Gympie Region

Global Travel Planner

Rainbow Beach & Mary Valley
Queensland Australia

Wunya Ngulum

Welcome

The Kabi Kabi First Nation, also known as the Gubbi Gubbi, are the traditional land owners of most of the Gympie region. The tribe has been custodians of the land for approximately 60,000 years. Kabi Kabi country stretches from the Pumicestone Passage near Caboolture in the south, to Burrum River north of Maryborough in the north and Kilkivan in the north west. The Gympie region also comprises small parcels of Butchulla country in the north east around Rainbow Beach and Wakka Wakka country out west just past Kilkivan near Goomeri.

It is through their stories and culture that the region has derived many of the present names of towns.

Many descendants still reside in or visit the region, as did their ancestors, who found it to be a very compatible climate and landscape offering pristine streams, rivers and oceans and good land with sufficient varieties of food and shelter. We ask that you respect this land, its history and ancestors while you enjoy the natural beauty of the region.

The Gympie region offers a welcoming tourism experience rich with nature that is only 2 hours north of Brisbane International Airport and 30 minutes from the beaches of Noosa. The region includes the rolling hills and market villages of the Mary Valley, the quaint, country hamlets of Kilkivan and Goomeri and the beautiful Cooloola Coast playgrounds of Rainbow Beach and Tin Can Bay. The centrally located heritage town of Gympie City with its wonderful architecture, museums and galleries is the base of local government and business centre.

The region is a developing tourism destination offering a number of nature based experiences that cater for the adventurous thrill seeker to the young family or couple looking to share a great relaxed getaway. Situated within the UNESCO Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve, recognised as a place where there is harmony between humans and nature and acting as the southern gateway to World Heritage listed K’gari Fraser Island the Gympie region offers a genuine Australian experience and is a highlight of any itinerary.

Map
Gympie Map

There’s more to the Gympie Region than you might imagine

20 THINGS TO DO IN THE GYMPIE REGION

  1. Experience nature by Mountain Biking, Horse Riding or Hiking in one of the many national or state parks in the region. Keep a sharp eye out for native birds, kangaroos and even platypus.
  2. Hop on board the heritage steam train the Mary Valley Rattler at Amamoor or Gympie.
  3. Grab a paddle and get in a kayak to experience the quiet beauty of the many waterways in the region.
  4. Discover some of the small villages and communities that call the Gympie region home.  Chat to locals and learn the history while sampling local food.
  5. Drive out west to Kilkivan and Goomeri to discover the history and stories of the region. Visit the French themed bakery in Goomeri for tasty treats.
  6. Do a self-guided heritage walk of Mary Street to relive Gympie City’s gold mining past.
  7. Visit one of the historical museums or art gallery
    ● Gold Mining and Historical Museum
    ● Woodworks Museum
    ● Gympie Regional Gallery
  8. Hand feed Indo Pacific dolphins in their natural environment from 7.30 am every morning at Norman Point, Tin Can Bay.
  9. Join a fishing charter out of Tin Can Bay or Rainbow Beach and try your luck at deep sea fishing in the Pacific Ocean.
  10. Take the short walk to Carlo Sandblow and witness a spectacular sunrise or sunset.
  11. Book a houseboat and sail the sheltered waters of the Great Sandy Strait along the west coast of K’gari Fraser Island.
  12. The Gympie region is the southern gateway to World Heritage listed K’gari Fraser Island. Take a day tour to experience this natural treasure.             
  13. Go Kayaking with dolphins, manta rays, turtles or whales in a marine park around Double Island Point. (whale migration May to October).
  14. Learn to surf on one of Australia’s longest waves at Double Island Point.
  15. Ride a horse along one of Australia’s best beaches.
  16. Take to the skies in a helicopter for a bird’s eye view of Rainbow Beach and K’gari Fraser Island.
  17. Hire a 4WD and self-drive some of Australia’s Great Beach Drive onto K’gari Fraser Island or past the coloured sands to Double Island Point.
  18. Scuba Dive with the critically endangered Grey Nurse Shark at Wolf Rock near Rainbow Beach.
  19. Sky dive over Rainbow beach and land on the beach.
  20. Camp on the beach with your own personally set up camp site, all the work is done for you.

Discover the colours of the coast

Rainbow Beach

You will be pleasantly surprised when you take the opportunity to explore this vibrant coastal town. Rainbow Beach offers an idyllic getaway for beach- goers, eco-tourists, fishermen, campers and those wishing to step back and truly relax. Inskip Point, 10 minutes north of ‘Rainbow’ is the closest access point to World Heritage listed K’gari Fraser Island when travelling north from Brisbane. The proximity to ‘Fraser’ makes Rainbow Beach the perfect base for exploring everything the region has to offer, and with plenty of activities and one of the best beaches in Australia at your door step there is no excuse not to visit Rainbow Beach.

CARLO SANDBLOW

Situated at the southern end of Rainbow Beach and the entrance to the Cooloola Great Walk, Carlo Sandblow is accessible via an easy 1.2km (return) nature walk from Cooloola Drive. Sand driven by the wind has blown along Australia’s east coast and accumulated over thousands of years, creating a sea of sand covering more than 15 hectares. The sand blow overlooks the coastline from Double Island Point to Inskip Peninsula and the southern tip of K’gari Fraser Island. Locals and visitors flock to Carlo Sandblow in the afternoon to take in the sun setting over Tin Can Bay and the Great Sandy Strait.

DOUBLE ISLAND POINT

You could say that Double Island Point is one of the Australian coastline’s best kept secrets. Named by Captain James Cook in 1770, ‘DI’ is accessible by 4WD drive only by driving along the Great Beach Drive from Rainbow Beach or Noosa (Vehicle Access Permit required – visit npsr.qld.gov.au). Situated within the Great Sandy Marine Park, the point is a magnet for marine life of every description from dolphins to turtles and even whales on migration. Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to spend the day, or the ideal spot to catch some waves with your mates – Double Island Point will not disappoint.

Discover the beauty

Mary Valley

With a history of agriculture, beef and dairy farming on rich fertile land, the Mary Valley and Gympie region has earned a reputation as a ‘food bowl’ of south east Queensland. On most weekends you can sample and purchase local produce at farmer’s markets or at one of the many cafes within the Valley.

The Mary River (Moocooboola) runs through the heart of the Valley, but it is the small villages and locals that provide the heartbeat. Take some time to explore these villages and experience genuine country hospitality.

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. Make sure you keep an eye out for native wildlife with an abundance of kangaroos, koalas and the elusive platypus.

For the true Valley experience, you need to stay a night or two! There are many great accommodation options for families and couples, including cosy bed and breakfasts, charming cabins and boutique accommodation.

The Mary Valley offers a perfect taste of the Australian hinterland with lovely views, great nature based experiences, cosy personable accommodation and wonderful characters.

Experiences, accommodation & more

Experiences

Epic Ocean Adventures

Discover an aquatic lover’s paradise with Epic Ocean Adventures. You can learn to surf or stand up paddle, go kayaking with dolphins, turtles and whales (seasonal). All these activities are conducted in the beautiful waters at Double Island Point, part of the Great Sandy Marine Park. Noosa or Rainbow Beach pick up is available.

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Great Beach Drive 4WD Tours

Tour the Great Beach Drive in style with this full (ex Noosa) or half day tour (ex Rainbow Beach) that will take you on a memorable journey to Red Canyon, Double Island Point and past the remarkable Coloured Sands. Noosa or Rainbow Beach pick up available.

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Rainbow Beach Horse Rides

Ride a horse along beautiful Rainbow Beach, which has been recognised as one of the best beaches in the world. Canter along the beach before leading your horse into the surf for an amazing experience. Bush and beach rides available, plus full moon.

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Wolf Rock Dive

Guided scuba diving tours for certified divers to see the amazing underwater world at Wolf Rock, Australia’s best Shark and Ray dive. The pinnacles and surrounding underwater terrain provide a home to the critically endangered grey nurse shark, manta rays, turtles and an abundance of marine life. PADI Dive courses and private charters also available.

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Rainbow Beach Helicopters

Experience the beauty of the coast from the air with a doors off or on ride. Get a bird like perspective of the Coloured Sands, Double Island Point, K’gari Fraser Island and the Great Sandy Strait where you might spot dugongs in the sea grass.

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Sky Dive Fraser Island

Based in Rainbow Beach and taking off from the grass strip airport near town, the 14,000ft skydive experience provides you with the best views from Noosa to K’gari Fraser Island, including Double Island Point and the Coloured Sands. Guaranteed beach landing.

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Rainbow Beach Adventure Centre 4WD Hire

Provides the ultimate off-road adventure to K’gari Fraser Island, Rainbow Beach, the Coloured Sands and Double Island Point and the greater Cooloola Coast region along the Great Beach Drive. Self-drive hire for one day and multiple day hire available in Toyota 100 Series Land Cruisers.

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Mary Valley Rattler

The train journey through the Mary Valley is scheduled to commence in Autumn 2018. Step aboard one of our meticulously restored trains and travel along the tracks that have been brought back to life. Sit back, relax and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Mary Valley.

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Rainbow Beach Learn to Surf and Guided Hikes

Offers a variety of activities to enhance your holiday and allow you to experience our amazing natural environment.  Small group or private surf lessons, skate board tuition, sunset SUP adventure and small guided hikes into tea coloured freshwater Lake Poona deep in the Great Sandy National Park.

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Accommodation

Melawondi Spring Retreat

Melawondi Spring Retreat is nestled amongst 30 acres of secluded natural bushland only 2 hours from Brisbane. Comprising 2 private cottages with king beds, the accommodation provides magnificent natural views of the Mary Valley, pure relaxation, comfort and modern style. The retreat supports and collaborates with local farmers to feature the very best of local, seasonal and the freshest of produce in all of our menus.

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Imbil Country Cabins

Imbil Country Cabins is set on 6 beautiful hectares of land overlooking Yabba Creek on the edge of Imbil, in the heart of the Mary Valley. There are four self-contained cabins, all tastefully decorated with your comfort and convenience in mind that can sleep up to 6. Each cabin has a private balcony overlooking the water and we are conveniently located only 40 minutes from Eumundi Markets and 60 minutes to Noosa.

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Amamoor Lodge Bed & Breakfast

Set in 50 acres of Mary Valley countryside, Amamoor Lodge has three B&B rooms in a traditional Queenslander building for indulgent travellers and five self-catering studios in a separate wing. All rooms have an ensuite bathroom, reverse cycle AC, TV, fridge and tea/coffee making facilities. Breakfast and evening meals are available for all guests.

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Rainbow Ocean Palms

A boutique resort positioned on the highest point in Rainbow Beach, offering panoramic ocean views to World Heritage listed K’gari Fraser Island. Rainbow Ocean Palms offers beautiful 1, 2 and 3 bedroom self-contained apartments, all with North facing balconies.

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Plantation Resort at Rainbow

A luxurious three storey beach-front self-contained apartment style resort. All apartments face north or north-west, so you will have sunny balconies or roof decks all day. Spacious 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments with roof top decks are available.

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Rainbow Getaway

Offers self-contained apartments with 1, 2 and 3 bedrooms, ideal for couples and families alike. Rainbow Getaway is adjacent to the Cooloola National Park, across the road from the local sports club and Rainbow’s pristine surf is just a flat five minute walk away.

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Rainbow Beach Ultimate Camping

A great alternative in accommodation. Fully equipped beach-front camp-sites set up for you at beautiful Inskip Point looking at World Heritage listed K’gari Fraser Island. Your home on the beach can accommodate individuals or groups up to 30. Take the stress out of camping with this walk in and walk out option.

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Tin Can Bay
Sleepy Lagoon Motel

24 semi self-contained air conditioned units located in lush tropical gardens close to all Tin Can Bay has to offer. Range of options to suit individuals, couples, or families are available, plus a 3-bedroom house is available. One night stays welcome.

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Debbie’s Place

Debbie’s Place is an award winning accommodation situated close to shops restaurants and a short walk to the best beach in Australia, Rainbow Beach. Debbies Place has a choice of 1, 2 and 3 bedroom motel style or self contained accommodation.  All the rooms have air conditioning and wi fi and are modern, super clean and comfortable.  All rooms are separate and private and surrounded by tropical gardens.

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Explore the Gympie Region

Itineraries

Carlo Sandblow Drone
Mary River1

Australia’s Nature Coast

Spanning both Queensland’s Sunshine and Fraser Coasts, Australia’s Nature Coast (ANC) is an international marketing partnership between Tourism and Events Queensland, Visit Sunshine Coast, Fraser Coast Tourism Events, Destination Gympie Region and Tourism Noosa.

Starting with the Glass House Mountains in the south and ending at Lady Elliott Island on the Great Barrier Reef in the north, Australia’s Nature Coast brings together a number of unbeatable natural encounters including two UNESCO Biosphere Reserves – the Great Sandy and Noosa; World Heritage listed K’gari Fraser Island; Lady Elliot Island – the most southern island on the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef; 47 State and National Parks – more than any other region in Queensland, Reserves and Forests; the most incredible up close and personal whale watching experiences; and over 200 kilometres of pristine beaches, calm rivers and waterways with an abundance of flora and fauna.

Itinerary Highlights

Glass House Mountains
Sunshine Coast Hinterland
National Parks
Mary Valley
Rainbow Beach

Carlo Sandblow
K’gari Fraser Island
Whale Watching
Lady Elliott Island
Great Barrier Reef

Suggested itinerary extensions north of Gympie

Maryborough

Maryborough is a town steeped in history with a captivating colonial past mixed with an artistic vibe everywhere you go. You can explore Maryborough through striking art, statues, heritage buildings, memorials and museums surrounding what was once one of Australia’s largest ports.

Maryborough is the birthplace of Mary Poppins author P.L Travers and the first ANZAC soldier ashore at Gallipoli, Duncan Chapman. Both have been remembered in exhibits, museums and stories that you can explore in this heritage town.

Hervey Bay

The whale playground is a short 90-minute drive from Gympie, from here you can embark on a whale watching tour to the sheltered waters off the west coast of K’gari Fraser Island. Whale season is May to October.

Lady Elliot Island

From Hervey Bay or Bundaberg Airport you can catch a daily flight for a day tour or overnight experience to this award winning nature based resort. Snorkel or dive the unspoilt Southern Great Barrier Reef and witness the beauty of the reef and marine life.

Bundaberg

Two and a half hours drive north of Gympie is Bundaberg, the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Before arriving into the town of Bundaberg, you’ll come across the quaint farming town of Childers, with its heritage listed main street and famous Mammino’s ice-cream (try the locally inspired Macadamia & Ginger).  Bundaberg is home to the iconic Bundaberg Rum Distillery, where you can join a master distiller to make your own rum, and from November to March is the place to witness first-hand and up-close the wonder of the turtles, with the largest Loggerhead turtle rookery in the Southern hemisphere located on the beach at Mon Repos.

Lady Musgrave Island

Two hours from the Port of Bundaberg aboard the luxury Reef Empress is Lady Musgrave Island, a coral cay with over 1,000 hectares of the reef to explore within the sheltered lagoon. Snorkel and dive this rich reef system and marvel at the marine life, with turtles and Manta Rays calling the Southern Great Barrier Reef home.

Getting here

Travel Essentials

Travelling by car

From Brisbane travel north along the Bruce Highway (M1, A1) for approximately 1 hour 50 minutes (165km) to Gympie. Gympie CBD is 45 minutes (65km) from Noosa.

Travelling by bus

The Gympie region is serviced by coaches travelling daily between Brisbane and Cairns.

  • Greyhound – Three buses daily from Brisbane to Cairns with one bus travelling via Tin Can Bay and two services via Rainbow Beach daily
  • Premier Bus Services – Daily bus from Brisbane to Cairns South and north bound only to Brisbane:
  • Active Tours and Transfers – Five daily services to Brisbane, two daily services to Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach
  • Conxion – Two daily services to Brisbane

Note: All the above services stop at Sunshine Coast Airport, Brisbane International and Domestic Airports. Active Tours and Transfers and Conxion also stop at the Brisbane Cruise Terminal. Regional service only – Polleys Coaches operate a regional bus Monday to Friday between Gympie, Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach and all points in between departing Gympie at 13:20. Coachline contacts:

Or visit www.qconnect.qld.gov.au to plan your journey and access maps and timetables.

Travelling by air

  • Brisbane – International and Domestic Airports serviced daily by key international and domestic airlines.
  • Sunshine Coast – Airport is located at Marcoola and offers both international and domestic air services. Air New Zealand operates seasonal international return flights from July to October from New Zealand to Auckland. Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar provide return flights daily from Sydney and Melbourne.
  • Fraser Coast – Hervey Bay Airport provides domestic air services only. Both Virgin Australia and Qantas Link provide daily returns flights to Brisbane and Sydney. Transfer options available from all airports to Gympie region:
  • Rental Car – All major companies available at airports
  • Shuttle Bus – Active Tours & Transfers and Conxion
  • Coach – Daily service offered by Greyhound from Brisbane Airport via Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach

Travelling by rail

Choose from the Tilt Train, a modern style of travel offering wide reclining seats and onboard entertainment, or the more traditional Sunlander or Spirit of the Outback, which have a range of options from economy seating to first class sleeping berths.

For information go to www.queenslandrailtravel.com.au or call 1800 TRAINS (872 467).

Experience regional produce

Taste

From ocean to earth, farm gate to plate, the Gympie region boasts a food industry as sensational and diverse as its landscape. Once famous for the discovery of gold, this veritable food bowl is now better known for the ‘gold’ it yields above ground.

The Gympie region’s hinterland harvest includes a wide range of seasonal fruit and vegetables, including macadamia nuts, olives, avocados, citrus and small crops.

You can also find a range of organic growers and food producers, pork, red claw and crayfish farmers and producers of export-quality beef. Meanwhile, on the coast, Tin Can Bay and Rainbow Beach trawlers source prized seafood from the pristine waters of the Great Sandy Strait and the southern Pacific Ocean.

With such quality fresh produce in abundance, it’s little wonder that the Gympie region is also home to many high end, value-adding processors and distributors. They range from multi-national food companies to boutique enterprises, specialising in homemade chutneys, gourmet sauces and even organic skin care treatments.

The quality continues in the kitchens of local cafés and restaurants – many sourcing their produce from local growers and producers. The Gympie Gold Regional Produce website promotes the region’s exceptional range of quality, fresh, gourmet and value-added produce. Local growers, producers, retailers, processors, cafés and restaurants all make up the rich tapestry that is Gympie ‘gold’ and you can find them at gympieregionalproduce.com.au.

Accessible Gympie Region

Accessibility

ACCESSIBLE ACCOMMODATION

For accommodation operators that provide wheelchair accessible facilities please refer to the Business Directory at the back of this Guide and look for the symbol.

NATIONAL PARKS

  • Amamoor State Forest – Cedar Grove camping area
  • Cooloola Recreation Area, Great Sandy National Park
  • Imbil State Forest – Charlie Moreland camping and day use area
  • Mudlo National Park

RECREATIONAL PARKS

Lake Alford has a purpose built All Abilities Playground with wheelchair accessible public amenities. For other parks in the region with wheelchair accessible amenities visit www.gympie.qld.gov.au/communit… (select type – parks) and type in keywords (wheelchair access).

ATTRACTIONS

The following visitor attractions/experiences provide disability access and or facilities:

  • Lake Alford, Kilkivan and Goomeri VisitorInformation Centres
  • Gympie Gold Mining Museum
  • Gympie Woodworks Museum
  • Owen Gun Museum
  • Mary Valley Rattler Gympie Station
  • Gympie Aquatic Recreation Centre
  • Gympie Regional Library
  • Gympie Civic Centre
  • Gympie Regional Gallery

EXPERIENCES

For tourism experiences that cater for guests with accessibility needs, please refer to the Business Directory at the back of this Guide and look for the symbol.

EVENT VENUES

  • Gympie Regional Gallery
  • Gympie Civic Centre
  • Gympie Pavilion Conference Centre

PUBLIC TOILETS

Public amenities providing wheelchair accessible facilities throughout the region are located at the following:

  • Amamoor State Forest – Amama day use and Cedar Grove Camping Area
  • Gympie
    • Lake Alford
    • Adrian McClintock Park
    • Nelson Reserve
    • One Mile Ovals
    • Memorial Lane
    • Mary Street, City Centre
  • Chatsworth Rest Stop
  • Curra Community Hall
  • Goomeri
  • Gunalda Rest Stop
  • Gunalda township
  • Imbil State Forest
  • Mary Valley
    • Kandanga
    • Imbil
  • Kilkivan
  • Tin Can Bay
    • Les Lee Park
    • Tom Steele Park
    • Wes Mitchell Park
    • Lions Park
    • Mallet Park

• Cooloola Cove – Federation Park
• Rainbow Beach – Foreshore and Lawrie Hanson Park

PARKING

  • Gympie
    • Mary Street – 6 locations
    • Smithfield Street – 5 parallel bays
    • Reef Street – 2 bays near Memorial Lane
    • Mellor Street – outside Gympie Library
  • Tin Can Bay
  • Rainbow Beach
  • Gunalda
  • Imbil
  • Kandanga
  • Kilkivan

© 2019 Gympie Region