Gympie Region


June 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Gympie is a well known city is South East Queensland, Australia located about 170 kilometres north of Brisbane, the State Capital. Gympie  is situated on the Mary River and which came to international attention due to a failed attempt by the Queensland Government to build a large dam on the River (at Traveston just upstream from Gympie).  Gympie City is the Administrative centre for the Gympie Region Council which was formed in 2008 by a Queensland Government forced amalgamation of the former Cooloola Shire Council, Kilkivan Shire Council and part of Tiaro Shire Council.

The Gympie region was first settled for grazing purposes but became famous in 1867 when James Nash dicovered gold in a gully near where the current Town Hall stands today. At that time, the Queensland economy was severly depressed and it has been said that the gold dicpvery saved the State from bankruptcy. Gympie celebrates the 1867 gold dicovery every year with the Gympie Gold Rush Festival. The city was briefly named “Nashville” after the discovery by James Nash but was changed to Gympie in 1868. The City’s name “Gympie” comes from aboriginal word “gimpi-gimpi”, a tree (Dendrocnide moroides) with large leaves that cause painful stinging on skin contact. 

The Gympie region has a population of about 48,000 people (46,371 at 30 June 2008 with an increase of 1,084 people or 2.4% growth over the year). By 2016, the expected population will be between 50,960 and 54, 790 people. The average rental for a 3 bedroom house is about $100 a week cheaper than Brisbane prices and there are roughly 4000 businesses operating in the region.  The Gympie region has a gross regional product of around $1.5 billion with the two largest industry sectors being manufacturing and primary production.

The Gympie region has one of the best climates in Queensland.  The mean maximum temperatures range from 31 degrees in summer to 22 degrees in winter.  The mean minimum temperatures range from 19 degrees in summer to 7 degrees in winter.

The Gympie Region has also recently been included in the Great Sandy Biosphere which has been recognised by UNESCO for its outstanding natural beauty and high levels of biodiversity.

Gympie’s proximity to the major growth areas in south east Queensland (Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast) means that the region is subject to development pressures which will require the implementation of careful and consistent planning controls to maintain the present lifestyle choices for residents.  The region is home to a number of major companies such as: Nestlé Australia Limited, Nolan Meats Pty Ltd, J Smith & Sons, Laminex Industries, Carter Holt Harvey and Hyne Timber.


Timber & Timber Processing
The Gympie region is a major centre for the Queensland timber industry supplying about 60% of Queensland’s pulpwood and more than 25% of Queensland’s total hardwood timber output.

The region is undergoing an exciting phase in the timber industry with many companies investing in new capital equipment which will add value to the timber processed making Gympie a major regional centre for timber industry in Queensland.

Tourism in the Gympie Region is underpinned by the Region’s historical, environmental and wilderness attractions. Major attractions include, The Valley Rattler Heritage Steam Train, Gympie’s gold mining heritage, easy access to Fraser Island, beach and coastal areas, including Rainbow Beach’s coloured sands, surfing, boating and fishing, National Parks and State Forests with drive and walking tracks, bird watching as well as the City of Gympie and the hand feeding of dolphins in the wild at Tin Can Bay.

The Gympie region is becoming increasingly popular as a tourist drive destination, primarily for the South East Queensland market being within a 1.5 hrs drive from Brisbane. Tourism spend is estimated at nearly $30 million in the local community per annum in the Gympie Region.

Agriculture and agribusiness is an important part of the local economy with agriculture adding $60 million in gross value product. Major crops include dairy, beef, pineapples, French and runner beans and macadamia nuts.

Hundreds of tonnes of seafood are produced out of the fishing port, Tin Can Bay. Seafood products include scallops, prawns and crabs as well as finfish.

Beef and Dairy
Cattle studs and a fully operating sale yard operate near Gympie. Dairy has also been a traditional industry in the area.


Businesses are serviced by the location of the National Highway One (Bruce Highway) which runs directly through Gympie. This offers a direct road link to Brisbane, major southern markets and international destinations as well as important Queensland population centres to the north. The proposed major upgrade to the Bruce Highway will significantly improve travel times between the Gympie Region and the South East Queensland market. Importantly the city falls inside two hours drive to Brisbane, this makes Gympie a very attractive operational base for producers of perishable goods.

In addition to this north south access, the Wide Bay highway links to the Bruce Highway 10 kilometres north of Gympie and provides access inland to the South Burnett, Toowoomba and inland New South Wales.

Much of the Gympie region produce is transported via electric rail from the QLink Depot which is located near the city centre. Passenger rail is serviced via Gympie North station. The tilt train (Queensland’s express passenger train) runs a daily service.

The Gympie airport has some minor freight capacity and Maroochydore Airport is only 85 kilometres away and supports all major domestic commercial airlines. Brisbane international airport is 150km from Gympie.

A fully developed modern telecommunications network exists across the region.  Fast Broadband (ADSL2 at up to 20 Mbps) is available in selected locations across the Shire.

Energy and Electricity
Energex is responsible for energy supply and businesses can negotiate with this organisation as to their particular requirements.

Domestically, gas is presently available in the region through bottles and tanker refilling, or by exchange gas bottles. Gas supply is available from major suppliers.

Reticulated water is available in Township areas throughout the region. The principal water source is the Mary River with Lake Borumba providing the major storage.

Industrial Estates
There are seven designated industrial estates for business and light industry in the Cooloola region. The zonings are generally for light industry. Industrial land is also available at Rainbow Beach and Imbil.