Time to get out and about in Gympie
NOW that spring is under way, it's time to get out and about and explore some of the great activities available in this wide and diverse region. Here's our top 10.
1. Take a hike
JUST a stone's throw from Gympie's town centre is a trail network for walking, mountain biking and horse riding.
Accessed from Bath Tce between the historic Victory Hotel and Gympie North Railway Station, the trails weave through 60ha of mature eucalypt forest with 9km of signposted mountain biking trails and 12km of multi-use trails suitable for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
2. Visit the gold museum
THERE'S plenty to learn about Gympie's rich history. The Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum on Brisbane Road, open daily from 10am-4pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday), shows how Gympiecame to be the "town that saved Queensland from bankruptcy”.
3. Explore the Mary Valley
STUNNING scenery, country charm and plenty of adventure - the Valley is the perfect place to spend a good while.
Dotted with small villages, the Mary Valley has earned a reputation as a "food bowl” in the south-east and a place where you can sample and purchase local produce at farmers' markets.
If it's adventure you're seeking, you can find it on water and land in the Valley, with experiences including canoeing, kayaking, fishing, bush walking, bike riding, hiking, four-wheel driving and horse riding.
4. Explore the Cooloola Coast
TIN Can Bay is famous for its dolphin feeding and is also a sailing and fishing haven.
Rainbow Beach is well known for its unique coloured sands and the beach is one of the few four-wheel drivers can use to get to Double Island Point; a piece of paradise.
5. Visit the markets
WANT to see the real treasures of Gympie? Then visit one of the Gympie markets at Gympie South State School, Exhibition Rd, on the second and fourth Sunday of every month and the GympieMining Museum, Brisbane Rd, on the first, third and fifthSunday.
The markets at Gympie South State School are one of the largest markets in the region, with fresh produce, plants, clothes, food, drink, pony rides, a jumping castle and more.
6. Take a swim
THE new state-of-the-art Gympie Aquatic and Recreation Centre is now open. Featuring a two-tube water slide, zero-depth splash play area, 25m eight-lane heated indoor pool, 50m outdoor pool, fitness centre, cafeteria, grandstand and plenty of shade.
Opening times vary from day to day so for more information headto www.gympie.qld.gov.au/aquaticcentre.
7. Go for a skate
SKATE Zone is the ideal place to relive those carefree roller days that were so popular in the past. It's open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays and every day during the school holidays. It's the perfect place for a bit of fitness and fun when the weather's not so nice for an outdoor activity. For more details on opening times, go to www.skatezonegympie.com.au.
8. Mothar Mountain Rock Pools
YOU don't have to swim to experience the magic of the Mothar Mountain Rock Pools. Just a 20-minute drive from Gympie's centre you will find the pools in the Woondum National Park, where water gently flows over ancient granite outcrops. If you're feeling energetic you can enjoy one of the nature walks or serve up a barbecue at the the day-use area.
9. Country Races
THE Gympie races is the perfect place to enjoy our town's vibrancy, with nine race meets on the racing calendar each year.
Once a month, between March and November, the Gympie Turf Club comes alive with a five-race program, plus a full bar, TAB and dining room by the track, fashions on the field competitions and marquees for hire.
It's a great place to catch up with friends and have a flutter on a trotter or thoroughbred or even, on occasion, a camel.
For details on the next race meet, head to the turf club's website at www.gympieturfclub.com.au.
10. Head to the park
THE Gympie region has a number of parks with facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy, including Lake Alford and Memorial Park and Nelson Reserve.
An innovative playground has been created at Lake Alford, south of Gympie, and is designed to meet the needs of children of all abilities, their families and carers and features a range of natural and built environments to encourage different types of play.
There is also an undulating walking track around the duck ponds and several barbecue areas.
The beautiful heritage-listed rotunda at Memorial Park in the heart of Gympie affords a great view of the city centre from the platform in the established gardens, while just a short walk awayis Nelson Reserve, which features an adventure playground, a skate bowl, basketball court, monorail bikes and several barbecue areas.