Gympie Floods
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Inundated Gympie

    Throughout the Gympie district, floodwaters have risen and fallen like a yo-yo for over 130 years of recorded history. With the flood of February 1999 peaking at a whopping 21.95 metres, the residents of Gympie now celebrate over a century of flood evasion.

Above: View from Church St. across the flooded Nelson Reserve and Bruce Highway,

toward the Southside on early morning of February 10, 1999 Source: Gympie Times

Gympie’s survival against such tumultuous floodwaters is solely due to the strength and tenacity of its people, who have continually come together to pick up the pieces in the wake of the ever rising flood heights.

    Three years following the discovery of gold and thus the establishment of the colony in 1867, Gympie was to experience its first inundation. The flood waters of 1870 reached heights of 21.61 metres leaving debris strewn from opposite ends of the settlement. The early pioneers of Gympie simply dried themselves off, and continued with their lives. Yet, if the residents of Gympie may had learnt from this experience, Gympie’s main street, Mary St., and its Central Business District may have been resituated, rather than have remained to this day in the heart of a sloping valley which is plagued by regular inundations.

Above: The aftermath of floodwaters in 1870 in an area known as Pumpkin Flat, Gympie being approx. 3 years old.

Source: Gympie Times

    However, Gympie credits its largest flood to the unsurpassed devastation of the flood of 1893, in which vast amounts of water poured into Gympie, (See AURIFEROUS GYMPIE) before reaching a peak height of 25.45 metres, (83 feet, 6 inches). In swift succession, in early 1898, Gympie was attacked once more by two floods both exceeding 20 metres in height. This was to test the very strength of Gympie’s tenacious pioneers, for as each of the floodwaters receded, the massive cleanup programs began to recover Gympie’s gold mining prowess.

Gympie pays tribute to the pioneering spirits of its past as their courage to continue in the face of such adversity, resulted in the survival of a growing community which isn’t afraid of getting wet.