A sprawling, former goldmining town - it calls itself 'The Town that
saved Queensland' - that is today a regional service and administrative
centre. Gympie hosts The Toyota Country Music Muster every year in
August and the Gympie Gold Rush Festival in October.
Location: 166 km north of Brisbane; 95 m above sea level.
Places of interest: Mary River; Six Mile Creek; localities of Kybong,
Goomboorian, Wolvi, Ganalda, Greenwood, Amamoor, Glastonbury, Kandanga,
Imbil; Gympie Gold and Mining Museum (Retort House of the Scottish
Gympie Gold Mines); Andrew Fisher's Cottage (Fisher was Australia's
first Labor Minister for Trade and Customs. He later became the first
Prime Minister to hail from Queensland); Woodworks Forestry and Timber
Museum; Court House (1900-02); Murphy's Convenience Store (on the front
of the building there is a tethering ring for horses); The Australian
Origin of name: Named after a local stinging tree which the local
Aborigines reputedly called 'gimpi gimpi'. The locality was briefly
called Nashville after James Nash had discovered gold in the area,
however it officially became Gympie in 1868 when it was a shanty town
of endless tents, numerous small stores and liquor outlets.
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In 1867 and less than a decade old, Queensland was facing possible
bankruptcy with widespread unemployment and many businesses folding in
Brisbane. James Nash's discovery of 2.7kg of gold in six days near the
present site of Gympie brought overnight wealth to Queensland as its
first goldrush exploded into existence and pulled the state back from
potential disaster. Nash's discovery began a gold rush which quickly
led to the development of Gympie.
The famous Curtis Nugget, discovered near Gympie, weighed 37kg, and was
the largest ever single nugget found in Queensland. Gympie soon had a
population of 25,000 people. It was proclaimed a municipality in 1880,
became a town a decade later and was a city by 1905. The railway
arrived in 1881 and in 1888 it became one of the few towns in Australia
to have its own stock exchange. Goldmining continued until 1925, by
which time the town was servicing a well established agricultural
industry which spread from the coast into the hinterland.