Museum Cafe DeckEducational Information.
Explore the wonders of the past and learn some exciting things about local people and historical events from our region.

Please note:  There is a one bus limit for guided tours, due to limited availability of tour guides.
Special rates for school groups. 
(See Tour Bookings Page)
Enquires/Bookings to Cafe at the Museum  Ph. (07) 54 823995.

Gympie Gold Mining & Historical Museum
The Museum houses a vast collection of documentation, artifacts and photographs relating to this area, such as the people, the place and the community ... Explore these and the other events which impacted upon the lives of the people within the Gympie Regional Council area.

Teachers' Guide to the Museum


Andrew Fisher - Second Australian Labor Prime Minister
From Miner to Prime Minister!

Andrew Fisher was born in Scotland in 1865 where he originally began working down in the pits at the age of 10.

He migrated to Australia in 1885 and continued to work in the coalfields, whilst becoming politically involved in the Miners' Union. A committed trade unionist he evolved into a political activist and by 1893 was not only the Labour Representative for Gympie but also the Vice President of the Labor Party.

Fisher's position as second Labor Prime Minister was secured in 1910. He held three terms of office until 1915.

History on Andrew Fisher

Primary Questionnaire

Secondary Questionnaire
. pdf


Blacksmith Shop

In days-gone-by the blacksmith shop was a vital part of life. It was the place where all the tools of the day were manufactured and maintained. Traditionally farming implements and all the metal components for the construction of the various horse-drawn vehicles were produced by the blacksmith.

Blacksmiths were crucial in the gold mining industry. With the forge and anvil they made and maintained all mining tools - picks, gads, moils, wedges, working-out bars, hand steel for drilling and all machine steels. In small mines the blacksmith forge was used to smelt the gold bullion and mould it into bars.

Blacksmith Shop.pdf

Primary Questionnaire

Secondary Questionnaire


CALICO CRK SCHLCalico Creek State School


The School was officially opened on Saturday the 11th July 1936 by Councillor Hensen of Widgee Shire Council. Calico Creek area had been a soldier settlement after World War I.

The children of the settlement became the first students at this one-teacher school. The first principal at the school was Miss Daphne. In 1970 the school closed, a victim of better transport and larger centralized schools.

The school still retains much of the old-fashioned desks and teaching implements used, inkwells, slates and teaching aids. All of which gives a realistic look and feel to the former small country school.

Calico Creek State School.pdf




Dairy Museum

Besides mining other equally important industries were established in the Gympie area. The main ones being dairy and timber which provided stability and employment. As the gold mining operations dwindled in the 1920's these industries saved Gympie from becoming a ghost town.

At first dairying was considered a cottage industry. With cows being milked by hand in cow bails, the cream had to be skimmed off the milk and churned into butter by hand. This was before the days of ice-chests or refrigeration and many farmers' wives and families had to rise early and churn in the cool air before dawn in the hot summers. There are quite a few varieties of churns on display - from the primitive splash type to glass churns.

Dairy Museum.pdf


large gold nugget

Gold & Gold Panning

The Gympie Goldfield was discovered in 1867 and was worked continuously for 60 years until 1927 to produce 3.5 million ounces of gold. With an average ore grade of 24 grams of gold per tonne Gympie was historically the 6th largest goldfield in Australia and the 3rd largest in Queensland after Charters Towers and Mount Morgan. Gympie was one of the highest grade and richest goldfields in the world.

Gympie also has the distinction of having produced the largest nugget found in Queensland, the 30-kilogram (975 oz) Curtis Nugget unearthed in February 1868 as well as the Monkland `Big Cake' of 5972 ounces.

Almost all mining on the Gympie Goldfield ceased in 1923. However, Gympie's golden past can be seen in the handsome civic buildings, foundations of mining structures, a retort house, the Museum, a fossicking area and a new mining venture all of which will win more Gympie gold.

Gold facts in Gympie.pdf

Gold Panning

Primary Questionnaire

Secondary Questionnaire


Gold Mining

The ore was mined by hand using hammer and tap drilling to insert black powder explosive that blasted the rock. The men loaded the ore, by hand, into rail carts. These cartst were then physically drawn along underground railways to the shafts by the men themselves. The heroic achievements of these early miners cannot be overstated. The earth was hot in deeper mines and ventilation limitations became the main engineering constraint on production at depth.

The modern era of the Gympie Goldfield commenced in the 1970's with the amalgamation of the fragmented mining tenements. Surface exploration commenced in 1980 with deep diamond drill holes that tested unmined portions of historically known ore zones. In 1988, the deepest shaft in the field, West of Scotland Shaft at the outskirts of Gympie was reopened after 84 years.

Gympie Eldorado Gold Mine

Mining Head Frame & Gantry

This headframe and gantry constructed by the Society, stands directly over the original No. 2 South Great Eastern east shaft. The gantry follows a similar route to the original, to convey the ore to the crushing batteries. The original headframe would probably have been 6m (20ft) or more higher and the gantry probably 3m (10ft) to 3.5m (15ft) higher.

Head Frame and Gantry.pdf

Primary Questionnaire

Secondary Questionnaire

Stamper Battery

This building was constructed in 1980 on similar lines to the original building i.e. rounded timber poles supporting sawn timber rails and rafters for roofing and walls. The most used materials for roofing and sheeting of the walls in the mining days of Gympie and other mining towns was galvanised corrugated iron, together with smaller amounts of timber weatherboards. This building houses the only remaining mining machinery on its original site on the Gympie Goldfield i.e. a ten-head crushing stamper battery. As can be seen by the concrete foundations, the original battery building on this mine, No. 2 South Great Eastern, housed 80 head of stampers, or eight sets of ten-head stamper batteries, which were built by a foundry at Bundaberg, Queensland, around about the 1900's.

Stamper Battery Building.pdf

Primary Questionnaire

Secondary Questionnaire



James Nash

James Nash was born in the village of Beanacre in Wiltshire on September 5, 1834. At the age of 23, he left his native England bound for New South Wales and landed in Sydney on May 25, 1858.

James Nash discovered alluvial gold in October 1867 in gullies that were called Nashville which then later became known as Gympie. His discovery is said to have saved the Queensland's economy through the mini economic boom caused by the influx of gold-diggers to the area.

He died on October 5, 1913 at the age of 77 years and is buried in the Gympie Cemetery.

James Nash.pdf



Teacher comments: 
On Tuesday the 21st of May, the Year 5 students of Peregian Beach College set off to find GOLD – and thanks to the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum, they did! EUREKA!
The Australian Curriculum at a Year 5 level for History outlines that students learn about immigration to Australia during the 1800s. The curriculum states that students should also study particular events that brought migrant groups to Australia during this time. The Australian Gold Rush was one of these big events and so a trip to the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum to learn about it first hand from experienced guides was exciting and appropriate for the Year 5 students of Peregian Beach College. 
We arrived at the museum very keen and excited as we ate morning tea in a park situated directly under a real mine shaft used in the 1860’s. Very cool! After a lovely morning tea with plenty of room for the students to run around, we met our museum guide, Allan. Allan had a wealth of knowledge and we were very lucky to hear many exciting stories about finding gold in Gympie all those hundreds of years ago. We learnt about the different types of mining including gold panning for alluvial gold and shaft mining.  The students were even able to try gold panning for themselves and a few were extremely ecstatic to find some gold flakes. We saw the original steam operated mineshaft that would lower the miners in cages down as far as 12 levels into the ground. The students were able to view the tools used by gold miners in the 1850s and they heard many stories of their hardships. We spent two and a half hours being toured around the museum and we could have easily spent more time there. As a primary school teacher, I was very impressed with the information that the students were provided with. I recommend the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum for an excursion for any school and for classes from Year 2 and upwards. I will definitely be going back next year with my next Year 5 cohort. Thank you for your hospitality, Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum!
Miss Peta Kirkpatrick    Primary School Teacher at Peregian Beach College

Student comments
To the Gympie Gold Mining and History Museum,
I really liked gold panning and finding gold it was a lot of fun. Our guide had some really good stories, too.  
I learnt a lot about the steamer and the mine shaft. I never knew how to gold pan and I did not know that gold was worth so much! I also did not know that gold weighed so heavily. 
My favourite part of the excursion was gold panning because we got to find gold and take it home and keep it. It gave us a good taste of what it was like in the Gold Rush.   Year 5 student, Peregian Beach College
Thank You! Dear the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum, 
I enjoyed the mineshafts because I thought you could only get gold from the surface. I didn't know you could go 12 levels underground! Cool! I loved going there and I am sure other schools will enjoy it as well.        
Year 5 student, Peregian Beach College
To Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum, 
I am a Year 5 student at Peregian Beach College and I recently went on an excursion to the your museum. My favourite part was the gold panning and also going in one of the original mining cages because I felt like I was a real miner! When panning, I also found some real gold that I will treasure forever to remember the trip. I also enjoyed the museum with the interesting facts. I can't believe one of the museum rooms used to be a water tank! The interesting stories were so amazing. Thanks for teaching me all about what it was like to mine back then.  Year 5 student, Peregian  Beach College
To the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum,
Thank you for having us at your museum and I'm sure we will come back some time. I especially enjoyed the gold panning and learning about the history of the gold mines. I mostly liked the funny stories the tour guide told, they were very funny. Thank you for having us in your museum.  Year 5 student, Peregian Beach College
To the Gympie Gold Mining and History Museum,
I am a year 5 student from Peregian Beach College. Firstly, what I liked about the museum is the tour was well spoken and was very interesting and the stories were funny and exciting. Secondly, I liked looking at the old but great pieces of history such as the awesome steam pumps and walking on the mine elevator. Finally, I loved gold panning, even though I didn’t find any gold; it was still great fun! Thanks for the tour!          
Year 5 student, Peregian Beach College 

LETTER OF THANKYOU TO THE TOUR GUIDE - From a Year Five student at the Sunbury State School on a visit to the Museum on 25th August 2014. (Typed as written, without name)

Sunbury State School
545 Alice Street
26TH August 2014
Dear Mr Moore,
I am a student at Sunbury school, and we visited the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum on Monday, August 25th.  I have now wrote you a letter to you, too thankyou for the tour, and sharing your knowledge and stories with us.
My favorite thing we done was going to the school room.  They used to do things at school that I never knew of.  They have lots of different rules to what we have now.  It was cool how we had to wait to be told to sit down and read out the rules.
I also liked the blacksmith’s shop, they had interesting tools that they used, and the pattens they used when they were tapping the horse shoe.  I did not know how you made the metal hot until you showed and told us.
The stamper room was also quite interesting too.  I can’t believe how big the stamper was and how there were eight working day and night.  So many people would have gone deaf at such a young age.  I feel sorry for the people back then.
Also the tank was huge, and the safe that they had back the was so cool.  The way they used pan for gold was kind of cool.  I can’t believe that they had a clock for the month too.  That was really cool.
By the way I don’t think I’ll come back to visit you because of my large family I have 10 people in my family.  I really want to come back to visit but I can’t.
I enjoyed the whole excersion because of you.  I hope to see you again in Maryborough to share some more stories about your history.
The one thing I wanted to ask you was how many different places you’ve visited.  You have seemed to have visited a lot of places.
Best wishes