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CARNARVON GORGE & SAPPHIRE GEMFIELDS Sandstone Wilderness – Southern Great Barrier Reef



59 59 Bluff, Carnarvon Gorge Boolimba


Carnarvon Gorge


Carnarvon Gorge

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!


Rough Sapphire

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.

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.

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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.



Sapphire Gemfields

To Rolleston & Injune

Carnarvon Gorge Wilderness Lodge





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Main walking track starts here

Rock Pool

Art Gallery

Nature Trail


Big Bend

Carnarvon Gorge Walks

Great Walk circuit trail R6 From Cabbage Tree camping zone

Ward’s Canyon

Cathedral Cave

Battleship Spur

Boolimba Bluff

Boowinda Gorge


Carnarvon Gorge Visitor Area

Moss Garden

Warrumbah Bluff Baloon Cave



No diving


General Store

Caravan Site

Car camping




Rock art

No fires

Toilet facilities



Picnic Tables

Ranger station

Great Walk trail

Creek crossing

Main walking track



Great Walk circuit trail R2 To Gadd’s walkers’ camp


Main Walking Track



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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: W:

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.

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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: W:


Bobby Dazzler Sapphire Mine


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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: W:



Melbourne Hobart

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

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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!

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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.

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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



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


ROCKHAMPTON SHOWGROUNDS Rockhampton Show 15–17 June 2016

CALLAGHAN PARK Rockhampton Cup Day 25 June 2016



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



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



YEPPOON MAIN BEACH Capricorn Coast Running Festival 2 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


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


Carnarvon Gorge & Sapphire Gemfields - Holiday Planner 2016  

Central Highlands - Sandstone Wilderness - Southern Great Barrier Reef

Carnarvon Gorge & Sapphire Gemfields - Holiday Planner 2016  

Central Highlands - Sandstone Wilderness - Southern Great Barrier Reef