these industries grew with better access to transportation. The opening of Mary Valley Branch Railway extension from Kandanga to Brooloo in 1915 improved access to this area.
The world's first hoop pine and bunya pine plantation was established at Imbil on a hectare of ground that was cleared in 1917. With the forestry came sawmills, development of roads and jobs. The Mary Valley has a deep and diverse agricultural and industrial history.
The Cooloola Coast is made up of a large area along the Great Sandy Strait. Rainbow Beach, Double Island Point, Tin Can Bay are just a few areas included in this magnificent location.
Rainbow Beach was originally named Back Beach until 1969 when it was gazetted to service the local sandmining industry and change to Rainbow Beach because of beautiful coloured sands. Up until that time there was no road, only access via boat.
Double Island Point was named by Captain Cook in 1770 on account of its shape. A lighthouse was built in 1884 to protect ships from the treacherous coast line and reef.
Tin Can Bay was once predominately named Tun-Kin or Tuncun meaning dugong or big fish. At one stage it was also called Wallu, until 1937 it was changed to Tin Can Bay. It originally began as a dugong processing hub in the 1850's, then soon the timber industry took over.
Gympie Region Heritage Trail website is packed full of interesting details about the Gympie, Mary Valley, Cooloola Coast, Goomeri & Kilkivan. Take a journey back in time and explore the Gympie Region rich history which included gold mining, dairy, beef, timber, farming, rail & many more iconic attractions and events that shaped the region into what it is today!
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