Gympie is a regional town in the Wide Bay-Burnett region of Queensland, Australia. It is about north of the state capital, Brisbane. The city lies on the Mary River which has periodically caused flooding in the town. Gympie is the administrative centre for the Gympie Region area. At the 2011 census, Gympie had a population of 18,602.
Gympie is famous for its gold field. It contains a number of historic buildings registered on the Queensland Heritage Register.
Originally settled for grazing purposes, the area became prominent when James Nash reported the discovery of 'payable' alluvial gold on 16 October 1867. At the time Queensland was suffering from a severe economic depression and the discovery probably saved the colony from bankruptcy. A memorial fountain was built in Gympie's Park in honour of Nash's discovery. This event is still celebrated today during the Gympie Gold Rush Festival, with 10 days of cultural events held in October. Gold mining still plays a role in the area's fortunes, along with agriculture (dairy predominantly), timber and tourism. The rapid development of the new settlement was so quick that the streets were laid out in an irregular fashion rather than the grid pattern common to most Queensland towns.
A railway from Maryborough was competed in 1881. The North Coast railway linked Gympie to Brisbane in 1891. A fire brigade was operation in 1900. Official declaration as a town occurred in 1903. In 1953, a powdered milk factory began operations in the town.
Significant floods along the Mary River have caused inundations of the town in 1893, 1955, 1968, 1974, 1989, 1992, 1999 and 2011. The first flood in Gympie was in 1870. Most of the floods occur between December and April and are typically caused by heavy rainfall in the headwaters to the south.
The highest flood ever recorded in Gympie occurred on 2 February 1893 when the river peaked at 25.45 m. Gympie was declared a natural disaster area during the 1999 floods. The river peaked at 21.9 m then.
Numerous highways and roads in and the town which were destroyed or damaged during floods in 2011 will be repaired under Operation Queenslander. This is the name of post flood reconstruction efforts in Queensland.