Rowan Schindler

A fresh look at our region's past

THERE are gold mines, slab huts and not a computer in sight at the historical heart of a town that has been welcoming visitors for longer than Gympie has existed.

Kilkivan's museum complex is a fresh celebration of everything old in the area's background.

The Rise and Shine Cottage, for example, is named after the gold mine on Kilkivan's eastern outskirts, where wealth was mined before Gympie was even a glint in James Nash's pan.

Proud community volunteer Dawn Choate says it's not just a museum, it's a walk-around historical neighbourhood of restored buildings, artefacts and sometimes priceless collections ranging from antique machinery to ancient crystals and gems, including the incredible collection of Paul Stumm, who gathered rocks from around the world.

There is the cream shed from Cinnabar, from which cream was taken to Murgon, before Mrs Choate's father started a motor vehicle link to Gympie in 1936.

There is a sawmill and a school and the bakery which would welcome a weary traveller.

Today's travellers, weary or not, can refresh themselves with Kilkivan's own café society venue, just a few doors along, The Bank Espresso Bar and Café, operated by Jackie Richards (who worked there when it was called The Left Bank and who now owns the business).