The Mary Valley Rattler and the Gympie Gold Mining & Historical Museum are joining forces to celebrate the region's rich heritage and love affair with steam.
To celebrate Steam Fest, Gympie's two most prominent tourism icons are offering a unique trip back in time beginning with a short journey from historic Gympie Station on the Rattler's Red Rocket railmotor RM76 across Deep Creek to the heritage Monkland Station. There, the journey will continue on a fully restored Leyland Cub KP3 bus to the Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum.
The tour will include expert commentary from one of Gympie's most celebrated public figures, Joan Adcock (Dodt), a former Mayor of Gympie, guide at the Gympie Gold Mining & Historical Museum, and volunteer at the Mary Valley Rattler. A passionate advocate for recognition of Gympie's heritage, Joan will escort the group on the train and bus, and then guide passengers through the Gympie Steam Festival.
Pride of place in the Gympie Steam Festival will be a 1899 Walkers Cornish Boiler, believed to be the only such boiler still operating in Australia, as well as other historical machinery in operation.
Passengers are then transferred back to Monkland Station on the Leyland bus for the return journey to Gympie Station.
Three tours will depart Gympie Station on Saturday 17 October at 9am, 11.30am and 2pm. On Sunday, 18 October, tours will depart at 9am and 12noon. Each tour lasts two hours and is available at the great-value price of just $30 per person. Seating is limited to 16 passengers each journey
Gympie Gold Mining and Historical Museum's Frank Kopke said the tour would provide a unique opportunity for locals and visitors to experience the region's rich industrial heritage.
"Our region is built on its gold history, and we see this as a great opportunity to build a heritage tourism product that will give everyone on board a chance hear the stories that shaped the origins and development of the Gympie region," he said.
"This is the first time we've offered this tour, and the response we've had so far suggests that this could become a more regular tour for visitors and groups, especially educational tours, as it really brings history alive."
Mary Valley Rattler General Manager, Mike Green, said while the weekend would celebrate the region's past, the Gold Museum and Rattler are still pioneering the region's economic and tourism future.
"Having Joan, a former Gympie Mayor, as our guide will be really special as she lives and breathes Gympie heritage and is passionate about sharing her stories, past and present," said Mr Green.
"We see this partnership as another great tourism experience to attract visitors to Gympie and celebrate what makes the region so authentic."
Bookings and further information: https://www.maryvalleyrattler.com.au/