You’ll find plenty of things to do in Gympie a heritage town packed with curiosities just 90 minutes north of Brisbane. Gympie is blessed by a booming local food scene that draws from a deep produce bowl. Take a day trip to discover farmhouse food, local coffee, a distillery and the freshest local produce. Pack your cooler and fill it with roadside produce, pastured eggs, local beef and seasonal fruit.
Top things to do in Gympie
From Brisbane, you can drive straight up the Bruce Highway or take a longer route through the Mary Valley to arrive at Gympie. There is plenty to explore in Gympie and lots of great Gympie food, so plan to stay a night here and discover more about this heritage city. When you arrive in Gympie, stop and stretch your legs with a walk around Lake Alford, which is conveniently close to the Gympie Visitor Information Centre where you can pick up maps of the area and local produce such as Cooloola Berries Ice Cream and CC’s delicious relishes.
Farm fresh produce at Farmer & Sun
SoMa SoMa is a great Gympie stop. Photo Kerry Heaney.
Explore the Gympie food scene
Gympie’s emerging café scene won’t disappoint. You’ll feel like you are in Melbourne at quirky SoMa SoMa or dive headfirst into the local produce pool at Farmer & Sun. I highly recommend breakfast or lunch at any of these restaurants.
Eat at Farmer & Sun and enjoy fresh farm produce.
Stopping at roadside stalls is a great thing to do in Gympie
Stop at roadside stalls
Do remember to put some gold coins and small notes in your pocket so you can buy from the roadside stalls along the drive to Noosa. I saw everything from bromeliads to Buddha’s Hands (a type of citron that you can use to perfume rooms or clothing or just as zest) and mushroom compost. It’s such pretty country around Gympie, with plenty of winding roads that really highlight the diversity of the landscape. Take it slow and watch the wilderness unfold.
Panning for gold at Deep Creek is hard work.
Pan for Gold
Take a walk around Gympie town with a deep heritage linked to the discovery of gold here in the 1880s. Try your luck with gold panning at Deep Creek. With gold at $1,766 an ounce (August2022) it might be a better investment than your super!
Soaps designed to reflect the regions at Oska & Willow
Spoil Yourself with Local Beauty Products
After that back-breaking gold digging you might need a little luxury, and you will find that at soaperie Oska & Willow, which has a huge range of bath salts and locally crafted soaps. Luckily the B&B I am suggesting for you has a deep claw foot bath.
Browse the collectables at Murphy’s Store in Gympie
Go Antique Hunting
Another top spot I discovered was Murphy’s Store which is filled with the sort of retro and antique stuff that makes vintage lovers squeal with delight.
Ride the Rattler
You can’t visit Gympie without including a stop at the heritage-listed Railway Station and enjoying a ride on the Mary Valley Rattler Train. It’s a delightful experience that will take you back in time to the days when steam trains were the only way to travel. Travelling with your pet? Check for the special services where you can take your best furry mate aboard. Find out what it is like to travel on the Rattler here.
Find Your Ancestors
When my ancestors left Ireland in the 1860s to find their fortune on the gold fields, they landed in Gympie. The Gympie Family History Society is the place to start your search if you want to trace family in this region.
Taste local Noosa Black Coffee
Drink Local Coffee
Finish off at Kin Kin General Store with a Noosa Black coffee made from beans grown just a few kilometres away by Noosa’s only commercial coffee grower. Noosa Black is a small, family-owned business with around 6,000 arabica coffee trees and Slow Food Noosa Snail of Approval recipient. Their single-origin coffee is hand-blended and roasted on the property. You will find it for sale around the area (check their website for a list) and via mail order.
There’s plenty of room inside this Gympie cottage
Stay in a Heritage Cottage
I stayed overnight in delightful boutique-style accommodation with a whole house to myself at Laurelea. It was picture perfect, beautifully decorated with wonderful spaces to enjoy inside and out. There’s a full kitchen with everything you could need and wifi, of course.
If you wanted a country experience, Melawondi Spring Retreat in the Mary Valley is a good alternative.
Laurelea has two beautiful double bedrooms.
Explore Around Gympie
There are many ways to extend your GympieTrail.
- Rainbow Beach and Carlo Sandblow is a 1-hour drive through Toolara State Forest and Great Sandy National Park
- Try horse riding at Rainbow Beach
- Take a ride on the Mary Valley Rattler
- Explore these 10 top things to do in Noosa.
- Find your Fortune at this Noosa Heads distillery
- Take a Noosa Country Food Trail