Central Queensland Highlands Visitor Guide 2021-22

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centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au Carnarvon gorge � sapphire gemfields � emerald
(07) 4984 4535 breezeholidayparks.com.au Discover Carnarvon Gorge. Reconnect with nature. Formerly Takarakka Bush Resort Under new management
Carnarvon Gorge4

Central Queensland Highlands

past and present


hold the stories about the rivers and

the traditions, the cultures and

of Australia’s First Nation Peoples.

your own adventure

to earth

iconic National Parks


wild Saratoga


memory of CQH tourism champion, Peter Brown, 1953 – 2021.

IMAGE: Underground mine tour, Rubyvale, Jesse Lindemann.

COVER IMAGE: Salvator Rosa, Carnarvon National Park, Opal Heart Media.

CREDITS: Jesse Lindemann, Opal Heart Media, Nathan White Images, Alberto Sudo, Australian Nature Guides, James Laws Photography, Our Gypsy Life, @the.wildlings, Little Grey Box, @cgtrippin, Highland Homewares, Tourism & Events Queensland.

This publication is produced by Central Highlands Development Corporation.

effort has been made to ensure information

accurate and correct, however the Corporation

be held responsible for any errors, changes or omissions.

We respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands across the
and respect the Elders –
contents 06 Welcome 08 Captain
12 Get down
20 Explore
34 Uncover
& heritage 44 Hunt for the
48 Discover the
hub 54 Working holidays 58 Events 60 Regional map 62 Holiday directory 64 Camping & caravanning 66 Getting here & around 67 Chat to a local In
centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 5

there are some destinations whose attractions all sit on the surface, are easy to see, predictable and overpopulated, and then there are others that sit more quietly, sparking your curiosity and nudging you quietly to explore more.

The Central Queensland Highlands is one of them, with its diverse landscape that encourages you to dig a little deeper with each and every kilometre you put on your odometer.

Located in Central Queensland at the crossroads of the Capricorn Highway and the Great Inland Way, these two arterials connect travellers to 60,000km2 of the equally arid and verdant Central Queensland Highlands.

No matter which direction you’re travelling from, or where you’re heading to next, within the Central Queensland Highlands you’ll find a tableland that’s set for adventure.

Yaddamen Dhina Lookout, Blackdown Tableland National Park6

While the region might be diverse in landscape, the region is starkly similar in its shared values; it’s grounded, honest and authentic.

The true value of the destination can be found all over the terra firma of the Central Queensland Highlands – whether you’re interested in geological creations, cascading cliffs, indigenous history or the agricultural industry.

While most choose to define their adventure by the trifecta of natural attractions –Carnarvon Gorge, Blackdown Tableland National Park and the Sapphire Gemfields – to stay only on these beaten paths means you miss what more there is to explore.

In between, small country towns define the visitor experience, with friendly locals who reflect what Outback hospitality is all about. Quaint communities, historical museums and railway stations are only a marked signpost away.

No matter when you visit, every day is a new discovery, whether it’s a new indigenous rock art site, a precious sapphire stone or a new mine.

There’s always something to discover. There’s always something to uncover.

And just when you think that’s everything there is to see and do in the Central Queensland Highlands, you’ll find there’s more to explore.


Leave the city in the rear-view mirror and take to the open roads of the Central queensland highlands on a self-drive adventure.

Carnarvon Gorge8

Get down to earth

day one: anakie & Sapphire

Start your morning at the Anakie Crossroads with a locally roasted coffee served next to the towering Sapphire Reflections artwork. Continue into town to see the bottle tree engraved by soldiers on their way to war.

Spend the afternoon in Sapphire searching for gems at a fossicking park, before taking a walk with the wallabies at the Sapphire Gemfields Wetland Reserve.

day two: Sapphire & rubyvale

Now you have the fossicking basics down pat, take it a step further and spend the morning on a tag along tour out in the ‘fields. Reward your hard work with an icy-cold schooner of Fossicker’s Ale at the Rubyvale pub.

Leave enough time in the day to take an underground mine tour, venturing 16 metres under the surface to see how the pioneer

miners extracted sapphires.

day three: rubyvale

No matter your budget, it’s free to spend the morning admiring the beautiful jewellery in local gem shops and galleries. Stop for coffee and treat yourself with a slice of authentic Austrian strudel.

Take a drive around the mining claims and see some of the unusual short-term dwellings. Make a stop at Policeman’s Knob to spot rock wallabies and watch the sun set.

day four: willows Gemfields

You’re ready to step out on your own. Hire the equipment, buy a licence and spend the day fossicking at the

Explore more

Four-wheel-driving, dirt biking and mountain biking are a great way to explore the Sapphire Gemfields. The area has an abundant network of dirt roads and tracks to discover.

Fossicking Park, Sapphire Sapphire Gemfields Wetland Reserve
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Explore iconic national parks

day one: nuga nuga np

Travelling north from Injune, stop for morning tea at the scenic Lonesome Lookout, Expedition NP (55km).

Continue to Nuga Nuga NP (75km), allowing plenty of time to set yourself up for a remote bush camping experience. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the tranquillity of the lake by canoe or walking around the shoreline.

day two: Carnarvon Gorge

Drive an hour and a half (125km) to reach the Carnarvon Gorge section of Carnarvon NP. After a picnic lunch in the visitor area, follow the walking trail to Boolimba Bluff for spectacular views of the distant ranges. On return take a refreshing swim in the nearby rock pool.

day three: Carnarvon Gorge

Rise with the birds and take an early morning walk along the Nature Trail. See if you can spot platypus swimming in

Carnarvon Creek.

Book a full day walking tour and let an expert guide you to iconic attractions and exclusive untracked spots. You can also join a night safari to search for the gorge’s nocturnal beasties.

day four: minerva hills np

Drive two hours north to Minerva Hills NP (185km), stopping at Fred's Gorge to enjoy a picnic with views. After lunch explore the many walks and lookouts which survey surrounding farming country, Virgin Rock and Springsure.

day five: blackdown tableland np

Travel two and a half hours (215km) to Blackdown Tableland NP. Stop at Yaddamen Dhina Lookout for sweeping views of the surrounding ranges. Then brave the 240-stair descent deep into Gudda Gumoo Gorge before cooling off in the spring-fed rock pool below.

Explore more

Visit other wonders in Carnarvon NP including the Salvator Rosa and Ka Ka Mundi sections.

Big Bend, Carnarvon Gorge Gudda Gumoo Trail, Blackdown Tableland National Park

uncover history and heritage

day one: rolleston & springsure

Start your morning exploring Rolleston by foot on the Heritage Walk. Finish your tour at Beasley Park and enjoy a hot cuppa from the Rolleston Coffee Cart.

Continue to Springsure (70km) and visit the Yumba Burin (Keeping Place) to learn about the region’s indigenous history. Rainworth Fort and the Wills Memorial site also offer insight into early settlement conflicts.

day two: Emerald

On your way to Emerald (70km) make a detour to Lake Maraboon. Constructed in 1971, the dam enabled the development of today’s irrigated agriculture and mining industries.

See Emerald’s history laid out as colourful mosaics on the Centenary of Federation Pathway, and tour some of the town’s original buildings at the Pioneer Cottage Complex. While in town snap a picture of the 1900s National Trust-listed railway station.

day three: Capella

Spend the day at Capella (55km) starting at the Pioneer Village which houses items from the region’s agricultural and pastoral history. Wander along the main street to see the historic bakehouse oven and Australian Light Horse monument. Spend the night freedom camping at the historic Lilyvale Waterhole.

day four: blackwater & duaringa

Head east to Blackwater (130km) and learn about the history of coal mining at the International Coal Centre. The nearby Lions Park has one of the largest displays of flags in the world.

Finish the journey in Duaringa (85km), visiting the Mackenzie Park precinct and following the Historical Trail.

Explore more

Don’t miss the self-guided Comet Tales and Walking Trails tour.

for more drive itineraries, grab a copy of the cqh touring map

Capella Pioneer Village Yumba Burin (Keeping Place), Springsure
centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 11

there's a thrill searching for a sapphire which has been waiting under the surface for millions of years for a visitor just like you to find.

Divide Fossicking Area, Rubyvale

Sapphire Gemfields

Whether you’re a seasoned fossicker taking out a claim for the next 30 years or you’ve arrived on the Sapphire Gemfields for a day of sifting through the rubble, very few places in the world so generously allow you to become a precious stone miner. Come empty handed, leave with precious memories (and if you’re lucky, a precious stone).

Gemshops and Galleries

There’s no better place to purchase an Australianmined and cut sapphire or quality sapphire jewellery. Gem cutters are available to facet your very own find and jewellers will set them into a piece of jewellery that could become a treasured family heirloom.


Try your hand at finding a fortune, with five areas designated for recreational and tourist fossicking across the Sapphire Gemfields. A fossicking licence is required and can be purchased online or by phoning MyMines (07) 3199 8133. Hand tools and mining equipment are available for sale or hire.

fossicking parks

Fossicking parks enable people of all ages and fitness levels to join the fun of finding a sapphire. With the digging work already done, visitors can buy a bag of wash and start searching straight away. Friendly staff are on hand to provide advice and guidance on how to sieve

and sort sapphires. tag along fossicking tours

Take a tag along fossicking tour to dig, sieve, wash and inspect your very own diggings under guidance from an experienced miner. All equipment is supplied.

walk-in mine tour

Step into another world on a walk-in mine tour where the underground temperature sits at a cool 25 degrees Celsius. Tours take visitors through the network of tunnels, providing insight into the process of underground sapphire mining. Marvel at the tiny tunnels called tummy tunnels used by the pioneer miners.

sapphire gemfields

wetland reserve

Get in touch with nature as you walk through 14 hectares of pristine bushland and seasonal wetlands. The reserve has 3.6 kilometres of walking and cycling tracks, a restored historic fossickers home, board walk, viewing

centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 13

Explore more sapphire gemfields treasure trail

The Sapphire Gemfields

Treasure Trail takes visitors on a historic journey, stopping at five interpretive panels and 30 place markers. Using audio posts, the trail tells the stories of the characters, capers and boom or bust nature of the local gem industry.

Begin the trail at Sapphire Reflections, a 12-metre-tall artwork, adorned with sparkling glass panels, located at the Anakie Crossroads.

policeman's knob

Policeman's Knob offers great views over the surrounding landscape and is a perfect spot to take in the sunset. Keep an eye out for rock wallabies who find the rock structure an ideal home.

miners common museum, arts & cultural centre

The Centre is nestled on 20 hectares of walking trails and houses relics from the Sapphire Gemfields’ colourful history. Check for opening times.

miners common

Be ready to give way to cattle, horses and camels when driving around Sapphire and Rubyvale. Known as the heart and soul of the Gemfields, the Miners Common gives residents the right to graze a few head of livestock in all unfenced areas.


Four-wheel-drive or ride your trail bike on the network of dirt roads

that crisscross the area. Spend a day exploring the Tomahawk Creek fossicking area with its 2,500 hectares of bush tracks.


Go on a modern day treasure hunt, using a map and GPS to find 19 'gems' hidden across the Sapphire Gemfields.


There’s nothing like spending the night under a star-filled sky. Camping is allowed in most of the designated fossicking areas and permits can be purchased online.


The bush surrounds of the Sapphire Gemfields make it a wildlife oasis. Spot brolgas dancing at the wetlands, kangaroos grazing by the road and camels roaming the Miners Common.

bush architecture

Take a drive to see the unusual dwellings of the Sapphire Gemfields. Permanent buildings are not permitted on mining claims causing residents to come up with creative shortterm alternatives.

Like the pioneers before them, many residents use unique and recycled materials such as billy boulders, bush timber, corrugated iron and even glass bottles.

Local Characters

Friendly locals, affectionately called Gemmies, are happy to chat and share fossicking tips and historical tales. Many of the residents today were once tourists who came to visit and never left.

Policeman’s Knob, Rubyvale 15centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au
Sapphire Reflections, Anakie Crossroads 16


Discover the oldest town on the Sapphire Gemfields, Anakie, which is rich in both history and gems.

History buffs will enjoy the quaint railway station built in 1884 as part of the rail push into western Queensland. Be sure to look behind the station for the 130-year-old bottle tree, engraved with the initials of soldiers who were on their way to war.

Anakie has a cabin and caravan park.


Sapphire lives up to its name with a host of gem cutters, jewellers and fossicking parks located here. Other gems include the RSL, thrift shop, cafés, general store, service station and a range of accommodation providers.

If you love a photo opportunity, then the Big Ring, Big Spanner, and Big Pick, Shovel and Sieve can all be found in and around Sapphire.


Rubyvale has a lot to offer travellers, from attractions including gem cutters, jewellers, fossicking parks and mine tours, to traveller conveniences including a pub, cafés, general store, service station and accommodation providers.

For something a little wacky, visit the nearby Thong Tree (feel free to add your own broken plugger) or get a photo of the Tellembuggerem road sign.

willows gemfields

For those looking to experience the quiet bush life, you won’t regret a stop at the Willows Gemfields. Located half an hour west of Anakie, the area is a popular spot for fossicking as very little machinery and no corporate mining has been permitted in the past.

Willows Gemfields has a fossicking park, caravan park, general store and service station.

designated Fossicking areas


40km from Anakie | 500mm to 2m deep | greens & yellows


20km from Anakie | rarely exceeds 500mm | greens, blue-greens & yellows

middle ridge

3km from Rubyvale | 400mm to 6m deep | blues, corundum

big bessie

2km from Sapphire | rarely exceeds 500mm | greens, yellows & blues

graves hill

3km from Sapphire | 300mm to 3m deep | greens, yellows & blues

tomahawk creek

45km from Rubyvale | 300mm to 1m deep | blues

In addition to the designated fossicking areas there are several areas of designated fossicking land which also allow commercial mining tenure: Sapphire, Scrub Lead, Rubyvale, Divide and Reward. These areas generally encompass deeper wash, however there are areas of ground suitable for hand excavation.

To purchase a fossicking licence and / or camping permit, call MyMines (07) 3199 8133 or visit qld.gov.au/recreation/activities/areas-facilities/fossicking

centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 17
new royal hotel Award winning true Aussie pub located in the heart of the Gemfields. Grab a cold beer or wine and enjoy a great meal, stay in the unique log cabins or recently added motel units, and top up your supplies at the Bottleshop. P 07 4985 4754 E info@rubyvalehotel.com.au Cnr Keilambete & Goanna Flats Rds Rubyvale Q 4702 rubyvalehotel.com.au miners heritage walk-in mine ● Fully Guided Underground Mine Tour (min. 2 people) ● Air-Conditioned Showroom ● Makers of Unique Handcrafted Jewellery ● Sapphire Specialists ● Fossick for your own Gems ● Open 7 days from 9am (closed some Public Holidays) P 07 4985 4444 E admin@minersheritage.com.au 97 Heritage Road Rubyvale Q 4702 minersheritage.com.au 2007 AUSTRALIAN TOURISM AWARDS SPECIALISED TOURISM SERVICES WINNER Mining sapphires since 1974 Rubyvale Gem Gallery Main Street, Rubyvale 4702 p: 07 49 854 388 e: admin@rubyvalegemgallery.com www.rubyvalegemgallery.com  Gem Gallery  Café  Holiday Apartments ROCK MUSIC SAPPHIRES & CLASSIC CARS! LAST WEEKEND OF MAY Like us on: gemfieldsrocks.com.au 18

New owners Darrell & Victoria welcome you to their Tripadvisor 2021 Travellers’ Choice Award Winning Park

a retreat


a caravan


blue gem tourist park ● Located on the banks of Retreat Creek – Sapphire ● Green grass/slab sites – vans & camping ● Cabins ● Fossicking park/equipment hire ● Food, fuel, gas, ice ● Pet friendly ● Excellent customer service P 07 4985 4162 E bluegemtouristpark@bigpond.com 925 Anakie-Sapphire Road Sapphire Q 4702 bluegemtouristpark.com.au extensive range of local top quality sapphires We offer an amazing array of beautiful handcrafted rings and jewellery, and an extensive range of design and jewellery services. ● Personal design services available ● Special orders welcome ● View and buy online or visit our showroom P 0407 881 551 E coolamon.showcase@yahoo.com 1052 Rubyvale Road Sapphire Q 4702 coolamonsapphires.com 19centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au patsgemstouristfossickingpark Gemstones & jewellery Licensed café/ restaurant Budget accommodation Souvenirs & much more Sapphire fossicking Open 7 days from 8am PAT’S GEMS TOURIST FOSSICKING PARK 1056 Rubyvale Rd, Sapphire P/F 07 4985 4544 E patsgems@bigpond.com 57 Sunrise Road, Sapphire Q 4702 | P: 07 4985 4281 | E: sapphirecaravanpark@gmail.com www.sapphirecaravanpark.com.au One of the best camp kitchens in Australia, undercover BBQ huts with open re places. Large, spacious, shady sites with bush views and privacy, spotless amenity blocks. Beautiful self-contained and budget Billy Boulder cabins that sleep up to 5 people. Fossicking park & equipment hire | Pet friendly | Swimming pool Concrete pads & drive through sites available
More like
park – an unforgettable
Come and
the Gem elds and stay in this hidden gem.

not many places can lay claim to having an oasis in the outback but the Central queensland highlands has four of them tucked within its borders.


Carnarvon Gorge20

Carnarvon Gorge

Immerse yourself in wilderness and embrace Mother Nature as you wind through the deep and dramatic gorge system, carved out by wind and rain over millions of years of geologic activity. As you marvel at the geological wonder, you start to wonder – why stay for just one night and tackle just one of the trails, when there’s so much more to explore.


Take a hike to explore the natural beauty of this rugged wilderness. A minimum of three days is recommended to walk the tracks, explore the side gorges and visit indigenous cultural sites.


Take a refreshing dip in the Rock Pool, carved from the bed of Carnarvon Creek by the turbulent waters of past floods.

rock art

Rock Art on sandstone overhangs are a fragile reminder of Aboriginal people’s long and continuing connection with the gorge. These ochre stencils, rock engravings and freehand paintings are some of the finest indigenous rock imagery in Australia.


Opportunities for bird watching are plentiful with more than 170 bird species

that inhabit or visit the park. A night walk with a torch can reveal gliders, possums and bush stonecurlews. Catch a glimpse of platypus, possums and other creek life on an early morning stroll along the one-kilometre Nature Trail.

picnic areas

At the entrance to Carnarvon Gorge, a large, grassy picnic area is set amongst towering eucalypts and cabbage palms. Wheelchair accessible toilets and tables and gas barbecues are available.

guided tours and talks

Enhance your Carnarvon Gorge adventure with a guided tour by one of the commercial operators.

Full day and night tours are available.

scenic flight

Treat yourself to a scenic helicopter flight and take in the magnificent views of Moolayember Gorge.

centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 21

Explore more remote walking

Pack your hiking gear and take on the remote sections of the Carnarvon Great Walk. You’ll need six to seven days, good preparation and high-level bush walking experience to complete this amazing journey.

rewan memorial

On your way into Carnarvon Gorge, visit the Rewan Memorial, erected to honour the lives of the fourteen Australian and five United States military personnel who were killed in an air crash during World War II.

visitor centre

The unstaffed visitor centre is open 8am to 4pm, seven days a week.

Essentials access

Carnarvon Gorge is located between Injune and Rolleston. The 45 kilometre access road is fully sealed and classed an all-vehicle road. No fuel is available after leaving Injune or Rolleston.


It is recommended to book your accommodation in advance as it can book out quickly during peak times.

Privately run accommodation is available just outside the park all year round.

Camping in the Carnarvon Gorge visitor area is available during the Easter, June-July and September-October Queensland school holidays. The Big


Bend camping area, reached by a 19.4 kilometre return walk, is open all year.

Camping permits are essential and bookings should be made online with Queensland National Parks or through the Central Queensland Highlands (CQH) Visitor Information Centre.

Alternative accommodation is available at Rolleston (100km), Lake Nuga Nuga (125km, self-sufficient) and Springsure (170km).

mobile reception

Mobile reception is limited in Carnarvon Gorge. The visitor centre offers free Wi-Fi and a public pay phone is available.

Carnarvon national park

If you enjoy Carnarvon Gorge, why not visit some other wonders in Carnarvon National Park.

salvator rosa via Springsure

Dip your toes into the spring-fed waters of Nogoa River, winding its way through a broad, picturesque valley beneath craggy sandstone outcrops. 4WD is required.

ka ka mundi via Springsure

Drive through the undulating sandstone country and discover stately bottle trees emerging from silver brigalow forest. Camp by the springs and watch the abundant birdlife. 4WD is recommended.

mount moffatt via Injune

This is a remote park of wild and diverse landscapes. Enjoy spectacular views from the Consuelo Tableland, the highest plateau in Queensland.

Carnarvon Creek
centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 23

carnarvon gorge map

Holiday Parks


places to explore

nature trail 1.5km return, 1hr

Grab your camera and get up close to the local wildlife along the banks of Carnarvon Creek. You may spy an elusive platypus.

mickey creek gorge

3km return from mickey creek car park, 1.5hr

Wander along Mickey Creek and into narrow side gorges where the walking track becomes a rock-hopping adventure.

rock pool 400m return from rock pool car park, 20min

Linger in the shade of fig and casuarina trees, watching for fish and turtles or take a refreshing dip on a hot day.

boolimba bluff 6.4km return, 2-3hr

Scale the steep slopes and be rewarded with views out towards distant ranges from Boolimba Bluff, towering 200 metres above Carnarvon Creek.

moss garden 7km return, 2-3hr

Water drips constantly from the sandstone walls of the Moss Garden, supporting a lush carpet of mosses, ferns and liverworts.

amphitheatre 8.6km return, 3-4hr

Hidden inside the walls of the gorge is a 60-metre-deep chamber, gouged from the rock by running water.

ward's canyon

9.2km return, 3-4hr

Be enticed into cool and inviting Ward’s Canyon, where a small pocket of the world’s largest fern flourishes.

art Gallery 10.8km return, 3-4hr

More than two thousand engravings, ochre stencils and freehand paintings adorn the 62-metre-long sandstone walls of this significant indigenous site.

Cathedral Cave 18.2km return, 5-6hr

This massive, wind-eroded overhang sheltered Aboriginal people for thousands of years.

boowinda Gorge 18.4km return, 5-6hr

Rock-hop through the boulder strewn side-gorge. The first kilometre is the most spectacular with its sculpted walls of moss covered sandstone.

big bend 19.4km return, 7-8hr

Visit a spectacular section of Carnarvon Creek nestled beneath looming sandstone walls.

Guided Tours and Talks Wildlife 26

carnarvon gorge night safari tour

local wildlife experts, Michelle and Simon,

breeze holiday parks -

Carnarvon National Park on 100 acres

Tour as they hunt for the Gorge’s incredible gliders. Watching these wild animals glide from tree to tree up to 100 metres is one of Australia’s premiere wildlife


and one you’ll never forget. Along the way, you might also spot owls, platypus, echidna and fluorescent

Holiday Parks - Carnarvon Gorge. It’s the

destination to disconnect from the hustle of

reconnect with nature. Just a five-minute

from where your Carnarvon Gorge walks begin,



Carnarvon Gorge Set amongst
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P 07 4984 4535 E carnarvongorge@breezeholidayparks.com.au breezeholidayparks.com.au
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scorpions! Book directly via the website below. P 0408 741 292 | 0411 060 928 PO Box 48 Injune Q 4454 carnarvongorgeecotours.com 27centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au

nuga nuga national park

So good they named it twice, Nuga Nuga National Park is somewhat remote, but those who go in search won’t be disappointed. Find refuge beside the stunning lake, nestled between the mountains of Arcadia Valley. 4WD recommended, essential following rain.

first peoples

The Karingbal peoples believe that Lake Nuga Nuga was created by a pair of Mundagurri (Rainbow Serpents) that now reside under the two dominating peaks at the northern shoreline of the lake.

bush camping

Camp beneath the stars on the banks of Lake Nuga Nuga. You will need to be selfsufficient as no facilities are provided. Camping permit is required.

bird watching

Scratch that twitch! The lake provides a valuable habitat for more than 150 different species of birds.


The lake is a photographer’s dream, with dead ghost gums standing proud out of the water which changes colour as the sun sets.

water sports

Explore the serenity of the lake by kayak or canoe, taking in the spectacular display of waterlilies which flower at times during the year.

bush walking

There are no formal walking tracks in the park, so take a topographic map and GPS to explore the lake’s perimeter and nearby Mount Warrinilla.


Explore more expedition national park

The Lonesome section of the park can be accessed from Arcadia Valley. Stop at the lookout to take in the sweeping views. Camping is available (permit required).

arcadia valley

Nestled between the Expedition and Carnarvon Ranges, Arcadia Valley lives up to the Greek origins of its name, Ideal Paradise. For a unique experience, stay on a working cattle property in a glamping tent.


Located on the Dawson Highway, Bauhinia typifies the best in country hospitality. Wet your line in Zamia Creek, 10 kilometres south along the Dawson Highway.


BEAZLEY PARK Located in the heart of Rolleston, Beazley Park features the historic Purbrook Hut and post office buildings, Rolleston Coffee Cart (April to September), an outdoor cinema, playground and picnic facilities.

HERITAGE WALK Stretch your legs and discover the stories behind some of Rolleston’s buildings on the Heritage Walk. If you’re looking for more, visit the local library to see the wall mural depicting the town’s history.

FISHING Anglers can try their luck at the local fishing hole along the Comet River.

NATIONAL PARKS Rolleston is the perfect spot to base yourself and explore nearby national parks.

Lake Nuga Nuga
centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 29
Gudda Gumoo Gorge (Rainbow Falls), Blackdown Tableland National Park30

blackdown tableland national park

Mother Nature has proven again that she’s the best landscape gardener. Rising abruptly above the surrounding plains, Blackdown Tableland National Park boasts a cool oasis of deep gorges, spectacular lookouts, scenic waterfalls and unusual plants.


Walking tracks will take you to the park’s heritage sites, creeks and waterfalls. Lookouts are provided to take in stunning views and capture that spectacular photograph.

rock art

Blackdown Tableland is the traditional home of the Ghungalu people. Rock faces display Ghungalu artwork –vivid reminders of the strong cultural connection here.


Cool off in the springfed rock pool below Gudda Gumoo Gorge (Rainbow Falls).


Follow the Loop Road, past magnificent sandstone outcrops, alive with basket ferns and king orchids, then stop at Mitha Boongulla Lookout for views of the surrounding plains.


Get your heart pumping with mountain biking and abseiling opportunities.


The best way to see Blackdown’s birdlife is to wake with them at Munall

camping area. By day, look carefully on sandstone ledges for basking skinks, geckos and goannas. By night, take a torchlight stroll to glimpse gliders, owls and insectivorous bats taking to the air.

picnic areas

Picnic tables, gas barbecues and toilets are provided for day visitors at Yaddamen Dhina Lookout.


Blackdown Tableland National Park is located between Dingo and Bluff. The six-kilometre sealed road up the tableland is steep and winding so is unsuitable for motorhomes or towing heavy trailers and caravans.


Relax in Munall camping area’s cool and quiet bush surrounds. Book a camp site in advance online with Queensland National Parks or the CQH Visitor Information Centre. Caravan park and motel accommodation is available in Dingo, Bluff, Blackwater and Duaringa. Privately run accommodation is available all year round at the park turn-off.

centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 31

explore more

Bluff (55km), Dingo (50km), Blackwater (75km) and Duaringa (90km) are convenient access points to stay, leave the van behind and explore Blackdown Tableland National Park.


Make tracks to Bluff, a major railway interchange station for large coal trains, some up to two kilometres long and 10,800 tonnes heavy.


DINGO STATUE A life-sized bronze statue of a dingo sits in the main street as tribute to the town’s name.

PROGRESS PARK Let the kids stretch their legs on the playground and shady surrounds of Progress Park.

BINGEGANG WEIR is a popular fishing and camping destination for its wild Saratoga and secluded bush surrounds.


DUARINGA HISTORICAL AND TOURISM CENTRE has local arts and crafts for sale and plenty of information to offer on the history and attractions of the town. Open from Easter to October.

HISTORICAL TRAIL takes visitors on a walking tour of 20 historical buildings and landmarks. Interpretive signage provides insight on the town’s rich history.

MACKENZIE PARK is home to the unique Budgeroo or Duaringa stringy bark tree, which was used by the Aboriginal community to make rope, baskets and building materials.

The park has a camping area with electric barbecues, charging tree and hot showers for a donation.

MACKENZIE RIVER CROSSING is known to the locals as Duaringa Beach due to the large sandy banks on the southern side of the river. Huge paperbark trees overhang the river, creating a great shady spot for a day trip, where you can swim, fish, kayak and watch the birdlife.

minerva hills national park

It’s hard to imagine that the area was once covered by blazing volcanoes and devastating lava flows, however the remnants of it can be seen in the dramatic landscape of rocky peaks and plateaus that form Minerva Hills National Park.


Enjoy panoramic views over the surrounding farming country, Virgin Rock and Springsure, from four easy-toaccess lookouts.


Relax over a picnic at Fred's Gorge. Enjoy the breeze and admire the views down the

gorge from mountain top to plain.

mountain biking

Spend the day exploring the park by bike on the network of shared roads and ancillary tracks.


Spot grazing kangaroos, wallaroos and wallabies, and maybe a snoozing koala.


you won't need a local library to find the history and heritage of the central queensland highlands. in fact, this region very much wears its history on its sleeve.

Capella Pioneer Village34

indigenous history

Connect with the Central Queensland Highlands region through the eyes of our First Nation People. Spend a day or two exploring the rich cultural heritage sites, traditional artefacts and colourful artworks, which bring to life the ancient ways.

Cultural heritage sites

Start your journey exploring cultural heritage sites at Carnarvon and Blackdown Tableland National Parks.

Carnarvon National Park is a sacred landscape of intense spiritual significance to the Aboriginal people. They believe that a great number of mythological and spiritual beings resided in certain areas or were metamorphosed as particular features of the landscape. Visit art sites, including the Art Gallery and Cathedral Cave, which provide examples of stencil and engraving techniques that are considered to be the most sophisticated of their kind in the world.

Blackdown Tableland National Park has many culturally significant places and associated objects that tell the story of how the land was used, the histories and the relationship between traditional owners and the environment. Vivid reminders of their

special culture include thousands of years of rock art. Follow the Goon Goon Dhina trail which leads to a Ghungalu art site.

yumba burin

Yumba Burin (Keeping Place), Springsure, aims to raise awareness of the Kairi and Bidjara people's history and to build a better understanding of indigenous culture. The display includes repatriated burial caskets, stone artefacts, scar trees and an art mural. Visit by appointment only, check with the local Visitor Information Centre.

wallaroo station

Located in the Carnarvon Ranges is Wallaroo Station, a 72,000 acre cattle property. Located on the station is Rainbow Cave, a sandstone overhang covered in Aboriginal art. Handprints dipped in ochre, stencil work and paintings of animals adorn the rock faces. Stay overnight at the station or book a tour.

Art Gallery, Carnarvon Gorge Yumba Burin (Keeping Place), Springsure
centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 35

european history

Turn back the clock and discover stories of the past with every small town you visit. Let locals be your guide and take you on a journey of Central Queensland Highlands discovery.


FEDERATION WOOLSHED Photos and antiques line the walls of this historical building which also acts as the information centre. It is open from Easter to October. Also located in the park are historical homesteads, windmill, wagon and cattle yard display.

HERITAGE WALK Starting at the Federation Woolshed, the walk takes visitors on a journey through the main street, detailing the rich history of its heritage buildings.

VIRGIN ROCK Lions Park is the best vantage point to see Virgin Rock, a niche in the eastern side of Mount Zamia, which has a weathered likeness to the Virgin Mary holding her child. The spectacular cliffs are floodlit at night.

YUMBA BURIN (KEEPING PLACE) Situated at the cemetery is an indigenous crypt in which burial caskets and artefacts are stored. Contact the local Visitor Information Centre for opening times.

RAINWORTH FORT COMPLEX includes an original fort building that was built to store food and resist attack. It also includes the relocated Cairdbeign homestead, a school building from the 1800s with a fascinating collection of period pieces and historical artefacts.

WILLS MASSACRE SITE A memorial headstone can be viewed at the site of the 1861 frontier conflict on Cullin La Ringo Road.

STAIRCASE RANGE Named after a sandstone escarpment that has naturally formed in the shape of a staircase. See the Old Wagon Road that was cut into the sandstone by pick and crowbar.

HOSPITAL MUSEUM Built in 1868, the original, heritage-listed Springsure Hospital has been furnished to reflect the yesteryear and houses a collection of medical equipment, photos and records. Contact the the local Visitor Information Centre for access.

NATIONAL PARKS Base yourself in Springsure to explore nearby Minerva Hills and Carnarvon National Parks.

federation woolshed information centre

outback tyres

Outback Tyres is a small family owned business in Springsure. We offer fuel and driveway service, tyres – new and repairs, batteries, wheel alignments, mechanical and suspension. Our mobile service van can come to you, it is equipped to fit and balance tyres on site (bookings required).

P 07 4984 1051 E admin@obtyres.com.au 92 Eclipse Street Springsure Q 4722 outbacktyresspringsure.com.au

● Open Easter to October 7 days a week ● Local arts and crafts available ● Cold drinks ● Free tea and coffee ● Local information booklet and brochures ● Come in and see our local volunteers P 07 4984 1961 William Street, Springsure Q 4722
Rainworth Fort, Springsure 37centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au


CAPELLA PIONEER VILLAGE Explore the Central Queensland Highlands’ agricultural and pastoral history at the Capella Pioneer Village. More than 5,000 items, spread out over 17 buildings, are waiting for you to discover. The village features the 1869 Peak Downs Homestead, Australia’s largest restored drop-plank (no nails) homestead. Check opening times from Easter to October.


According to local lore, the first time Australian troops wore the now famous emu feathers in their slouch hats was at Peak Downs Station. The locally constructed monument in the Capella Parklands is a striking dedication to the Australian armed forces and the emu plume origins.

POLE MURALS 30 murals depicting Capella’s history are painted on light poles and walls along Peak Downs Street.

CAPELLA PARKLANDS Follow the path that winds from the Pioneer Village, past picnic locations and boab trees, to the historic railway station.

CAPELLA CREEK NATURE WALK AREA Amble along Capella Creek to view more than 120 woodland bird species that call the area home. Examples of the area’s rocks are found in the geo-park near the bridge.

BAKEHOUSE AND OVEN Take a peek at the 95-year-old wood fired oven on display in the main street. It is an important and rare relic with quite the story to tell.

AQUATIC CENTRE Relax at Capella’s ‘beach’, which features five solar-heated pools, gym, squash courts, barbecues, waterslide and café.

CAPELLA CULTURAL CENTRE Catch some great live performances or a latest release movie at the Capella Cultural Centre.


capella pioneer

capella van

DRAGLINE BUCKET Get your photo taken in Earth Eater, a 40-tonne dragline bucket that was used to move over 83 million tonnes of overburden at BMA Gregory coal mine. PEAK RANGE LOOKOUT Travel one kilometre south of Capella to the Peak Range Lookout and take in the beauty of ‘The Peaks’; a chain of prominent and picturesque mountains. Australian Light Horse Monument, Capella
park Capella Van Park is a family owned/managed quiet and spacious country park set amongst trees, providing shaded sites, birdlife and friendly service. ● All concrete slab powered sites ● Grassed unpowered sites ● Walking distance to all town facilities P 07 4984 9615 E info@capellavanpark.com.au 13 Langton Street Capella Q 4723 capellavanpark.com.au
village 1869 mortise and tenon Peak Downs homestead, > 5000 objects in 17 buildings, country cinema, vintage farming and mining machinery, Capella life. $15 Adults | $10 Seniors/Students Open Thursday & Sunday between 9am and 1pm. Tour and school group bookings welcome anytime. P 0427 638 866 E mhburns@bigpond.com 1 Pioneer Street Capella Q 4723 capella.com.au/capella-pioneer-village centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 39

Capricorn Coast

& Great Keppel Island

Welcome to paradise; an easy 3.5 hours drive east of Emerald lies the sparkling waters of the Capricorn Coast. At the heart of it all is the twin-seaside villages of Yeppoon and Emu Park, overlooking Great Keppel Island... This is the Southern Great Barrier Reef...Where great begins! For tours & accommodation contact Capricorn Coast Visitor Information Centre Scenic Highway, Yeppoon Freecall 1800 675 785 l Open 7 Days www.visitcapricorn.com.au ROCKHAMPTON GLADSTONE BUNDABERG Eidsvold Mundubbera Gayndah Biloela Monto Mt Morgan Dululu EMERALD Clermont Capella Springsure Rolleston Carnarvon Gorge National Park Anakie BlackwaterSapphire Rubyvale Willows Emu Park Byfield Yeppoon Great Keppel Island Pumpkin Island

explore more lilyvale waterhole

Lilyvale Waterhole was once a thriving town on the Cobb and Co route until the railway bypassed it. Now only a few remnants of broken ceramics can be seen. A shelter was built on the original location of the Lilyvale Hotel as part of Australia’s 1988 bicentennial celebrations.

In addition to its historical interest, Lilyvale Waterhole is a great out of the way spot to camp.


On 26 February 1960, Bogantungan became the site of one of Queensland's worst train disasters. The Midlander passenger train, heading east to Rockhampton, passed over the flooded Medway Creek, just west of the town. The bridge collapsed when the train was partly over, and a number of carriages dropped into the water. Sadly, four passengers and three crew were killed, and 43 people were injured.

Call into the historical railway station which has interpretive panels and memorabilia about the crash.


DIG TREE View the Coolibah tree trunk that Ludwig Leichhardt marked during his second exploration of the region in 1847. The engraving indicated to those who followed that Leichhardt had buried a powder canister under the tree containing letters and journals.

The tree was felled in the 1950s due to fears it would be lost to fire. After time in Brisbane and the Miles museum, it is now housed in a purpose-built display in Comet.

RAILWAY STATION Located at Whistle Stop Park, the old Comet Railway Station houses a display of local memorabilia, including old photographs and bridge plans.


Take a self-guided walk around the township, stopping at 16 historical sites. The trail brings local stories to life with story boards, images and videos (through your smartphone).

FISHING Drop a line in the Comet Weir, Comet River under the railway bridge, or Mackenzie River at Riley’s Crossing.

Bogantungan Historical Railway Station Dig Tree, Comet
centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 41

mining history

If you like your experiences big and bold, you’re in luck as the Central Queensland Highlands is located in the Bowen Basin, Australia’s largest coal reserve.


BLACKWATER INTERNATIONAL COAL CENTRE (BICC) is home to the Australian Coal Mining Museum, Japanese Gardens, Eliza’s Cottage store, coffee shop, cinema and visitor information centre.

AUSTRALIAN COAL MINING MUSEUM offers a collection of exciting and educational exhibits, media displays and simulators that delve into the past, present and future of mining.

JAPANESE GARDENS were built as a symbol of the relationship between Blackwater and sister city Fujisawa, Japan. The gardens provide a great spot to sit, relax and take in the serenity.

COAL FACE MEMORIAL Titled “At the Coal Face”, the memorial commemorates miners

killed in accidents at Blackwater coal mines.

MINE TOURING Take a drive along Ardurad Road towards Rolleston to view the Blackwater Coal Mine. The mine is one of the largest in the region, employing over 800 people and producing 14 million tonnes of coal per annum. While the mine is not accessible to the public, large machinery and mine operations are visible from the main road.

BLACKWATER LIONS PARK has one of the largest displays of flags in the world. The 37 flags represent the nationalities that worked side-by-side to establish the district’s coal industry. The park also has a restored locomotive engine and the 1877 railway station.

AQUATIC CENTRE Unwind with a soothing swim at the aquatic centre, including a 50-metre pool, 25-metre heated pool and


pine trees grown from seeds taken from the Gallipoli Peninsular in Turkey are the highlight of the town's war memorial in Arthur Street.

children’s splash pad. explore more central highlands mining trail

blackwater International Coal Centre

The iconic Blackwater International Coal Centre incorporates over 20 separate exhibits exploring the past, present and future of the Australian coal industry, modern training and conference facilities, 100 seat digital cinema, Visitor Information Centre, Coal Café and Japanese Gardens.

Follow the Mining Trail, a 180-kilometre drive route through the Bowen Basin. Interpretive signage located along the route explores the stories behind the people that work in the industry. Signs are located at Capella, Lilyvale Waterhole, Emerald, Blackwater and Bluff.


Tieri is a vibrant mining community supporting Oaky Creek coal mine. Streets in the town centre are named after cattle stations that originally

Coal Mine Tour, Blackwater
P 07 4982 7755 E manager@bicc.com.au Capricorn Highway Blackwater Q 4717 bicc.com.au centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 43

native only to the fitzroy basin, there is nowhere else in the world that can offer the prospect of catching a wild southern saratoga.

Dawson River, Duaringa44

bedford weir

Join the hunt for a wild Saratoga at Bedford Weir, a short 20-minute drive north of Blackwater.


The weir is stocked with Saratoga, Barramundi and Yellowbelly, or throw in a pot to catch some Red Claw, a freshwater crayfish.


The calm and flat waters of Mackenzie River provide ideal conditions for boating and skiing.


Electric barbecues and a playground are set in shaded areas by the river, making it an ideal picnic spot.


If the fish are biting, stay a few days and make use of the camping facilities including hot showers and toilets.


The peace and tranquillity of Bedford Weir encourages a wide range of wildlife. Keep a look out for wallabies, potoroos, echidnas, bandicoots and the large pride of peacocks.

wild saratoga

For those wanting a truly unique freshwater fishing experience, the Saratoga is a highly intelligent and aggressive sportsfish, also known as the Emperor of fish.

The Saratoga are built for surface feeding, so look for them just beneath the surface. Try using surface lures, poppers and fizzers, and focus around structure, shade and deep banks. If you see one don’t rush as you will only get one or two casts. Stealth is key as the Saraotoga is easily spooked.

explore more bingegang weir

Venture off the beaten track to Bingegang Weir, north of Dingo, on the mighty Mackenzie River. The spot is popular for its wild Saratoga and secluded bush surrounds. You can easily spend a day without meeting another person. Just you and the fish.

nogoa river

Nogoa River offers weir

fishing at the Selma and Town weirs, downstream from Fairbairn Dam. Our pick is the bottom (Town) weir, which offers easy access and tree-lined banks.


Take to the grass-lined banks and shady trees of the local rivers to enjoy a relaxing freshwater fishing experience. Popular spots include the Dawson, Mackenzie (Riley’s Crossing), Comet and Nogoa Rivers.

It is a heart pounding experience to see one beneath the water, cast near it, and then have it smash your lure, launching out of the water. Be warned, their bony jaw and acrobatic antics can make them difficult to land.

It may take patience and persistence, but your first Saratoga strike will be etched into your mind forever.

FISHING TOUR Let an expert guide your hunt, with access to exclusive fishing spots.

centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 45

Lake maraboon

When it comes to size, Lake Maraboon sure packs a punch. When full, the lake is three times the size of Sydney Harbour, covering 15,000 hectares.

fairbairn dam

While the water is called Lake Maraboon, meaning ‘where the black duck fly’, the wall and spillway is called Fairbairn Dam.


Lake Maraboon is the only water body in the Central Queensland area that was once actively stocked with Murray Cod, not to mention is currently stocked with Barramundi, Yellowbelly and Silver Perch, all primed to give unforgettable fishing experiences. A fishing permit is required and can be obtained from the Emerald Post Office or online.

red claw

Red Claw is abundant and best caught in opera house traps. When it comes to bait, every fisher has their own theory, but generally fruit, partially cooked vegetables or pet food are most popular.


Boating is a great way to explore and enjoy the lake. Both adrenalin-inducing sports, such as water skiing, wake boarding, tubing and jet skiing, as well as slower paced activities, such as kayaking and canoeing, are popular.


Pick a shady tree and enjoy a picnic with water views. The lake is known for its stunning sunsets, so time your visit to watch the sun go down over the water. Tables and electric barbecues are available.


Enjoy stunning views of the lake, spillway and surrounding area from three lookouts.


Camping is not permitted around the lake, however camping and cabin facilities are available at the privately run accommodation provider nearby.

lake maraboon holiday village

Water lovers rejoice – this park

● Fishing & Redclawing

Boating & Kayaking

Powered & unpowered


● Villas, Cabins



Modern Amenities

Camp Kitchens


P 07 4982 3677 E enquiries@lmhv.com.au
Dam Access & Selma Rd Emerald Q 4720 lmhv.com.au
is for you!
sites for all
rigs – no rig too big!
Sites ●
Facilities ●
Lake Maraboon 47centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au

Serving as the hub to all the attraction spokes of the Central queensland highlands is Emerald.

Egerton Street, Emerald



With towns named Rubyvale and Sapphire, you wouldn’t be the first to think precious stones are what gave this central business district its moniker, but it was the green fields after heavy rain that earnt its title – something you too can see after summer downpours.

cqh visitor information centre

Commence your tour of the region at the visitor centre. The building is an attraction itself as the walls are made from 300 bales of barley straw covered in lime and earthen renders.

self-guided tours

Self-guided tour options can be obtained from the Visitor Information Centre.

van gogh sunflower painting

Once famous as a major sunflower producer, Emerald is now home to one of the world’s largest reproductions of a Vincent van Gogh Sunflower painting. The superstructure is 25 metres high with 13.6 tonnes of steel involved in its construction.

centenary of federation mosaic pathway

The Centenary of Federation Mosaic Pathway leads you through 100 years in 100 metres of Emerald’s colourful history. The footpath features intricately tiled designs that trace history from the beginning of time to visions of the future.

pioneer cottage complex

The Pioneer Cottage Complex echoes the rich history of the Emerald region. It showcases a small historical village, including the town’s lead-lined lockup, St Marks Presbyterian Church and a communications museum.

cbd artworks

Take a short stroll along Egerton Street and view the town’s magnificent public art. Come back at night to see the CBD sparkle with thousands of fairy lights.

emerald botanic gardens

The Emerald Botanic Gardens is located on the banks of the Nogoa River. The 42 hectares of gardens has six kilometres of walking tracks that lead to picnic areas, playgrounds, mazes, sculptures and specialised plant communities.

railway station

Built in 1900, the National Trust-listed railway station, with its wrought iron lacework and pillared portico, provides visitors with great photo opportunities.

emerald art gallery

The Emerald Art Gallery showcases exhibitions from local, state and national artists and is located at the Council office.

centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 49

family fun

Base yourself in Emerald and tick off these tried and tested things to do with kids on your next family getaway.

1. Sapphire Gemfields

Children will enjoy the thrill of searching for a gem at one of the fossicking parks or venturing 16 metres underground on a mine tour.

2. national parks | free

Take the family to nearby Blackdown Tableland National Park and spend the day bush walking, swimming in the rock pool and spotting local wildlife.

3. lake maraboon

Hire a boat or canoe and take to the waters of Lake Maraboon. Throw in a pot and see if you can catch some Red Claw crayfish for dinner.

4. skate park | free

Have kids who love to skate? The skate park caters to all skill levels with half and quarter bowls and two large quarter pipes.

5. bmx park | free

Bring the bikes and let the kids enjoy the jumps, bumps and turns of the BMX track.

6. aquatic centre

Go for a dip at the aquatic centre which features three waterslides, 50-metre pool, heated 25-metre pool and a children’s splash pad area.

7. botanic gardens | free

Spend the morning walking or biking through the gardens. Stop for a picnic by the river, before tiring out the kids on the monorail, flying fox and mouse wheel.

8. cinemas

Pick from a range of latest release movies and then get to the real decision, popcorn or choc top ice cream?

9. science centre

Discover the wonders of science at the Outback Exploratorium’s STEAM lab, including a discovery space, workshop and retail outlet.

10. golf

Emerald Botanic Gardens Fossicking Park, Sapphire
emerald central palms motel Modern 4 star motel with air-conditioning, undercover parking, free Wi-Fi, swimming pool and private patio to all rooms. Walking distance to hotels, restaurants, cinemas and shops. P 07 4982 3600 E centralpalms@iq.net.au 19 Esmond Street Emerald Q 4720 emeraldcentralpalms.com emerald central hotel Emerald Central Hotel offers stylish one and two bedroom hotel rooms complete with their own private bathroom, bar fridge, flat-screen TV and individual air-conditioning. Guests can relax by the large pool and enjoy a delicious meal and drink at Centro Bar and Grill, our in-house bar and restaurant. P 07 4982 3388 E reservations@emeraldcentralhotel.com.au 13 Opal Street Emerald Q 4720 emeraldcentralhotel.com.au “Emerald Tourist Park, come as a tourist, stay as a guest and leave as a friend.” Powered & Unpowered sites » Ensuite Cabins & Motel Rooms » Seasonal Entertainment and Camp Fire » Laundry » Camp Kitchen » Amenities » Kiosk » Free Wifi » Pet Friendly » 300m to Town centre » Pool Oct 2021. Emerald Cabin and Caravan Village • Large powered drive thru sites • Fully self-contained cabins • Camp kitchen • Wifi available • Walking distance to the CBD • We overlook Emerald 18 hole golf course which has a club house & bistro 64 Opal Street Emerald 4720 P: 07 49 821 300 | F: 07 49 875 320 E: eccv1@bigpond.net.au | www.emeraldcabinandcaravanvillage.com.au 51centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au

court action

little gem yoga - kelly corbishley

the inner bean hub

fairbairn bakery

Award winning Bakery Café, old school bakery

aircon, sit down and drive thru. Must try!

pies in Central Queensland as voted!

E fairbairnbakery@bigpond.com

Clermont St Emerald Q 4720 P 07 4982 1103

Hospital Rd Emerald Q 4720 P 07 4982 1485

Fairbairn Bakery Emerald

Open daily 9am – noon & 5pm – to last booking. ● Tennis ● Squash ● Coaching ● Archery Range ● Fixtures & Comps ● Volleyball ● Golf Driving Range & Mini Golf (Day & Night) ● Gym & Sauna ● Personal Training P 07 4982 4333 32 Peacey Road Emerald Q 4720 FB: Court Action
Join me for yoga in the park, in nature to connect with your body & breath. ● Tuesdays & Thursdays – Emerald @ 5.30pm ● Saturdays – Sapphire @ 7.30am Classes suitable for all levels. Phone or email Kelly to book. P 0429 473 314 E kelly@littlegemyoga.com.au li legemyoga.com.au
Emerald’s newest Café and Coffee Destination. ● Great Coffee ● Delicious Food ● Breakfast All Day ● Open Early ● Opposite Shell Service Station P 0458 550 092 E admin@innerbeanhub.com.au The Hub, Corner Opal Street Emerald Q 4720 innerbeanhub.com.au

retail therapy

If you’re looking to purchase a unique gift, stock up on supplies or need running repairs, Emerald has you covered.

Get your retail therapy in the local boutiques and national chain stores located across our three shopping centres and central business district.

Emerald also has a wide range of services, including medical, banking and automotive, to meet your needs.

Call into the CQH Visitor Information Centre for souvenirs and handicrafts.

Local tastes

CAFÉS leave you spoilt for choice, offering freshly roasted coffee, gourmet burgers, home baked favourites and healthy options. Many cafés also offer takeaway and picnic options for your travels.

PUBS With five pubs and two sporting clubs in Emerald there is always somewhere to grab a relaxed counter meal and beer after a day exploring.


Pack your yoga mat and add a little bit of me-time to your travel plans.


There’s no better place than the Central Queensland Highlands, one of Australia’s leading beef producers, to enjoy a succulent steak. Try one cooked at your table on a heated stone.

Each restaurant has their signature dish, would you prefer crispy crocodile spring rolls, sticky lamb rack or smokehouse pork ribs? Perhaps you’d like an espresso martini with a side of tapas.

Emerald offers a range of yoga, pilates, tai chi and meditation classes. Book in for a massage, reiki or bowen therapy, or be pampered at one of the beauty therapists.

If your version of wellness is hitting the gym, Emerald has seven, boasting a range of equipment and classes. The Botanic Gardens is the perfect spot for cycling or walking and plays host to the weekly Park Run. Other facilities include an Olympic size swimming pool, squash and tennis courts and golf course.

The Inner Bean HubHighlands Homewares
centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 53

not everyone with wanderlust has a trust fund. boost your travel savings with seasonal work in the central queensland highlands.

Fruitmasters, Emerald54

Earn while you travel

Gen Z’s looking for a rural adventure, or grey nomads on the trip of their lifetime, can take advantage of seasonal work in the Central Queensland Highlands to combine travel with paid gigs.


Let’s talk dollars. Casual agriculture employees can earn more money than people working in either retail or hospitality because they, on average, receive a similar or better hourly wage, and have the opportunity to work more hours over the working week.

In addition to boosting your bank account, seasonal work can help you build new skills, make lasting social connections and provide a true rural Australia experience.

If that’s not enough, you’ll be helping farmers get their produce to market to feed the nation.


All skill levels, with or without qualifications, ages and backgrounds are welcome. Agriculture has a job for everyone! Some roles such as fruit picking require strength and stamina, however there are also roles such as packing and quality control that are indoors and not as physically demanding.


COMMODITIES: mandarins, grapes, lemons, limes and macadamias

OPPORTUNITIES: picking, packing, quality control, tree maintenance, supervisors, machinery operators

EARN: Fruit picking is normally paid on a piece rate, therefore long hours can see you earning $800-$1,000 per week. Take a relaxed approach and you will earn around $400-$600.

Find a Job


COMMODITIES: cotton, grains, pulses, cattle

OPPORTUNITIES: farm/station hand, tractor drivers, irrigation assistants, governess

EARN: Wages start at $700 per week and are dependent on experience levels and additional benefits such as accommodation.

other opportunities

Other seasonal work opportunities exist in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Permanent, full time roles are also available in agriculture, horticulture and agribusiness.


Accommodation may be supplied on farm as part of the job package. Alternatively, local caravan and cabin parks offer budgetfriendly, short-term accommodation. mobile coverage

You’ll find mobile coverage in all towns across the Central Queensland Highlands. There is generally some level of reception on farms however it may be limited.


z Check the Working Holidays section on CENTRALQUEENSLANDHIGHLANDS.COM.AU

z Look for advertisements on local social media job boards

z Contact the CQH Visitor Information Centre

centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 55


START I was backpacking in Canada when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. I came straight home, quarantined and started looking for jobs online. I found this job on Seek, did a zoom interview and started work a few weeks later.

JOB My job involves operating tractors, mustering cattle, daily maintenance on machinery and infrastructure and everything in between. I also help run the spot spraying robots which is pretty cool.

BEST/WORST The best thing about my job is the variety. No day is ever the same. Sometimes it doesn't go to plan, so it keeps you on your toes. I don’t think there is anything bad about my job but for some people it might be the long days.

FREE TIME I’m an outdoors type of person so I like camping and hiking at Carnarvon Gorge and Blackdown Tableland National Park.

I catch up with friends for dinner and drinks, movies or shopping in Emerald.

ACCOMMODATION My job came with farm accommodation which includes our own room and bathroom, and shared common areas.

MOBILE COVERAGE We get coverage across the whole farm. Some places are patchy but overall it’s pretty good.

TIP Just give it a go. There’s so many different jobs and the people are great.


looking for a tree change?

Explore More reasons to live and work in the Central Queensland Highlands. chrc.qld.gov.au centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au

central highlands easter sunflower festival, easter, emerald Cars, trucks, bikes and even people are swathed in bright yellow sunflowers during the festival’s street parade. Family fun is on the agenda with three days of events including an art exhibition, horse races and rodeo.

central highlands agricultural show circuit, may/june Come for the dagwood dogs, stay for the wood chopping, ring events, sideshow alley, live entertainment and fireworks.

capella country music festival, may Get your Akubra and check shirt sorted for the Capella Country Music Festival. In addition to a great line up of country music artists, the four days includes a talent search, bush poets’ breakfast and bush cooking.

gemfields rocks, last weekend may, sapphire gemfields

Calling all classic car and rock’n’roll enthusiasts for a weekend of live music,

car shows, food stalls and markets.

ag-grow, june, emerald Kick some tyres at Ag-Grow, a major agricultural field day featuring over 300 exhibitors, bull and horse sale and working cattle dog challenge.

gemfields festival, second week august, sapphire gemfields

Celebrate everything gems! The extravaganza held across the fields includes markets, workshops, exhibitions, live music and much more.

world dingo trap throwing competition, august, dingo

Could you throw a dingo trap 48 metres? Watch punters try at the world championships, held in conjunction with a country race day.

capella pioneer village heritage day, september

Take a step back in time at the heritage festival including a tractor parade, blacksmithing, sheep shearing, tractor



emerald lions markets

First Sunday of each month Mega Markets in December twilight on egerton night markets

Second Saturday of Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn

capella community markets

Fourth Sunday of select months

rubyvale markets

Every Saturday, Easter to October sapphire markets

Every Sunday, Easter to October springsure markets in the park

Second Sunday of each month christmas in july markets Capella

ess christmas craft fair Emerald, November

Explore more

Enjoy the unique energy and character of family events including the Springsure Billy Kart Dash (January), Blackwater May Day Fun Day and Nogoa November.

Country races are a fabulous day out and a highlight of the region’s social calendar. Meetings are held monthly, however don’t miss these signature events: Springsure St Patricks Race Day (March) and the Emerald 100 (October).

If sports are more your style, cheer on one of the local sporting teams or get behind the cowboys and cowgirls at a rodeo or campdraft.

If you’d prefer to participate than spectate, sign up for these unique, cross country events: Springsure Mountain Challenge (May) and UpDown Blackdown (August), or the quirky Colour Run (September).

Pack your appetite and make your way to one of the region’s foodie events, including the Eat Street Markets, Beer & BBQ Festival (August) and Oktoberfest.

Check out our full events calendar at whatson.centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au

Central Highlands Easter Sunflower Festival
centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 59
ROMA GLADSTONE Brisbane 617 799 873 927 1069 1177 476 720 764 927 985 1357 952 Rockhampton 196 270 324 579 686 469 401 335 324 382 747 336 Blackwater 75 130 385 492 386 225 140 129 187 553 367 Emerald 55 310 417 402 240 68 54 112 478 384 Sapphire 276 383 456 295 122 69 92 466 398 Barcaldine 108 700 549 376 343 366 741 673 Longreach 700 657 484 450 473 640 780 Roma 244 335 455 513 879 785 Carnarvon Gorge 173 294 352 718 624 Springsure 121 179 545 445 Capella 59 424 331 Clermont 376 290 Charters Towers 628 Mackay DUMP POINTS CHARGES MAY APPLY DIRT ROADS MINOR DIRT ROADSSEALED ROADS

holiday directory


blackwater international coal centre

Capricorn Highway Blackwater Q 4717

P 07 4982 7755 E manager@bicc.com.au bicc.com.au


capella pioneer village

1 Pioneer Street Capella Q 4723

P 0427 638 866 E mhburns@bigpond.com capella.com.au/capella-pioneer-village

capella van park

13 Langton Street Capella Q 4723

P 07 4984 9615 E info@capellavanpark.com.au capellavanpark.com.au

trailer & van repairs

11596 Gregory Highway Capella Q 4723

P 0409 613 999 E info@trailerandvanrepairs.com.au trailerandvanrepairs.com.au

Carnarvon Gorge

big4 breeze holiday parks - carnarvon gorge

Carnarvon Gorge Q 4702

P 07 4984 4535 E carnarvongorge@breezeholidayparks.com.au breezeholidayparks.com.au

carnarvon gorge ecotours

PO Box 48 Injune Q 4454

P 0408 741 292 | 0411 060 928 carnarvongorgeecotours.com

carnarvon gorge wilderness lodge

4043 O’Briens Road Carnarvon Gorge Q 4702

P 07 4984 4503 E info@wildernesslodge.com.au wildernesslodge.com.au


Carnarvon Gorge Q 4702

P 1800 435 426 E bookings@1800helicopter.com.au 1800helicopter.com.au

sandstone park

Carnarvon Gorge Q 4702

P 1800 87 4444 E info@sandstonepark.com.au sandstonepark.com.au


court action

32 Peacey Road Emerald Q 4720

P 07 4982 4333

FB: Court Action

Crossan Legal Solicitors

14 Borilla Street Emerald Q 4720

P 07 4982 1633 E admin@crossan.com.au

emerald cabin and caravan village

64 Opal Street Emerald Q 4720

P 07 49 821 300 E eccv1@bigpond.net.au emeraldcabinandcaravanvillage.com.au

emerald central hotel

13 Opal Street Emerald Q 4720

P 07 4982 3388 E reservations@emeraldcentralhotel.com.au emeraldcentralhotel.com.au

emerald central palms motel

19 Esmond Street Emerald Q 4720

P 07 4982 3600 E centralpalms@iq.net.au emeraldcentralpalms.com

emerald tourist park

43 Roberts Street Emerald Q 4720

P 07 4982 1589 E info@emeraldtouristpark.com.au facebook.com/emeraldtouristpark

fairbairn bakery

117 Clermont St Emerald Q 4720 P 07 4982 1103 41-43 Hospital Rd Emerald Q 4720 P 07 4982 1485

FB: Fairbairn Bakery Emerald

lachlan millar mp | member for gregory

93 Clermont Street Emerald Q 4720

P 07 4913 1000 E gregory@parliament.qld.gov.au lachlanmillarmp.com

lake maraboon holiday village

Fairbairn Dam Access & Selma Rd Emerald Q 4720

P 07 4982 3677 E enquiries@lmhv.com.au lmhv.com.au

little gem yoga - kelly corbishley

PO Box 191 Rubyvale Q 4702

P 0429 473 314 E kelly@littlegemyoga.com.au li legemyoga.com.au

maraboon vet surgery & pet resort

SURGERY 61 Hospital Rd Emerald Q 4720

P 07 4987 6800 E admin@maraboonvet.com.au

RESORT Lot 2 Keeping St Emerald Q 4720

P 07 4987 7748 E admin@maraboonpetresort.com.au

the inner bean hub licensed café

The Hub, Corner Opal Street Emerald Q 4720

P 0458 550 092 E admin@innerbeanhub.com.au innerbeanhub.com.au



rolleston caravan park

Cnr Comet & Meteor Streets Rolleston Q 4702

P 07 4984 3145 E rollcaravanpark@bigpond.com rollestoncaravanpark.weebly.com

Sapphire Gemfields

blue gem tourist park

925 Anakie-Sapphire Road Sapphire Q 4702

P 07 4985 4162 E bluegemtouristpark@bigpond.com bluegemtouristpark.com.au

gem air village caravan park

2 Village Road Willows Gemfields Q 4702

P 07 4985 5124 E gemair@bigpond.com gemairvillage.com

gemfields rocks / gemfields festival

Sapphire Gemfields

P 0448 681 888 gemfieldsrocks.com.au

miners heritage walk-in mine

97 Heritage Road Rubyvale Q 4702

P 07 4985 4444 E admin@minersheritage.com.au minersheritage.com.au

new royal hotel

Cnr Keilambete & Goanna Flats Rds Rubyvale Q 4702

P 07 4985 4754 E info@rubyvalehotel.com.au rubyvalehotel.com.au

pat's gems tourist fossicking park

1056 Rubyvale Road Sapphire Q 4702

P/F 07 4985 4544 E patsgems@bigpond.com facebook.com/patsgemstouristfossickingpark

rubyvale caravan park

16 Main Street Rubyvale Q 4702

P 07 4985 4118 E stay@rubyvalecaravanpark.com.au rubyvalecaravanpark.com.au

rubyvale gem gallery

Main Street Rubyvale Q 4702

P 07 49 854 388 E admin@rubyvalegemgallery.com rubyvalegemgallery.com

Sapphire Caravan and Cabin park

57 Sunrise Rd Sapphire Q 4702

P 07 4985 4291 E sapphirecaravanpark@gmail.com sapphirecaravanpark.com.au

Sapphire Showcase

1052 Rubyvale Road Sapphire Q 4702

P 0407 881 551 E coolamon.showcase@yahoo.com coolamonsapphires.com


ka ka mundi tours facebook.com/kakamunditours

jr & ge nixon - bp fuels & gulf western lubes

73 East Street Springsure Q 4722

P 07 4984 1267 E jrgenixon@bigpond.com

outback tyres

92 Eclipse Street Springsure Q 4722

P 07 4984 1051 E admin@obtyres.com.au outbacktyresspringsure.com.au

springsure mountain meats

38 Eclipse Street Springsure Q 4722

P 07 4984 1130 E mountainmeats@bigpond.com facebook.com/SpringsureMountainMeats

centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 63

Camping & Caravanning

Camping and caravanning in the Central Queensland

Highlands is a great way to dig a little deeper and experience a closer connection to the landscape. Wake up with the birds, bush surrounds and a new place to explore.

caravan parks

There are more than 20 budget-friendly caravan parks located throughout the region, offering powered and unpowered sites and a range of cabin options.

national parks


The access road is not suitable for towing heavy trailers or caravans. Privately run accommodation is available all year round at the park turn-off.




Available during select school holidays. BIG BEND CAMPING AREA

Open all year round and accessed by a 19.4km walk.

Privately run cabin and caravan parks are available all year round.

Bush camping is available in the Salvator Rosa, Ka Ka Mundi and Mount Moffatt sections.



Lions Park, Springsure

designated fossicking areas

Create the perfect duo by combining gem hunting and camping at one of the fossicking areas across the Sapphire Gemfields. Fossicking licences and camping permits are required, see page 17.

Self-Sufficient Camping BEDFORD WEIR, BLACKWATER



Quiet country towns are ideal for RV parking. In Emerald, parking is available at Central Highlands Marketplace.

dump points & potable water z Blackwater, Turpentine Road z Capella, Bridgeman Park z Carnarvon Gorge, accommodation providers (bring your own water) z Duaringa, Mackenzie Park z Emerald, Showgrounds z Rolleston, Beasley Park z Sapphire, Flagon Alley z Springsure, Rich Park PETS




Bring your fur-baby on holiday with you and stay at one of the many pet friendly caravan parks. Off leash dog parks are available in Emerald and Blackwater or let your pooch get their paws wet at Lake Maraboon and Bedford Weir. Make use of the dog kennels located in Emerald, Blackwater and Carnarvon Gorge to care for your pet while you explore the national parks.

centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au 65

Getting here & around road

The Central Queensland Highlands is intersected by the Capricorn Highway (Capricorn Way) that runs east – west and the Gregory Highway (Great Inland Way) that runs south – north.

For current road conditions, contact the Visitor Information Centre in the town you are visiting, or check the Queensland Government Traffic and Travel Information website.


The Spirit of the Outback operates twice-weekly services along the coast from Brisbane to Rockhampton and then west through Blackwater and Emerald to Longreach.


Daily coach services are available from Rockhampton with Greyhound Australia and Mackay with Mackay Transit Coaches.


Emerald Airport offers daily services from Brisbane with QantasLink and Virgin Australia, and weekly flights from the Sunshine Coast with Alliance Airlines.


Hertz, Budget, Avis, Thrifty and Sixt have branches at Emerald Airport.


131 008 operate taxi services in Emerald and Blackwater. Ride-share platform, J-Lo Rides, is available in Emerald.

tour services

Contact the nearest Visitor Information Centre for local tour recommendations.

CQH Visitor Information Centre, Emerald
Emerald CQH VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE 3 Clermont Street 07 4982 4142 Open daily blackwater BLACKWATER INTERNATIONAL COAL CENTRE Capricorn Highway 07 4982 7755 Open daily, Easter – October chat to a Local Springsure FEDERATION WOOLSHED Gregory Highway 07 4984 1961 Open daily, Easter – October duaringa DUARINGA HISTORICAL & TOURISM CENTRE Mackenzie Park 07 4935 7077 Open daily, Easter – October 67centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au
centralqueenslandhighlands.com.au @centralqueenslandhighlands #explorecqh

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