QUEENSLAND TOURING MAP
Linking the Reef to the Outback
C E N T R A L H I G H L A N D S .C O M . AU
MINERS HERITAGE WALK-IN MINE
Visit Australia’s largest underground sapphire mine! Established 1984. Family owned.
FULLY GUIDED UNDERGROUND MINE TOUR (MIN. 2 PEOPLE) AIR-CONDITIONED SHOWROOM MAKERS OF UNIQUE HANDCRAFTED JEWELLERY SAPPHIRE SPECIALISTS UNDERGROUND MUSEUM FOSSICK FOR YOUR OWN GEMS COVERED PICNIC AREA BUS & CARAVAN PARKING
MULTI TOURISM AWARD WINNER
97 Heritage Roa d, Rubyvale QLD
07 4985 4444
Your one-stop introduction to the Sapphire fields www.minersheritage.com.au OPEN 7 DAYS | APRIL to SEPT 9am – 5pm OCT to MARCH 9am – 3pm
START YOUR JOURNEY
Embark on a road trip like no other through the Central Highlands, home to some of Queensland’s most unique attractions.
Journey the wide-open roads, stopping at Carnarvon Gorge to explore its towering sandstone cliﬀs and lush ravines. Loop through the moonscape scenery and quaint gem galleries of the Sapphire Gemﬁelds. Meander through farm and grazing land, resting in rural towns to enjoy their country hospitality and rich history. Seek out the freshwater lakes and rivers, abundant wildlife and tantalising local ﬂavours. Spend time discovering the destinations and hidden gems in the Central Highlands. There really is no place like ours!
Geing Here A classic road trip is one of the best ways to experience the wide-open spaces of the Central Highlands. Navigating is easy with two major highways running east-west (Capricorn Highway) and north-south (Gregory Highway). If you are arriving by rail (Spirit of the Outback), coach (Greyhound Australia or Mackay Transit Coaches) or air (QantasLink or Virgin Australia), collect your rental car from Emerald Airport (Hertz, Budget, Avis or Thrift y).
GET LOST IN NATURE Take your time to explore the open spaces and hidden crevices of our national parks, including Carnarvon Gorge, Blackdown Tableland and Minerva Hills. Enjoy spectacular views from towering sandstone cliffs or wander through twisting gorges to discover rock art sites, tumbling waterfalls and abundant wildlife.
Spot platypus in Carnarvon Creek along the Nature Trail, early in the morning or at dusk.
Be spellbound as you gaze at more than 2,000 Indigenous
engravings, ochre stencils and freehand paintings along the sandstone walls of the Carnarvon Gorge Art Gallery.
Enhance your Carnarvon Gorge adventure with a guided
walking tour which provides expert commentary and local knowledge. Alternatively, take to the skies and enjoy a scenic helicopter ﬂight over Moolayember Gorge.
Take an early morning walk to Mook Mook Lookout, Blackdown Tableland, and watch the sandstone cliﬀ s change colour as the sun rises.
Brave the 240-stair descent deep into the Gudda Gumoo Gorge, Blackdown Tableland, and cool oﬀ in the rock pools below.
Enjoy a bush picnic at Fred’s Gorge Lookout, Minerva Hills, admiring the views down the gorge, cutting a swathe from plateau to plain.
GATEWAY TO THE OUTBACK Emerald is the hub of the Central Highlands and Gateway to the Outback, making it an ideal base to refresh, restock and relax. Get your coﬀee fix in one of the many cafés, enjoy shopping in unique boutiques and national chain stores, or tap into the broad range of city-like services.
Commence your journey at the Central Highlands Visitor
Information Centre, located in a building made of barley and straw bales.
Be dwarfed by the 25-metre high replica Van Gogh Sunﬂower painting in Morton Park.
Follow the Centenary of Federation Mosaic Pathway which leads you through 100 years in 100 metres of Emerald’s colourful history.
Relax in the 42-hectare oasis of the Emerald Botanic Gardens. Ride
your bike or take a stroll along the six kilometres of tracks. Kids will love the playground, including a ﬂying fox and mouse wheel.
Get a photo of the National Trust listed railway station, with its wrought iron lacework and pillared portico.
For further information on events including the Central
Highlands Easter Sunﬂower Festival, Ag-Grow Field Days and Emerald 100 Race Day, visit centralhighlands.com.au
CATCH GEM FEVER Unearth a treasure at the Sapphire Gemfields, one of the largest sapphire-bearing regions in the world. Enjoy the thrill of fossicking, venture underground with a guided mine tour or spoil yourself at one of the gem galleries. Follow the Sapphire Gemfields Treasure Trail through Rubyvale, Sapphire, Anakie and the Willows Gemfields.
If searching for your own gem sounds enticing, then try your hand at fossicking in one of the ﬁve designated areas. Alternatively, take a tag-along tour for guidance from an experienced miner, or go to a fossicking park where the digging work is already done. Step into another world on an underground mine tour. Tours take visitors through a network of tunnels, providing an insight into the process of sapphire mining. Treat yourself with an Australian-mined and cut sapphire or quality sapphire jewellery from one of the gem shops and galleries. Attend Gemfest - Festival of Gems, held over four days in August each year. The festival showcases exquisite gemstones and jewellery from local, national and international traders. Get in touch with nature as you walk through 98 hectares of pristine bushland and seasonal, freshwater wetlands at the Sapphire Gemﬁelds Wetland Reserve.
EXPLORE COAL COUNTRY
Visit a working coal mine and be awestruck by the size of the massive open cut pits and machinery. Learn about the past, present and future of mining at the Blackwater International Coal Centre. Follow the self-drive Central Highlands Mining Trail through key mining areas in the Bowen Basin.
Hear about coal mining from an expert on a tour of one of Blackwater’s operating coal mines.
Test drive a dragline or coal train on one of the simulators at the Australian Coal Mining Museum.
Get your photo taken in one of the enormous red dragline buckets in Blackwater or Capella.
Keep an eye out for coal trains during your travels. Trains
can be up to two kilometres long and carry approximately $850,000 of saleable coal.
Did you know there are two types of coal?
Thermal coal or steaming coal is burned for steam to run turbines to generate electricity. Metallurgical coal or coking coal is used in the process of creating coke necessary for iron and steel making. Approximately two thirds of the coal produced in the Central Highlands is metallurgical coal.
WET A LINE Slow down the pace and throw in a line at one of the popular fishing spots including Lake Maraboon, Bedford Weir, Bundoora Dam or one of the many rivers that run through the area. Try catching some Red Claw, a freshwater crayfish and local delicacy. These spots are also perfect for water sports including canoeing, skiing and boating.
Reel in one of the popular catches including Barramundi, Saratoga, Golden Perch and Sleepy Cod.
Time your visit to Lake Maraboon to catch one of the spectacular sunsets over the water.
Soak up the peace and tranquility of Bedford Weir, keeping an eye out for its large pride of peacocks.
Scratch the twitch! Canoe the waters of Lake Nuga Nuga to
see more than 150 diﬀ erent bird species, some nesti ng in the dead trees that emerge from the lake.
Red Claw, a freshwater crayfish, is abundant and is 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.
STEP BACK IN TIME Tap into the rich vein of Aboriginal and European heritage that runs through the Central Highlands by exploring the unique historical attractions, including the Capella Pioneer Village, Emerald Pioneer Cottage Complex, Rainworth Fort and the Indigenous crypt, Yumba Burin, at Springsure. Explore heritage walks in Rolleston, Comet, Springsure and Duaringa.
Get a feel for life in the 1860s by visiting the beautifully restored Peak Downs homestead at Capella Pioneer Village. Marvel how no nails were used in the spotted gum timber walls.
Don’t miss the Capella Pioneer Village Heritage Day held on the
second Saturday every September. The day features a tractor parade, blacksmithing, sheep shearing, craft stalls and much more.
Immerse yourself in the treasure trove of historical sites and
information around Springsure, including Rainworth Fort, Wills Memorial Site, Hospital Museum and Federation Woolshed.
Visit an Indigenous crypt where bark-wrapped remains and artefacts are stored at Yumba Burin, Springsure.
Stop in Comet to view the Coolibah tree trunk that Ludwig
Leichhardt marked with DIG L during his exploration of the region in 1847.
TALK TO A LOCAL Let a local help you plan your Central Highlands experience. Our friendly staďŹ€ have a wealth of knowledge and are always happy to help with maps, brochures and advice.
Central Highlands Visitor Information Centre 3 Clermont Street P: 07 4982 4142 E: email@example.com
Blackwater International Coal Centre Capricorn Highway P: 07 4982 7755 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Federation Woolshed Information Centre William Street P: 07 4984 1961
Duaringa Historical and Tourism Centre Mackenzie Park P: 07 4935 7077
For more information please call 07 4982 4142 centralhighlands.com.au
Central Highlands QLD
Photo Credit: Jesse Lindemann (Front Cover), Nathan White Images, Capricorn Enterprise and Danielle Lancaster. Disclaimer: This publication is produced by Central Highlands Development Corporation. Every eďŹ€ort has been made to ensure information is accurate and correct, however the Corporation cannot be held responsible for any errors, changes or omissions.
Lilyvale TROPIC OF CAPRICORN
TIL MA Y WA DA Brisbane
Central Highlands Carnarvon Gorge
TAKE A DRIVE
Set your pace to laid-back and enjoy these self-drive trails.
Arcadia Explorer Rolleston – Lake Nuga Nuga – Arcadia Valley – Rolleston (195 km) Enjoy a relaxing drive through farm and grazing land on your way to Lake Nuga Nuga. Stop for a picnic, watch the birdlife or explore the serenity of the lake by canoe. Continue through Arcadia Valley with scenic views of the Carnarvon and Expedition Ranges. Blackdown Beauty Blackwater – Bluff – Blackdown Tableland – Blackwater (110km) *Note this drive is not suitable for caravans and trailers. Enjoy a relaxing drive through Australian bushland, including the winding and scenic ascent to Blackdown Tableland. Go for a bushwalk to discover the park’s heritage, tumbling creeks and unusual plants. Cool off in the rock pools below Gudda Gumoo (Rainbow Falls). Central Highlands Mining Trail Clermont – Capella – Lilyvale – Emerald – Blackwater – Bluff (215km) Follow the trail to learn about history, process and characters of the local coal mining industry. Some mines can be seen from the road or to get up close book a tour of one of Blackwater’s operating coal mines. Maraboon H2O Emerald – Fairbairn Dam – Lake Maraboon – Emerald (55km) This trail takes you through the Emerald irrigation area, including cotton farms, table grape vineyards and citrus orchards. Journey over the 820-metre-long Fairbairn Dam wall to Lake Maraboon. Enjoy stunning views of the lake, spillway and surrounding area from the lookout. Minerva Discovery Loop Springsure – Minerva Hills National Park – Springsure (95km) Take in the natural beauty and panoramic views of Minerva Hills National Park. Wander along Skyline Lookout for close-up views of Virgin Rock standing sentinel over Springsure far below. Call into the Wills Memorial Site before continuing back to Springsure past the Minerva open-cut coal mine. Path of Pioneers Emerald – Lilyvale – Capella – Sapphire Gemfields (170km) Dip into the region’s history, stopping at the historic town of Lilyvale and the Capella Pioneer Village. Continue to the Sapphire Gemfields to explore its array of gem shops, galleries, jewellers, underground mines and fossicking areas. Follow the Sapphire Gemfields Treasure Trail to learn about the characters, capers and history of the fields. Treasure to Theresa Sapphire Gemfields – Clermont – Theresa Creek Dam (120km) Leaving the Sapphire Gemfields, notice the extinct volcanoes that dot the horizon. Stop in Clermont to visit the Historical Centre, Railway Station Murals and Hood’s Lagoon. Continue to Theresa Creek Dam for fishing, boating, swimming or simply watching time pass you by.
AWD ROUTES Unhook the van and get off the beaten track on these local backroads. For detailed instructions call into a local Visitor Information Centre. Willows Way (300km) This route takes travellers through sapphire fossicking areas, along the top of the Nogoa River, and over a sandstone escarpment with scenic vistas of the surrounding countryside. Ka Ka Mundi Adventure (250km) Explore the back of Springsure before venturing into the Ka Ka Mundi section of Carnarvon National Park. Bedford Backwaters (200km) Rileys Crossing Road follows the Mackenzie River, with opportunities to stop to fish or picnic, before coming into Bedford Weir from the north.
4WD ROUTES Create your own legendary bush adventure by exploring the network of designated 4WD tracks within our national parks. Blackdown Tableland National Park (20km) 4WD past amazing sandstone outcrops alive with basket ferns and king orchids. Stop at Mitha Boongulla for panoramic views of the surrounding plains. Salvator Rosa, Carnarvon National Park (20km) Follow the rough track to the parkâ€™s most outstanding features, including flowing springs and towering sandstone formations. Mount Moffatt, Carnarvon National Park (30km) Climb to the head of Carnarvon Creek, stopping at the Mahogany Forest along the way. ACCREDITED VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE
SEALED ROADS SEALED MINOR ROADS
DIRT ROADS MINOR DIRT ROADS
CHARGES MAY APPLY
Always drive to conditions of the road. Drop into a local Visitor Information Centre for further information and to discuss your travel plans.
emerald maraboon motor inn
lake maraboon holiday village
★★★★ ■ ■
Our spacious rooms are functional and contemporary Surrounded by great food choices and entertainment facilities + onsite ﬁtness room
Water lovers rejoice – this park is for you! Fishing, redclawing, boating, kayaking. Powered & unpowered sites for all size rigs. Villas, cabins & ensuite sites.
5 Esmond St, Emerald 07 4982 0777 email@example.com www.emeraldmotel.com.au
Fairbairn Dam Access/Selma Rd, Emerald 07 4982 3677 firstname.lastname@example.org lakemaraboonholidayvillage.com.au
EMERALD EXPLORERS INN
Award winning Bakery Café, old school bakery goodies, aircon, sit down. Must try! Best pies in Central Queensland as voted!
Quality four star accommodation – Executive, Standard and Family rooms available. Explorers Inn oﬀers great service, ﬁne dining and relaxed surroundings.
117 Clermont St, Emerald 07 4982 1103 4 Hospital Rd, Emerald 07 4982 1485 email@example.com FB: Fairbairn Bakery Emerald
1585 Gregory Highway, Emerald 07 4982 2822 F: 07 4982 0389 firstname.lastname@example.org www.emeraldexplorersinn.com.au
DUARINGA POST & NEWS
CAPELLA PIONEER VILLAGE
Post office, banking, Billpay & mobile credit, newsagent, groceries, souvenirs, dresses & hardware odds & ends. Open 7.30-10.30am (closed 10.30am-2.30pm) open 2.30-6pm.
1869 mortise & tenon Peak Downs homestead, > 5000 objects in 17 buildings, country cinema, vintage farming & mining machinery ■ Open Wed, Fri & Sun 9am – 1pm
Cnr Alice & William Sts, Duaringa 07 4935 7100 F: 07 4935 7341 email@example.com facebook.com/DuaringaPost
1 Pioneer St, Capella 07 4984 9425 firstname.lastname@example.org capella.com.au/capella-pioneer-village
One of Central Qld’s largest charter operators oﬀering a wide range of aircraft to suit your operations. Servicing rural, mining, tourism & emergency services since 2010.
Short 5 min. drive from Carnarvon Gorge National Park on sealed roads – every site has stunning 360° views of the surrounding ranges, all sites are drive through/spacious.
Carnarvon Gorge 07 4984 4662 email@example.com www.1800helicopter.com.au
Sandstone Park, Carnarvon Gorge 07 4984 4679 firstname.lastname@example.org www.sandstonepark.com.au
Takarakka Bush Resort Certificate of Excellence
Rubyvale Gem Gallery
■ ■ ■
Mining sapphires since 1974 Gem Gallery, Café & Holiday Apartments Outstanding collection of sapphires & designer jewellery
Main St, Rubyvale 07 4985 4388 email@example.com www.rubyvalegemgallery.com
BLUE GEM TOURIST PARK
Located on the banks of Retreat Creek, Sapphire with grass/slab sites – vans & camping + cabins Fossicking park/equipment hire/ licences + food, fuel, gas & ice
925 Anakie-Sapphire Rd, Sapphire 07 4985 4162 firstname.lastname@example.org www.bluegemtouristpark.com.au
Gem Air Village Caravan Park 2 Village Road, Willows Gemfields | 07 4985 5124 E email@example.com | W gemairvillage.com
offering a range of accommodation options incl. cabins, powered & unpowered sites excellent facilities including camp kitchen, BBQs, laundry & clean amenities area famous for its unique gems making it a fossicker’s paradise!
MINERS HERITAGE WALK-IN MINE
Fully Guided Underground Mine Tour (min. 2 people) Open 7 days: April–Sept 9am till 5pm; Oct–March 9am till 3pm (Closed some Public Holidays)
97 Heritage Rd, Rubyvale 07 4985 4444 firstname.lastname@example.org www.minersheritage.com.au
central highlands regional council
Our region extends over approximately 60,000 km2 and includes nine library branches, six aquatic centres and seven customer service centres. 1300 242 686 email@example.com www.centralhighlands.qld.gov.au
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Visit www.chdc.com.au for our lifestyle guide and video
Carnarvon Gorge | Sapphire Gemfields | Central Highlands