Welcome to Kabi Kabi/Gubbi Gubbi country and Imbil, “the jewel of the Mary Valley” [Joy King].

In the early 1850s the area now known as Imbil was established for sheep grazing. Cattle soon took over and the Imbil cattle station was formed in the 1860s. Gold was soon discovered in Gympie and Imbil, but the area remained ideal for farming once the alluvial gold supply ran out and area was ideal for farming.

A provisional school was opened in 1897 and once the railway opened in 1915 township lots and parts of the Imbil run were sold. By the 1920s the population was around 600, and by then there were several stores, a joinery works, three sawmills and a bank. [Pugh’s Almanac (1925)]. Through the middle of the 20th century, forestry was a large industry with several sawmill licences approved.

Today, Imbil is a popular destination for travellers, and as of the last census (2016) the population nears 924.

View the slideshow for a snapshot, see the difference of the two sets of photos taken over 70 years apart, and click on the photo gallery for all photos.

  • Yabba Homestead 25 April 1962 - donated by Ian Stehbens
  • W.H Moynehan - Imbil 1926 - donated by Ian Stehbens
  • Imbil Railway Hotel - donated by Pam Hopkins
  • Imbil Railway Hotel - donated by Pam Hopkins
  • 1945 cricket team visiting the Grainger farm - donated by Barry Grainger

Compare the difference

Look at the two sets of photos taken years apart – donated by Ian Stehbens

Imbil taken from the steps of the Congragational Church – on left 1919 and on right 1981 – donated by Ian Stehbens
Church of England and Manse, Imbil, 1920'sChurch of England and Manse, Imbil, 1998, photo Ian Stehbens
Church of England and Manse, Imbil – on left 1920s and on right 1998 – donated by Ian Stehbens

Photo Gallery of Imbil– click on an image to view full screen

Click on a tab to view more images

King, Joy (2001) “Imbil: jewel of the Mary Valley: a historical reference” [available for loan from the library]
Wild Heart Bountiful Land
Produced by the Queensland State Archives in partnership with Cooloola Shire Council, Wild Heart Bountiful Land is an historical overview of the Mary River Valley. [free eBook]
Mary Valley Rattler
A history of the railway in the Mary Valley [Web site]
Queensland Places
Centre for the Government of Queensland, contains all the places in Queensland with or has had a population over 500. [Web site]
Queensland Government – Place Names
Queensland place names database [Web site]
Regional Profile
A statistical snapshot of our region [Web site]
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Data from the 2016 Census [Web site]
University of Queensland
Pugh’s Queensland Almanac and Directory


Proudly funded and supported by the Queensland Government and the State Library of Queensland.


Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that ‘Voices of the Valley’ may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, websites, film, audio recordings or printed material.

All opinions expressed in the Voices of the Valley interviews are those of the interviewee and do not reflect the views of Gympie Regional Council.

About Us

Gympie Regional Libraries provide a free, innovative library service to the residents, ratepayers and visitors of the Gympie region, boasting six service points located at:
* Gympie
* Goomeri
* Imbil
* Kilkivan
* Rainbow Beach
* Tin Can Bay

Visit Us

Get In Touch

Gympie Regional Libraries
8-14 Mellor Street
Gympie QLD 4570
(07) 5481 0859

In the Mary Valley

Imbil Library
123-125 Yabba Creek Road
Imbil QLD 4570
(07) 5484 5488

More Local History

Gympie Regional Memories
Local History blog – many more stories of our region

Curated Photo Collection
See more photos of our region organised by themes

The Past in Print
Free local history ebooks – download them to a device

Heritage Talks
View digitised versions of our heritage talks

Gympie Region Heritage Trails
Use QR codes to follow the heritage trails

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