Gympie Memorial Park

Gympie, Gympie Area

A triangular-shaped park with lawns, well-tended garden beds and shady trees creates the perfect spot for a picnic in Gympie, it's also a place where WWI soldiers are remembered.

Gympie's Memorial Park was officially opened in April 1921, although the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII) visited eight months earlier when unveiling the Gympie and Widgee War Memorial Gates which lead into the green-space.

The local council used the expertise of Brisbane's Parks Superintendent Harry Moore, also known for his landscape design of Yeronga's Memorial Park, Newstead Park, and New Farm Park.

Local returned servicemen were employed for much of the ground works: gently curving gravelled pedestrian walkways radiating from a few entrance points and raised, dry-stone walled rockery beds with dramatic displays of flowering annuals, perennials and roses. Palms, pines, poinsettias and jacarandas were also planted for this living tribute to the 167 men who died at war.

While intended as a soldiers' memorial, others are remembered within the park. The 1920 bandstand honours the memory of a much-respected bandmaster and a sandstone monument is dedicated to James Nash, the man credited with starting the Gympie gold rush.

Glimpses of the park can be seen from Calton Hill.

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Mothar Mountain Rockpools

Gympie, Gympie Area
Free Entry
Looking for a relaxing, sheltered place to while away some hours, you can't go past the Mothar Mountain Rock Pools. Located in the Woondum National Park, about a 20 minutes, 16 kilometres drive from Gympie's Central Business District, the Mothar Mountain Rock Pools day area provides the perfect family friendly location for a barbecue or picnic. Tables, wood fire barbecue, water and public amenities are all provided for your use on site. On a hot day immerse yourself into the pools to cool off. Set amongst a mixture of tall Eucalypts and rainforest you can take the opportunity to relax and unwind to the sound of water gently flowing over ancient granite outcrops. Or if you are feeling more energetic, enjoy one of the nature walks. There is a short 500 metre (20 minute) forest walk or a rather more serious 3.5 kilometre (2 hour) walk to explore.

Woondum National Park

Gympie, Gympie Area
Woondum National Park is a popular retreat in which tall, wet eucalypt forest and subtropical rainforest surround rocky creeks. Parts of the national park are regenerating after being logged as recently as the late 1990s. Some areas formerly used as banana farms are being reforested with eucalypt plantations. Picnic beside cool rock pools, among granite boulders and shady green forests, where Boulder and Woondum creeks meet. Stroll along a short walk featuring large turpentine trees and involving a rock hop across Boulder Creek. Explore diverse forest types on the four wheel drive forest road. Learn more about the areas timber industry at the Woodworks Museum on the Bruce Highway at Gympie.

Cooloola, Great Sandy National Park

Noosa Heads, Noosa Area
Free Entry
In Cooloola, Great Sandy National Park you can experience the majesty of nature's sculpture in sand. Massive dunes, towering cliffs of coloured sands and wide ocean beaches have been etched by wind and water. Tall forests, fragrant wildflower heaths and paperbark swamps decorate the sands. Water features abound, including surf, freshwater lakes and the undisturbed upper Noosa River. Walk one of the scenic tracks to highlights such as the historic Double Island Point lighthouse. Pack a tent for the two to four day Cooloola Wilderness Trail. Drive along the beach or take the Cooloola Way and Freshwater Road through tall open forests and heathlands. You will need a four wheel drive vehicle with high clearance to enjoy driving the sand tracks or the beach at low tide. Canoe the Noosa River. Camp in a variety of areas: from formal campgrounds with facilities to wilderness camps. Visit information centres at Tewantin and Rainbow Beach.

Double Island Point

Rainbow Beach, Gympie Area
Free Entry
You could say that Double Island Point is one of the Sunshine Coast's best kept secrets. Whether you're looking for a quiet place to camp for a few nights, or the ideal spot to catch some waves with your mates - Double Island Point will not disappoint. Located just south of Rainbow Beach, the point is a magnet for marine life of every description which is why it is rated one of the top 10 dive spots in Australia. Just off the point you'll find four volcanic submerged pinnacles where scuba divers are often seen exploring the vertical gutters and overhanding ledges. The area is teaming with trevally, cod, coral trout, perch, mackerel, batfish, leopard sharks, mantra rays and loads of grey nurse sharks.

Pomona

Pomona, Noosa Area
Nestled at the foot of Mount Cooroora, Pomona is a relaxed country town with some pleasant easy walking tracks around delightful parks. Pomona was first settled in the late 1880s and the railway that arrived in 1891 started the expansion of the agricultural industries. Originally known as Pinbarren Siding, the name was changed in 1906 to Pomona, named after the Roman goddess of fruit and orchards. From 1909 until 1980 Pomona was the administrative centre for the former Noosa Shire Council. Pomona is also the home of the Majestic Cinema, the oldest continuously running silent movie cinema in the world. Built as the Majestic Hall in 1921, it was originally used for social and sporting events and silent movies. 'Talkies' were introduced briefly in 1931, but the cinema reverted back to silent movies and today shows The Son of the Sheik, starring Rudolf Valentino, every Thursday, as well as a host of other events throughout the year. Discover stories and artefacts that reveal the area’s local history at the Noosa Shire Museum. Located in the old Shire Chambers, the displays include photographs of important moments in Pomona’s history; a Post Office Exhibit, and a room dedicated to the original inhabitants of the area, the Gubbi Gubbi people. Pomona is located about 25 minutes from Noosa, just beyond Cooroy and can be experienced as part of an beautiful drive which may include the towns of Cooran, Kin Kin and Boreen Point.

Kin Kin

Kin Kin, Noosa Area
Kin Kin is a quaint town located in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, 40 minutes drive from Noosa Heads. It's an area well known for its art scene and great food and the drive there will give you a feel for the wonderful scenery surrounding the area. Kin Kin is an aboriginal word referring to a small black ant that was common in the area. So common they named it twice! Kin Kin began its days as a timber town and was famous because of its much sought after cedars and eucalypts. In later years it became a perfect area for dairy farming. Nowadays many artists reside in the area including an artist who makes all his pieces from recycled metals. Kin Kin is also an area that has become synonymous with health and wellbeing with a well known health retreat and a massage school calling the area home. Kin Kin tea (a herbal drop) is also produced in the region. Kin Kin is also close to a series of tracks and trails called the Noosa Network Trail. Hikers, mountain bike riders and horse riders are all able to use the tracks.

Boreen Point

Boreen Point, Noosa Area
Boreen Point is a relaxed village on the shores of lovely Lake Cootharaba. The largest lake of the Noosa River system, Cootharaba is the gateway to the upper Noosa River, the Noosa Everglades and the Great Sandy National Park. The village is about 20 kilometres by sealed road from Tewantin on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. A haven for sailing and boating enthusiasts, Boreen Point has holiday cottages, a general store, caravan parks and boat hire facilities. Boreen Point is the home of a sailing club, which stages major sailing and sailboarding events.

Cooran

Cooran, Noosa Area
About three kilometres from the Bruce Highway, Cooran is one of those country towns that offers more than you might think. Close to the Sunshine Coast towns of Pomona, Nambour, Cooroy and popular surfing beaches at Noosa, Cooran is a pretty hamlet in a lush valley. However, for those touring the Sunshine Coast from Brisbane, which is less than two and a half hours drive away, there is much more to discover about Cooran than just its beauty. Overlooking Cooran are the Cooran Tablelands and Mothar Mountain State Forest areas that have walking tracks and swimming holes. Take care, as access to these often requires a four-wheel drive. From the Cooran Tablelands Lookout, the scenic view along the Sunshine Coast is magnificent. In addition, for lovers of the bush, the Noosa Trail Network includes trails around Cooran. For example, Trail two of The Scenic Trail is 26 kilometres one way and starts at Tablelands Road, Cooran and moves along to the Cootharaba Views Lookout. This trail takes approximately five hours to complete on horseback and two days to walk one way. There are four lookouts along the trail, providing fantastic views of the hinterland and coastal areas. Be warned, the steep hill climbs along the trail require courage and a high level of fitness. Locals say it is worth camping overnight at either Middle Lookout or Cootharaba Views Lookout and leave a car at each end of the trail. If curiosities get the blood flowing, then look at Cooran Lagoon, not far from the train bridge on James Street. When it was full, local Aboriginals used the lagoon as a source of Water-lily bulbs and mussels for food and called it Guran. In 1870, the lagoon was also the site of the Half Way Hotel, on the original Tewantin-Gympie Coach route. Sadly, only a faded plaque marks the site now.

Gympie

Gympie, Gympie Area
If you're looking for some warm country hospitality you'll find it in Gympie - the heritage and cultural centre of the Cooloola region. With a rich mining history, the town was founded in 1867 after prospector James Nash discovered gold at the site now occupied by the town hall. Back then Queensland was facing bankruptcy due to the drought and a fall in wool prices. Nash's discovery and the gold rush that followed resulted in Gympie gaining a reputation as the 'Town that Saved Queensland'. These days Gympie is a popular place for travellers to stop for a cup of tea. There are a range of heritage walks in the area and it's also a handy overnight stop for those heading to Fraser Island. Gympie is 160 kilometres, or about two and a half hours' drive north of Brisbane.
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