26 reasons this region is smashing it
ANYONE who lives here knows how great our region is, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded from time to time. From our community's big heart to our striving businesses to our breathtaking environment, here are some of the reasons we should all be proud to call Gympie our home.
1. Heritage values
THE region has a rich store of heritage and places great value on its many heritage-listed sites, which include the Gympie Railway Station Complex in Tozer St, the Imbil Railway Bridge, the Double Island Pt Lighthouse, No 1 Scottish Mine and Battery, Dickabram Bridge at Miva, the Mt Clara Smelter at Kilkivan, and the Mary Valley Cream Sheds.
2. Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre
THERE was a lot of hype and speculation around Gympie's newest leisure facility and after a long wait it finally delivered the goods. The facility caters for over 1000 people and features two tube waterslides, a children's splash play area, a 25m eight lane heated indoor pool, a 50m outdoor pool, gym, cafeteria and grandstand. There's more to love than you can splash water at.
3. Suncoast Gold Macadamias
ONE of Gympie's most proud businesses deals solely in Australia's iconic nut - the macadamia. The tasty little kernel provides millions of dollars to the region each year and Suncoast Gold Macadamias provide dozens of jobs, both seasonally and year-round. Earlier this year they announced further investment into their packaging facility at Glanmire, a sign of their future foresight, and importance, to the region.
4. Gympie's big heart
WHEN a person in the community falls on hard times the people of Gympie don't think twice about wrapping their arms around them and picking them up as best they can. Countless people have felt the warm embrace of Gympie's big heart through wishes of support and the results of fundraising such as Michelle Connell, who needs medicine worth $130,000 a year to stay alive, and a number of families who lost their houses to fire last year.
5. Gympie produce
CHEF Matt Golinski recently put on a show in Gympie using local produce and declared his love for the area. It wasn't just his love of the forests or the river which left an impression, it was his passion for the quality local produce of the region. From seafood to wild venison, beef to cheese, legumes to macadamias and mushrooms, Gympie has it all and it is only growing.
GYMPIE has more than its fair share of talent and we owe a lot to the tutelage of the people at the Australian Institute of Country Music. It has had a hand in training household names such as Caitlyn Shadbolt and Alice Benfer and many others.
7. The Mary Valley Rattler
ONCE a familiar sight, puffing its way across the green backdrop of Mary Valley and raking in millions of tourist dollars, the Rattler is nearly ready to roll again after a five year hiatus.
Scheduled for its first run on December 2, Gympie residents can again be proud of the historic engine and can look forward to it becoming a major tourist destination once more.
8. Rainbow Beach tourism
WITH exposure as far afield as Germany, Rainbow Beach has become world renown as a major international tourist draw. The unique Coloured Sands and Carlo Sand blow are just a couple of the attractions to this pristine part of the region. In addition to this, tourism operators are using their heads to maximise on the notoriety with Rainbow Beach Horse Riding featured as a major draw in a travel magazine published in Dubai.
9. Women's sport
GYMPIE continues to pioneer women's participation in male dominated sports in a regional context.
Gympie Hammers (rugby union), Gympie Cats (Australian Rules) and cricket have all made inroads in female participation. In the Wide Bay, there is no other town who can boast this many women's senior teams.
10. Booming coffee shops
QUEENSLAND has picked up the café culture a little slower than our southern neighbours, but Gympie is quickly embracing purveyors of the bitter bean. Quality cafes dot the region, from Kilkivan to Rainbow Beach. There is certainly no shortage of refuelling points for the weary, there's half-a-dozen or so quality cafes in Mary St alone. We encourage you to sample each and every one of them.
11. League greats
CARLIN Anderson and Jack Morris are both Gympie junior rugby league products. Recently Anderson signed a full-time, two-year deal with the North Queensland Cowboys, while Morris has been in the Parramatta Eels system for a number of years.
Both these young men have the potential to play the hardest sports in the world at the elite level and both still call Gympie home.
12. Golfing prodigy
CHASE Rendell is a six-year-old golfer who is currently ranked number one in Australia for his age. He plays his golf out of Tin Can Bay and is regarded as one of the best up-and-coming talents his age in the world.
Chase successfully defended his Australian open crown in Yepoon last month.
13. The Gympie Times
GYMPIE'S oldest business, The Gympie Times is as much the voice of the community today as it was when the first edition rolled off the press 149 years ago.
Through the good times and the bad, this award-winning daily publication has recorded the news that matters most to the region and, today, in an industry driven by online and digital technology, continues to campaign strongly on community issues, support the concept of a fair go for all, and celebrate the people and events that shape Gympie and its district.
THIS year we celebrate 150 years since James Nash's discovery of gold at the Fiveways in 1867 sparked the gold rush that saved Queensland from financial ruin and laid the foundations of the vibrant and diverse city we live in and love today.
Our sesquicentenary is a tribute to the people and events that, over the course of a century and half, have made Gympie a fantastic place to live, work and play, and earned the Gold City a place on the national and international industrial, sporting, academic and cultural stages.
15. CBD revitalisation
A WHOLE new Smithfield St will become a centrepiece of Gympie's revitalised CBD, when the $1.32 million Smithfield St upgrade project reaches completion in September.
A joint initiative of the Gympie Regional Council and the state government, the project is just one part of a major revitalisation program for the whole CBD.
16. Heart of Gold
GYMPIE'S 10th anniversary Heart of Gold Film Festival will firmly establish the event as a significant cultural experience that now brings visitors from all over Australia and overseas. The festival runs from October 5 to 8 and will include a careful section of 150 short films across all genres and from every part of the world, all of them uplifting and heartfelt.
17. Gympie Muster
JESSICA Mauboy will headline this year's fabulous Gympie Muster, one of Australia's leading music festival events, along with Busby Marou, Graeme Connors and Adam Brand. Festival organisers say they are getting excellent feedback from outdoor music enthusiasts across Australia. "And anyone who thinks Jessica is not country enough needs to listen to a bit more of her music," one organiser said.
18. The town that saved Qld
IF NOT for Gympie, Brisbane would be a small town in New South Wales. The newly independent state of Queensland was so broke in its first years that a squatter is said to have reached into his pocket and lent the state a 20-pound note to postpone what seemed to be inevitable bankruptcy. Then James Nash discovered gold, tonnes of it and Gympie became the centre of a worldwide sensation that affected stockmarkets around the world. The rest is history, as they say.
19. Famous sons and daughters
A NUMBER of golden names have hailed from the gold city. Iconic screen actor Michael Caton (The Castle, Packed to the Rafters), actress Judy Cornwall (Keeping Up Appearances), former prime minister Andrew Fisher, international oceanographer John Church, senior ABC journalist Lisa Millar and the founding members of metalcore band Amity Affliction all lived in Gympie in their formative years. While Gympie successes national mumtrepreneur Jody Allen (of Stay at Home Mum fame) and songbird Caitlyn Shadbolt still call Gympie home.
20. Worthy charities
GYMPIE is home to incredible charities, often born out of tragedy, that were established here and have gained ever increasing support from the community.
The Jake Garrett Foundation (established by Helen Garrett) supports families who have lost children, Little Haven Palliative Care provides care and cancer support to people with an incurable illness and Angel Wings headed by Linda Shum funds orphanages in China for disadvantaged children.
21. Unique museums
QUIRKY, informative and historical - Gympie is host to a growing number of unique museums. Alongside the Gympie Gold Mining & Historical Museum and the Gympie Woodworks Museum, both nods to our flourishing economic past, you'll find one of Australia's most significant historical gun collections at the Owen Guns Museum in Gympie and the Gympie Bone Museum, which aims at being a world class facility for the study of comparative anatomy.
22. Affordable housing
THE combination of affordable housing and close location to highly sought after tourist areas makes Gympie a great place to invest in. With the completion of the Cooroy to Curra Bruce Highway upgrade in the future will make living in the Gympie region even more attractive as safely and quickly accessing the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane becomes even more doable.
23. Australia's biggest solar
Gympie is getting ready to bring power to the people with a proposal to build Australia's largest solar farm in the region. The $2 billion development at Lower Wonga will provide about 15% of south-east Queensland's energy needs, and is expected to provide 450 jobs for the region for four years. With a need to generate new sources of energy, Gympie is leading the charge.
24. Home to Australia's favourite morning cup of coffee
Nestled in the heart of Gympie, the Nestle factory which wakes Australia up lies. More than 3.6 billion cups of Nescafe instant coffee are consumed in Australia every year, and next year the Gympie factory will celebrate its 65th anniversary.
25. Gateway to Wide Bay, Fraser Coast and the Coral Coast
Fraser Island and the Great Barrier Reef are among Queensland's biggest tourism drawcards, and much as all roads lead to Rome, the gateway to the region starts in Gympie. Situated on the outskirts of the Fraser Coast, some of the most spectacular sights in Queensland are no more than a couple of hours up the road.
26. Horror film Boar
THE Gympie region is a favourite location for film maker Chris Sun, who has shot two horror movies in the Mary Valley and at Lagoon Pocket and Gunalda. Charlie's Farm was released in 2015 and Boar will be released in December this year.