Bordered by the warmer waters of the Coral Sea and with over a third of the region covered in National Parks or State Forest, there’s plenty of ways to explore the Gympie Region and find native Australian wildlife in their natural environment.

Koalas, dolphins, dugongs, lungfish, kangaroos and whales and all sorts of birdlife call our part of the world home too.

The Gympie Region. You’re welcome.



Bordered by the warmer waters of the Coral Sea and with over a third of the region covered in National Parks or State Forest.

Koalas, dolphins, dugongs, lungfish, kangaroos and whales and all sorts of birdlife call our part of the world home too.



Hands up if you’ve already fed Chompy, Squirt or Patch our Australian Humpback Dolphins?    If you haven’t, now’s your chance to get to know this uber-friendly dolphin family who’ve been visiting us in the protected waters of the Great Sandy Strait and the Tin Can Bay inlet for years.  Led by Patch, the alpha male, this is one of only 2 places in Queensland that you can get this close to these cheeky little mammals.  And don’t worry, our trained volunteers are on hand to show you just how Patch and his family like to be fed! 

If you’d rather kayak alongside our dolphins and whales, head straight for Rainbow Beach for an extraordinary experience.  


Grey Nurse sharks love our region as much as we do – so much, in fact, that fifty per cent of these endangered sharks spend most of their pregnancy hanging out at Wolf Rock, just off Rainbow Beach. The Great Sandy Marine Park is one of only two areas in the world that now has designated Grey Nurse shark areas to protect them and their habitat. Come dive with Grey Nurse sharks, rays, turtles and more off our coastline. From May to October divers at this site can see and hear whales on their annual migration. Make the most of your time and go with a guide to spend more time swimming with the fishes than looking for them! 


The Tin Can Bay Foreshore walk just happens to be in a RAMSAR Wetland and within the Great Sandy Biosphere Reserve. These great credentials make Tin Can Bay a wonderful nature and bird lover’s destination. With over 150 species sighted so far – including the rare black breasted Button Quail and Southern Emu Wren, the foreshore is a great place to bird watch, providing a range of habitats for an excellent twitching experience.



A turtle that breathes through its bum? 

Yep, here in the Gympie Region it’s for real.  We call it the Punk Turtle, but officially, its known as the Mary River Turtle because that’s where you’ll find it, in our magnificent Mary River.

This turtle is endangered and listed as critical priority for conservation, but find a quiet spot on the riverbank or take a kayak out for a paddle from one of our launch points and you may just get lucky and find one enjoying the warmth in a sunny spot.


We’re used to the unmistakable sound of the Queensland Lungfish taking a breath in the Mary River – it sounds like a ‘gasp’!  But, it’s well known to have given the unassuming river user (okay, and some locals) quite the fright. This living fossil has remained unchanged for over 100 million years and is only found in the Mary and Burnett rivers. Having one of these amazing and quite large protected creatures rising to the surface next to your kayak is fairly common in our neck of the woods even though the species is listed as vulnerable.  You may also see our cheeky platypus and many varieties of birds as you journey along our waterways.


They’ll tell you they see them everywhere, but even Mary Valley locals admit, that our cheeky little platypus can sometimes be hard to spot.

For your best chance, we recommend the Amama Walk, near Amamoor.  

In the shade of hoop and bunya pines, stroll through a majestic rainforest with moss-carpeted rocks and a pretty, cascading waterfall. It’s here in Amamoor Creek where, if you’re very quiet and very lucky, you may just catch a glimpse of one of these secretive little guys. Dusk or dawn is best for spotting and, look for bubbles on the water’s surface.  This often gives them away. 



Imagine! Towering canopies filled with fig trees, piccabeen palms, white cedar and flooded gums.  Bird chorus that surrounds you and the wailing, cat-like call of green catbirds or the long whip call of the eastern whipbirds. These are some of the most characteristic sounds of the Australian bush and you enjoy the fresh air and fresh, open spaces on one of many rainforest walks.

Imbil State Forest offers an easy option in the 780m Fig Tree Circuit, or for something a little more challenging climb Mt Allan for stunning 360 degree views that make the 8.8km journey worthwhile.


For a lesser known twitching spot we suggest Mudlo National Park, just near the town of Kilkivan in our west. This remnant vineforest once covered many nearby coastal ranges and plants occur here close to the limit of their normal range, studded with hoop and bunya pines reaching through the tree canopy. It’s also home to the rare large-leaf chainfruit.

And if rare is your thing then we challenge you to spot a Cooloola Monster while visiting the unique ecosystems that make up the Cooloola National Park. This rare primitive insect has little known about it, lives only in small part of our region, and was discovered in 1980. 


Food & Produce

Heritage & Culture

Welcoming Stays


We’ve put together some of our products, services and experiences to help you get started.

The Gympie Region. You’re welcome.

Amamoor State Forest

Amamoor State Forest Amamoor Qld 4570

Barnacles Dolphin Centre

Norman Point, Tin Can Bay Qld 4580

Bird Watching

  • 07 5482 6721/ 0437 733 725
  • cooloolanature@spiderweb.com.au

Cooloola Coastcare

PO Box 109 Tin Can Bay Qld 4580

Epic Ocean Adventures

1/6 Rainbow Beach Rd Rainbow Beach Qld 4581

Lake Alford Recreational Park

Bruce Highway Gympie Qld 4570

Mudlo National Park

Mudlo National Park Kilkivan Queensland 4600

Rainbow Beach Horse Rides

23 Clarkson Drive Rainbow Beach Qld 4581

Wolf Rock Dive Centre

2 Goondi Street Rainbow Beach Qld 4581