Gympie’s name is derived 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”.
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 Cooloola Shire Council. Shire population was 33,000 at the 2001 Census.
Originally settled for grazing purposes, the area became prominent when gold was discovered there in 1867 by James Nash. 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.
Gympie is connected via the Bruce Highway, or QR’s North Coast railway line which is served by daily CityTrain services to Brisbane and long distance services through TravelTrain.