CARNARVON GORGE & SAPPHIRE GEMFIELDS Sandstone Wilderness – Southern Great Barrier Reef
59 59 Bluff, Carnarvon Gorge Boolimba
Carnarvon Gorge Like an oasis in a desert, the astonishingly lush Carnarvon Gorge National Park stands out in stark contrast to the surrounding dry brigalow plains. Hidden in the rugged ranges of Capricorn’s Central Highlands, Carnarvon Gorge is a wonderland of rainforest, creeks, cliffs, moss gardens, sublime Aboriginal rock art and abundant plant and bird life. Towering cliffs, vibrantly coloured gorges, Carnarvon Creek meandering through the length of the soft sandstone escarpment, endemic fan palms, ancient cycads and unbelievably rich biodiversity: Carnarvon Gorge is a walker’s paradise. It is a place that you can explore over an extended period of time or at short intervals. We recommend you allow at least 4-6 days to walk the 27 kilometres of graded tracks and to explore the side gorges and Aboriginal art sites. Learn about the area’s significance to the Aboriginal people by taking the 500 metre selfguided walk to Baloon Cave or a half-day walk to the impressive Art Gallery. Discover ancient Aboriginal stencilling, engraving and freehand paintings dating back tens of thousands of years, concealed within the soaring sandstone escarpments. To the traditional custodians, the gorge continues to be “a place of learning” – let the land teach you a new appreciation of Aboriginal culture and history.
Fossicking, Sapphire Gemfields
Sapphire Gemfields It is all about the bling baby! You are sure to catch some serious gemstone fever when you visit the towns of Rubyvale, Sapphire, Anakie and Willows Gemfields in the Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields. Only a 45 minute drive west of Emerald (three hours west of Rockhampton) on the Capricorn Highway, the Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields represents over 900 square kilometres of prime gem fossicking opportunity!
There are many ways to explore the Sapphire Gemfields. Why not take a guided tour of a walk-in underground mine or go on a tag-along digging tour? Book a selfdrive fossicking tour with maps and all the necessary equipment and explore the back tracks. Visit a fossicking park and buy a bucket of sapphire “wash”, learn to sieve it, and recognise sapphires in the rough.
Gemshops, galleries, jewellers and locally created cottage industries are abundant in the area. There’s no better place to purchase an Australian-mined and cut sapphire or quality sapphire jewellery. Gem-cutters are available to facet your very own find, and jewellers will set them to create valuable family heirlooms to be treasured forever.
Central Highlands Communities You don’t need to go beyond the black stump to get off the beaten track when holidaying in Central Queensland. Get a feel for real rural Australian life with a visit to Capricorn’s Central Highlands. While not exactly a yellow brick road, if you travel west from Rockhampton along the Capricorn Highway you will reach the Emerald City. Well not quite a city, but the large country town of Emerald is undoubtedly the jewel in the crown that is the Central Highlands. Named not after the gem, but for the lush green pastures that surround the town, Emerald is considered the “hub” of the Central Highlands and the “gateway” for the Sapphire Gemfields.
Historic Railway Station, Emerald
In 1972, the construction of Fairbairn Dam and the Emerald Irrigation Scheme allowed for the significant development and expansion of agriculture across the region. The dam construction and its associated Lake Maraboon, also kicked off large-scale coal production with this section of the Bowen Basin producing a significant proportion of Queensland’s total coal exports. And of course it isn’t all about the destination; it is also about the journey and you will learn plenty on your path through original outback frontier towns like Dingo, Bluff, Comet and Alpha. If you are including a visit to Carnarvon Gorge, the towns of Springsure and Rolleston along the Great Inland Way are also well worth scoping out. Take your time and enjoy your tour, the Central Highlands are a most inviting and engaging region of the great Land of Oz!
Virgin Rock, Springsure
Drive Capricorn Way
Planning Your Trip This area was made for road trips! Travel along the Great Inland Way between Sydney and Cairns, drive the Peak Downs Highway from Mackay or head straight inland on the Capricorn Highway from Rockhampton. For a more relaxed trip, you can jump aboard the “Spirit of the Outback” train which travels twice weekly along the coast from Brisbane to Rockhampton and then heads west through Blackwater, Emerald to Longreach and back. Coach services also follow this route.
If you want to get straight into finding your fortune, there are daily flights between Brisbane and Emerald, and all major car hire companies offer services in town. For more information on the region including self-drive trails, unique experiences or national park information, you can visit one of our friendly visitor centres or visit our website for more information on national parks, walking tracks, unique experiences and adventures available to you in the wonderful region. www.capricornholidays.com.au
Share Your Adventures With Us! #VisitCapricorn
Emerald Visitor Information Centre 3 Clermont Street, Emerald P: 07 4982 4142 Got questions on the Sapphire Gemfields, Carnarvon Gorge, a local festival or event and want the right answers? Let the Emerald Visitor Information Centre staff set you on the right road.
Blackwater International Coal Centre Capricorn Highway, Blackwater P: 07 4982 7755 Blackwater; the coal capital of Queensland with a big story to tell. Visit the Australian Coal Mining Museum, tour a working coal mine or have a coffee, cake and a chat in the café.
E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.centralhighlands.com.au
E: email@example.com W: www.bicc.com.au
Springsure Woolshed Visitor Centre
Duaringa Visitor Centre
Gregory Highway, Springsure P: 07 4984 1961 Steeped in pioneering history and nestled in the foothills of the Minerva Ranges, the staff at the Woolshed can ensure that your stay in Springsure is a memorable one.
Capricorn Highway, Duaringa P: 07 4935 7077 The gateway to Queensland’s Central Highlands, the Duaringa Visitor Centre will give you the latest info to ensure that you enjoy your Duaringa stay.
To Rolleston & Injune
Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge
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Carnarvon Gorge Walks
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Carnarvon Gorge Visitor Area
Warrumbah Bluff Baloon Cave
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Central Highlands Directory Carnarvon Gorge Camping and Accommodation Takarakka Bush Resort P: 07 49 84 84 84
New Royal Hotel Rubyvale Keilambete Road, Rubyvale P: 07 4985 4754 Built of logs and billy boulders, the pub was awarded Qld’s Best Bush Pub in 2014 & 2015. Bottle Shop, Pokies, Keno, Bistro & TAB plus log cabins set in native gardens. E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.rubyvalehotel.com.au
Blue Gem Tourist Park 925 Anakie-Sapphire Road, Sapphire P: 07 4985 4162 Located in the heart of the Sapphire Gemfields – large grassed sites for vans & camping; cabins; fossicking park; convenience store; fuel, gas & ice; pet friendly.
Don’t miss Central Queensland’s top holiday destination. Takarakka is open all year round and is accessible to all vehicles. Enjoy spacious caravan and camping options or choose from a range of accommodation. Country hospitality, best rated tours, activities, camp kitchens and facilities. Experience a guided walk, scenic flight, sunset and astronomy tour to unlock the secrets of this special place or simply relax and absorb the peace and tranquillity. We recommend a 4–6 day stay. Book your Carnarvon Gorge holiday adventure today.
E: email@example.com W: www.takarakka.com.au
E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.bluegemtouristpark.com.au
Capella Pioneer Village Corner Gregory Highway & Walsh Street, Capella P: 07 4984 9425 1869 Peak Downs homestead. >5000 Objects. Cinema. Vintage Farming Machinery. Wool Industry. Rail. $12 Adults. $9 Seniors/Students. Tour/School Groups welcome. E: email@example.com W: www.capella.com.au
Bobby Dazzler Sapphire Mine
Rubyvale, Central Queensland P: 07 4981 0000
Capricorn Brisbane Canberra
Guided mine tour. Guided fossicking trail/workshop, dig your own dirt. Buckets of sapphire wash. Gemshop, Cafe plus more. E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.bobbydazzlerminetours.com.au
Rubyvale Observatory XXXX
Central Highlands Directory Miners Heritage Walk-In Mine 97 Heritage Road, Rubyvale P: 07 4985 4444 Australia’s largest underground sapphire mine tour... Visit Miners Heritage Walk-In Mine and discover the amazing world of sapphires. Guided mine tours depart from 9.15am, we will take you 15 metres underground and through 440 metres of hand dug tunnels. Learn about the formation of sapphires and marvel at the original ‘monkey drive’ tunnels that date back to 1906 – don’t forget to bring your camera! Want to find your own sapphires? Buy a bucket of ‘wash’, straight from our mine to you. We’ll help you identify and find your own sapphires to take home. With over 60 years’ combined jewellery knowledge we can help you find that extra special souvenir. Our award winning showroom has the largest display of local sapphires, exquisite handmade gold jewellery, sapphire and semi-precious silver jewellery plus crystals, fossils and gems from all over the world. Come and experience Miners Heritage Walk-In Mine, your one stop introduction to the Sapphire Gemfields. APRIL – SEPT 9am-5pm | OCT – MARCH 9am-3pm
Features ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬ ¬
Fully Guided Mine Tour (minimum 2 people) Unique Handcrafted Jewellery Underground Museum Fossicking Park Established 1984 Open 7 Days
E: email@example.com W: www.minersheritage.com.au
Gemfest – Festival of Gems
Rubyvale Gem Gallery
Anakie | August 11th–14th, 2016 P: 07 4985 4375
3 Main Street, Rubyvale P: 07 4985 4388
Gemfest – Festival of Gems is an annual four day event that celebrates and showcases the high-quality sapphires of the Sapphire Gemfields in the Highlands of Central Queensland.
Australian tourism award winning Rubyvale Gem Gallery is home to one of the most outstanding collections of sapphires and designer jewellery. Our locally mined and expertly cut sapphires, with innovative design makes our jewellery distinctive and desirable.
Held in Anakie 11th to 14th August 2016 with local, national and international traders providing a glittering array of all earth’s treasures – precious and semi-precious gems and jewellery, crystals, fossils and a variety of other goods. There’s street theatre and stage entertainment – workshops – demonstrations plus activities and exhibitions throughout the four townships. Find us on Facebook!
E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.gemfest.com.au
Relax in one of our spacious self-contained holiday apartments with private verandas and attractive garden setting. Soak up the unique Rubyvale atmosphere sitting on the veranda of the Rubyvale Gem Gallery Café while enjoying your favourite coffee, with Nette’s famous scones and homemade treats.
E: email@example.com W: www.rubyvalegemgallery.com
SEE AUSTRALIA’S BEST LIVE EVENTS IN
SPRINGSURE Springsure Campdraft 8–10 April 2016
EMU PARK Festival of the Wind 3 April 2016
ROCKHAMPTON The Rhys Wesser Super 9’s Shield 2016 1–2 April 2016
KENRICK TUCKER VELODROME, ROCKHAMPTON CQUniversity Rockhampton Cup on Wheels 8–9 January 2016
YEPPOON The Great Australia Day Beach Party 26 January 2016
ROCKHAMPTON SHOWGROUNDS Rockhampton Speedway 13 February 2016
YEPPOON Photographic Society of Queensland Convention 30 Apr – 2 May 2016
SPRINGSURE Springsure Show 27–28 May 2016
ROCKHAMPTON SHOWGROUNDS 18th World Brahman Congress 2016 Australia 16–21 May 2016
CAPELLA Capella Show 20–21 May 2016
CALLAGHAN PARK, ROCKHAMPTON Rockhampton Grammar School Race Day 7 May 2016
CLERMONT Clermont Rodeo & Show 24–25 May 2016
ROCKHAMPTON SHOWGROUNDS Taste of the World Festival 28 May 2016
CALLAGHAN PARK, ROCKHAMPTON St Patrick’s Day Races 12 March 2016
CAPRICORN CAVES Opera In The Caves
EMERALD SHOWGROUNDS Emerald Show
27–29 May 2016
31 May – 1 June 2016
PILBEAM THEATRE Mary Poppins 11–20 March 2016
EMERALD Mud Run Emerald 12 March 2016
YEPPOON SHOWGROUNDS Yeppoon Show 11–12 June 2016
BRIDGEMAN PARK, CAPELLA Capella Campdraft 18–20 March 2016
MOUNT MORGAN Golden Mount Festival 28 April – 2 May 2016
DUARINGA Duaringa Campdraft 21–22 May 2016
ROCKHAMPTON SHOWGROUNDS CQ Health 2016 Sports and Health Expo 28 March 2016
KOORANA CROCODILE FARM Crocodile Hatching March – May 2016
CAVES SHOWGROUNDS, THE CAVES The Caves Show 24 April 2016
MARLBOROUGH Marlborough Show 16 April 2016
ROCKHAMPTON Wholly Cow 1–31 May 2016
ROCKHAMPTON GALLERY National Photographic Portrait Prize 2015 20 February – 3 April 2016
PILBEAM THEATRE Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow 29 April 2016
ROLLESTON Rolleston Campdraft 16–17 April 2016
CALLAGHAN PARK Rockhampton Girls Grammar School Race Day 18 June 2016
COLTS RUGBY UNION OVAL, TOM NUTLEY FIELD, ROCKHAMPTON Relay for Life Rockhampton 14–15 May 2016
ROCKHAMPTON SHOWGROUNDS Rockhampton Show 15–17 June 2016
CALLAGHAN PARK Rockhampton Cup Day 25 June 2016
AUSTRALIA’S BEST DESTINATIONS.
EMERALD AG-GROW Field Days 7–9 July 2016
PARADISE LAGOONS, ROCKHAMPTON Paradise Lagoons Campdraft 20–24 July 2016 ROCKHAMPTON ART GALLERY The Gold Award 23 July – 4 September 2016
BLACKWATER Saratoga Spectacular 1–2 October 2016 PILBEAM THEATRE Sydney Comedy Festival Showcase 2016 14 July 2016
ROCKHAMPTON RIVERBANK Rockhampton River Festival 15–17 July 2016
YEPPOON GOLF CLUB JRT / TAG Yeppoon Golf Classic 26–30 July 2016
ROCKHAMPTON SHOWGROUNDS Rocky Swap 6 August 2016
KEPPEL BAY MARINA Brisbane to Keppel Tropical Yacht Race 5–7 August 2016
YEPPOON MAIN BEACH Yeppoon Triathlon Festival 6–7 August 2016
ROCKHAMPTON HERITAGE VILLAGE Rockhampton Cultural Festival 28 August 2016
YEPPOON Village Festival 12–14 August 2016 YEPPOON Obstacles Gone Mad 13 August 2016
ANAKIE, SAPPHIRE GEMFIELDS Gemfest – Festival of Gems 11–14 August 2016
CAPRICORN COAST Yeppoon Coastguard Tight Lines Fishing Classic 26–28 August 2016
EMERALD SHOWGROUNDS Central Highlands Multicultural Festival 27 August 2016
MT ARCHER, ROCKHAMPTON Challenge the Mountain 27 August 2016
SEE THE FULL EVENTS CALENDAR AT
YEPPOON MAIN BEACH Capricorn Coast Running Festival 2 October 2016
YEPPOON LIONS TROPICAL PINEFEST 14–16 October 2016
BELL PARK, EMU PARK Emu Park Oktoberfest October 2016
ROCKHAMPTON Black Dog Ball 15 October 2016
CAPRICORN CAVES Opera in the Caves 4–6 November 2016
ROCKHAMPTON Carols by Candlelight
YEPPOON Carols by the Beach
NEW YEARS EVE CELEBRATIONS
SEP COMET Comet Sporting & Agriculture Show 17–18 September 2016
ROCKHAMPTON RIVERBANK Capricorn Food & Wine Festival 16–18 September 2016
CAPRICORN CAVES Summer Solstice Light Spectacle 1 December 2016 until 16 January 2017
Central Highlands - Sandstone Wilderness - Southern Great Barrier Reef