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Gympie is a regional city located close to the Queensland coast. Gympie is a two-hour drive from Brisbane and an hour’s drive from the coast and holiday destinations such as Noosa and Maroochydore.
It is these coastal towns that make the area perfect for a rental car, with so much to see between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast. Gympie offers a different travel location and vibe to the coastal scene, with wide-open spaces, national parks and wildlife being at the heart of Gympie activities.
Like most older cities, Gympie started with a mining boom, when in 1860, gold was found and started a mining boom, bringing in wealth, allowing the city to develop quickly. This quick development has led to many heritage-listed buildings still standing in town today. Stop in and visit the Visitor Information Centre to pick up a pamphlet and talk to the friendly staff about the heritage sites to see, then take your car on a self-driving tour of the area. From heritage trails to mining sites, gold works, museums and government buildings, the architecture takes you back in time to when Gympie was the saviour of the state, bringing in wealth that ultimately saved Queensland from bankruptcy.
Gympie's past is preserved not only through its large number of heritage buildings dotted throughout the city but also in museums that house artefacts and memorabilia from the gold mining era. Visit the Woodworks Museum for an insight into the timber past of Gympie.
Some parts of Gympie's past are still running to this day. All aboard the Mary Valley Rattler, a C17 locomotive, departing from the historic Gympie Station on Tozer Street. Step into one of the original railcars as you travel through the Mary Valley, from Gympie to Dagun and Amamoor. The Sunday train service stops at both the Dagun and Amamoor train stations. Leave some time to explore the stunning and recently restored Gympie Station, full of artefacts, shops and cafes. It doesn't matter if you are a train enthusiast or not; the experience is well worth it. Head over bridges and across stunning scenery in this trip into the past.
From something revived to something still dead, the next attraction is unique and perhaps a little unsettling to some. The Gympie Bone Museum, a 6-minute drive from Gympie Downtown, is Australia's only museum dedicated to the art and science of bones and skeletons. The museum is housed on the grounds of the Woodworks Museum, giving you two locations in the same space, surrounded by gardens; the space also works well as a picnic area.
If you're after a more traditional regional attraction, then the Gympie Regional Gallery will suit you nicely. The gallery is located on Nash Street in the heart of the city. See local and emerging artists as well as touring exhibitions from around Australia.
Take a drive and see stunning coastal hotspots like Noosa. The famous Noosa Beach and Hastings Street offer dozens of restaurants, boutique shops and bars. How far you decide to take your car hire is up to you, it's tempting to take on the whole coast with Coolum, Maroochydore, Sunshine Coast and other coastal and regional cities at your doorstep. If you want to see some classic Queensland nature and scenery, drive to Great Sandy National Park, just 40-minutes away by car. See massive sand dunes, beaches, cliffs, forests, swamps, rivers and lakes. With well-maintained walking paths and car parks, it's easy to drive to the perfect spot before setting out on a leisurely stroll. Make sure to get your vehicle access permit and camping permit if you plan to spend the night.