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Things to Do in Emerald

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by Kevin Liepins (subscribe)
A lover of Brisbane, the wonderful Wynnum Manly Bayside, and and the beautiful Scenic Rim. A freelance writer always looking for the new and quirky places and events in my own backyard.
Published January 24th 2017
A gem of a town to visit
Gems may be not the town's main claim to fame despite its name, but close is the Sapphire Gemfields. Emerald is a good stop on a journey into Central West Queensland. Situated about 3 hrs drive west from Rockhampton along the Capricorn Way, Emerald is almost in line with the Tropic of Capricorn that links the Queensland outback to the reef.

Emerald's Historic Railway station - Image – CHDC (Central Highlands Development Corporation)

A must for any visit to Emerald is the massive Van Gogh replica painting situated in the Moreton Park as you enter the town from the west. It's the world's biggest Van Gogh 'Sunflower' painting and is homage to the heritage of Emerald as a major sunflower producer.

Emerald Easel & Mosaic pathway
Emerald Easel & Mosaic pathway - Image CHDC

Close by is the Central Highlands Visitor Information Centre with a well-stocked array of local information and product for visitors and locals alike.

A 15 minute drive takes you to Fairbairn Dam and Lake Maraboon with its massive surface area that is larger than Sydney Harbour. A drive along the dam wall gives you extensive views over the lake with spectacular sunsets. The drive can be made into a loop round trip of around 45 minutes back to Emerald.

Lake Maraboon - Image CHDC
Lake Maraboon

Emerald Botanic Gardens is an extensive array of gardens adjacent to the main bridge into town. It has its own style as distinct from some big city botanical gardens with a gorgeous mix of foliage that makes for a pleasant walk, jog or bike ride any time of day.

Emerald Botanic Gardens
Emerald Botanic Gardens - Image CHDC

As a regional centre the town has all the main services and shops you would want including two shopping centres. For a coffee stop visit the colourful Happy House Café on Egerton St with its eclectic collection of housewares and children's items.

Happy House Cafe Emerald
Happy House Cafe Emerald

Happy House Cafe Emerald
Happy House Cafe Emerald

A short stroll takes you to the town's art gallery within the council administrative building. It has a small changing collection of artworks often featuring local artists such as the annual art completion.

Art Gallery Emerald
Art Gallery Emerald

Emerald is the perfect base from which to explore the Central Highlands district with the gemfields nearby and the grandeur of the Carnarvon Gorge a few hours' drive away.

Carnarvon Gorge
Carnarvon Gorge

A great central spot to stay is the good value Motel 707 at 17 Ruby St, Emerald with friendly staff and good meals that include breakfast, a packed lunch and dinner.

Further information can be found from the Central Highlands Visitor Information Centre on the website here or by calling 07 4982 4142
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Why? Things to do in Emerald
When: All year
Phone: 07 4982 4142
Where: Central Highlands Visitor Information Centre
Cost: Various
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