Emerald Travel Guide

  • Railway station @ Emerald
    Railway station @ Emerald
    by balhannah
  • Fairbairn Dam
    Fairbairn Dam
    by balhannah
  • Traction engine (steam)
    Traction engine (steam)
    by balhannah

Emerald Things to Do


    Right next to where we parked our car at Rigle Range road at the Emerald Botanic gardens, was a large Southern Cross Windmill. It lwas built in 1931 and was used for irrigation on "Marathon", one of the early pioneer farms near Emerald. Now, after restoration, it is here in the Botanic Gardens, and is used for pumping water into the lagoon in the...


    Fairbairn Dam and Lake Maraboon Fairbairn Dam refers to the spillway and Lake Maraboon, meaning ‘where the black duck fly’, refers to the body of water behind the spillway. This huge expanse of water is three times the size of Sydney Harbour and is home to a number of waterfowl and native marine life, seems like a lot of our Dams are 3X the size of...


    Approx 67kms from Emerald are the Sapphire fields. The towns of Rubyvale, Anakie, Tomahawk creek gemfields and Willow gemfields.The Gemfields of Sapphire and Rubyvale are by far the greatest attraction during the Winter, Spring and Autumn months, people flock here by the hundred's in these months. The sapphire fields date back to 1875 when the...


    The world's biggest Van Gogh sunflower painting is situated in Morton Park, Emerald.Emerald, famous as a major sunflower producer, is home to the world's biggest Van Gogh sunflower painting on an easel. The huge painting is 25 metres high with approximately 13.6 tonnes of steel used in the making. Of interest, is it was an idea by a person named...


    In 1899 Emerald's first Railway Station was built, but was burnt to the ground.1900, and a new Railway Station was built, and what a beautiful one it is with lovely architecture. Built out of timber, with iron roof and wrought iron trimmings, it has an elaborate entrance, with wrought iron lacework and pillared portico, beautiful!The Station is...

  • Botanic Gardens @ Emerald

    The Botanic Gardens are on the edge of the Nogoa River. They have quite a good variety of plants, including a formal terraced rose garden and a Rainforest. There is even a Maze, made out of Melaleuca's, these are in the Celestial Garden.If you are here at the right time, then there is Water lillies flowering, and usually plenty of Waterbirds in the...

  • Fossilized Tree

    This amazing fossilised tree is 250 million years old, and is located just outside Emerald's Town Hall. The tree was unearthed in 1979 when a new railway bridge was being built across the Mackenzie River for the Gregory Mine. It was presented to the town in its centenary year by the mining company.

  • Water Gardens

    The gardens also have some beautiful ponds and water gardens. Most of the garden areas is for pedestrian use only. However bicycles are permitted in some clearly marked areas.

  • Flowering Trees

    Sections of the gardens has been devoted to plants which are indigenous to the Central Highlands. Features include the Federation Pillars, Marbles in the Park, the Water Fall and Bush Chapel.There also many varieties of flowering shrubs and trees

  • More on the Gardens

    There are approximately 6kms of walking tracks throughout the Eastern and Western sides of the Botanical Gardens.Some of the attractions you will find on the Western Side of the gardens include Secure Play equipment and BBQ area, Band Stand, the Rose Garden and Mono Rail.

  • Botanical Gardens

    The Emerald Botanic Gardens are situated on the banks of the Nogoa River.They are the only Botanic Gardens in the Central Western District of Queensland.The total area of gardens is 42 hectares.

  • Main Road through Town

    Peak hour traffic in Emerald.. ;-) For a town this size, I found it to be way too quiet. The only places that had a lot of activity, were the many pubs and clubs.

  • Art Gallery

    The Art Gallery was a big disappointment to me. Even in quaint little towns, you find that the art gallery is a place of pride, a place where you feel yourself being drawn inside.. Not so here, unfortunately.

  • Emerald Council Offices

    Another building that seems to be sitting in entirely the wrong place. It was hard to pin point the era this building may have been built, but it was neither old or new.

  • Emerald Court House

    The Courthouse is a small but modern building.. and appears to have been built quite recently. Though, for some reason, it appears to be situated in the wrong place. The surrounding buildings are all 'a bit of this, and a bit of that'.. making it not very appealing.

  • Emerald Post Office

    Walking around Emerald, you get the impression that this town could almost be two entirly different towns. Some of the old buildings are beautifully preserved, and have that old world charm about them.

  • Lake Maraboon

    Just a short drive through citrus orchards takes you to Lake Maraboon, Queensland's second largest lake which was formed when the Fairbairtn Dam was built across the Hogoa River. Campers on the lake shores can hand-feed parrots and possums and fish for the Murray cod, saratoga and other fresh-water varieties, with which Maraboon is stocked.

  • Tourist Information Center

    A visit to the Central Highlands Tourist Information Center, is a must. Here you can obtain a lot of first hand information about the attractions, and places of interest, in the area.


Emerald Transportation

  • Sweetberry1's Profile Photo

    Emerald Airport

    by Sweetberry1 Written Oct 3, 2004

    3 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Qantas Link provide daily RPT services into Emerald..
    Facilities inc..
    A modern passenger terminal building
    Kiosk (operates during RPT flights)
    Public telephone in terminal building
    Car rentals
    Car parking

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    • Family Travel

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Emerald Local Customs

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    by balhannah Updated Jun 29, 2014

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One thing you don't need to worry about in Australia, is finding Toilets. They are everywhere, including the smallest of Towns.
    We even have a map with locations of Toilets all around Australia.
    What I think is nice, is the way Towns paint their Toilets with Murals, quite often depicting the Town and area.
    The ones in my photo were in Emerald, and from what I can see, they are depicting the Fairbarn dam and the birdlife there.

    Toilet mural
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    • Arts and Culture

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Emerald Tourist Traps

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    Kiely's Farm in Emerald

    by cbrandlehner Written Sep 14, 2003

    Kiely's Farm is indeed offering FREE CAMPING for self-contained vans and motorhomes, therefore you may want to stay there for a night.
    The trap at Kiely's farm is the little shop selling overpriced cotton-products. They advertise it a products from Australian cotton but if you have a closer look you may find some little tags saying "made in china".

    Another trap a the same farm is the animal farm. The entry fee is AUD 8, which is definitely too much for some domesticated animals (pig, goose, duck, horse ...) and some animals from South-America.

    See their homepage at: http://www.kielysfarm.com

    Unique Suggestions: Just stay on the free camping and enjoy the relaxing bar and the complimentary videos on cotton farming.

    Fun Alternatives: If you are traveling across Australia you will pass Sydney. Visit the zoo there - it is definitely worth the price and much more bigger.

    Related to:
    • Farm Stay

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Emerald Off The Beaten Path

  • Towns in the Gemfields

    The 4 small towns of Anakie, Willows, Sapphire and Rubyvale are all situated on the Gemfields. During my visit to the Willows gemfields, I was very fortunate to have found several good quality gems. Some of these were Zircons, Garnets, Blue Sapphires, and Yellow Sapphires... as well as party colours and Star Sapphires.

  • Gemfields Continued..

    Just over 40 km west of the town of Emerald is an area that is a major supplier of sapphires to the world market. These are one of the richest sapphire fields on the planet.Sapphires are second only to diamonds in hardness and are one of the five most prized gems in the world. The Sapphire Gemfields are open all year but are more popular and...

  • The Gemfields

    The Gemfields has traditionally been a mecca for people from throughout Australia and overseas in search of sapphires and alternative lifestyle. The annual Gemfest is a unique festival that should not be missed. In recent years Gemfest has received international recognition as a fantastic opportunity for visitors and locals to view and purchase...


Emerald General

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  • The Coal Industry

    Emerald is indebted to coal rather than gemstones, or green grass for its prosperity.And, despite its proximity to the gemfields of Anakie, Sapphire and Rubyvale, Emerald has much to offer the visitor in its own right.The entrancing Botanical Gardens, a living museum in the Pioneer Cottage Complex, cotton gin and coal mine tours, a singular,...

  • No Emeralds in this Town

    Emerald is central to a whole host of industries, ranging from grazing to the exotic. Among them are sheep and cattle, citrus farms, sapphire mining, coal, cotton industries, and vinyardsTo the west are the gemfields and to the east is the Blackdown Tableland National Park.

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