gympie

Gympie, Queensland

The town of Gympie is located in south eastern Queensland, Australia, and is approximately 160 kilometres north of the state capital, Brisbane. It lies on the Mary River. Gympie is the administrative centre for the Gympie Regional Council area.

History

Originally settled for grazing purposes, in 1867 the area became prominent when James Nash discovered gold. At the time Queensland was suffering from a severe economic depression and the discovery probably saved the colony from bankruptcy. Gold mining still plays a role in the area's fortunes, along with agriculture (dairy predominantly), timber and tourism.

The Name

Gympie's name derives from an Aboriginal name for a tree (The Gympie-gympie tree). The tree has large, round leaves that have similar properties to stinging nettles. The translation for Gympie is roughly "devil".

Attractions

There are five main attractions in Gympie.

First, the Valley Rattler winds its way through the backyards of the southern side of Gympie and then continues its way into the scenic Mary Valley where it crosses and then follows the Mary River to negotiate the valley and the Mary's main tributaries. This provides a spectacular journey through the valley beginning at the Old Gympie Railway Station. This station is the original railway station for the track that passed through Gympie in the 1900s gold rush.

Second, 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 Mary Valley rolling green pastures and many beautiful forests. The valley includes the villages and towns of Dagun, Amamoor, Kandanga and Imbil.

Third, Gympie's Mary St offers a post office and a wide array of bars, cafes, banks and stores. It has a quaint country town feel to it.

Fourth, Gympie is host to a large annual country music muster, which attracts thousands of fans and musicians.

Finally, Gympie also hosts the Heart of Gold International Short Film Festival.

Minor Attractions

- The alleged Gympie Pyramid

Education

Gympie has many private and public 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. State secondary schools include James Nash and Gympie State High, which is well known for its music department and sporting facilities. Private schools offer both primary and secondary education. They include Victory College, Cooloola Christian College and St Patrick's.

Transport

Road connection to Gympie is via the Bruce Highway. Rail connect is via QR's North Coast railway line, which is served by daily Citytrain services to Brisbane and Traveltrain services for long distances. There are few public buses in Gympie and automobiles are the main mode of transportation.

Traveston Dam

The Queensland Government has plans to build a dam on the Mary River at Traveston Crossing, approximately 16 km south of Gympie, arguing that there is sound geology and that Brisbane needs more water.

The proposed dam will flood approximately 900 properties, many of them income-producing farms, including the largest dairy farm in Queensland. The affected land owners and other shire residents have staged rallies protesting against the proposed dam. The protesters argue that Traveston dam will flood the properties and endanger the following rare species: the Mary River cod, lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) and platypus.

Non state-government reports have arrived at less favourable geological conclusions. For example, Cooloola Shire Council recently released a report it commissioned to this effect.

Notable people from Gympie

References

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