Flooding in the Gympie region

The main river system in the Gympie region is the Mary River (Gubbi Gubbi: Moocooboola). The Mary River flows from the headwaters in high-rainfall areas of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, around Maleny, Mapleton and the southern Conondale Ranges north through Kenilworth towards Gympie, and Maryborough. Heavy rainfall in these hinterland areas can cause major flooding along the Mary River system and north into Gympie.  

The Mary River flows for about 300 km from Booroobin in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland in the south to the Great Sandy Strait between River Heads and K’gari in the north. 

The Mary River catchment is one of Queensland’s most diverse catchments. The river itself flows about 300km from Booroobin in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, north to the Great Sandy Strait between River Heads and K’gari. The catchment covers an area of over 7000 km2. It collects rainfall and flood water, with highly variable streamflow and large areas of the catchment exposed to riverine and flash flooding. 

Tributaries flow through many local towns and communities, east from around Goomeri, and west from around Cooroy. Major tributaries include the Obi Obi, Little Yabba, Six Mile, Amamoor, Kandanga, Tinana, Deep, Munna and Wide Bay Creeks. 

Flooding can occur across the region through the tributaries and catchment areas. In Gympie, nearly 80% of recorded floods have occurred between December and April. 

The Bureau of Meteorology operates a flood warning system for the Mary River based on rainfall and river height observations. In consultation with local councils, the Bureau issues predictions of flood heights for the Mary River at Gympie whenever it is expected to exceed 12 metres on the gauge boards adjacent to Kidd Bridge. The objective is to provide between 21 to 27 hours warning for Gympie. 

The Burnett River also impacts the Gympie region. Located on the southern Queensland coast, with the mouth of the river just north of the City of Bundaberg, the Burnett catchment is listed as a single catchment, however consists of several distinct areas with similar characteristics. The Barker and Barambah creeks sub-catchment includes Barker, Barambah and Boonara creeks along with many minor waterways, affecting small communities in the western Gympie region. 

For more information on river systems and how the Mary River and Burnett River catchments work, visit the below videos from the Queensland Reconstruction Authority. 

Before travelling to other regions in Queensland (or even further), familiarise yourself and access information about weather, flooding and road networks through the respective council websites or disaster dashboards and hubs. 

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