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CARNARVON GORGE

SAPPHIRE GEMFIELDS CENTRAL HIGHLANDS

QUEENSLAND VISITOR GUIDE

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 Road, Rubyvale QLD

07 4985 4444

admin@minersheritage.com.au

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


Welcome

Whether you have travelled from within Queensland, across Australia or other parts of the world, our region offers you more than you expect. Experience our magnificent natural wonders – gemstones, lakes and national parks. Take in the rich history and warm hospitality of our thirteen towns and communities. Be awestruck by our powerhouse coal mining industry and diverse agriculture. There really is no place like ours! Councillor Kerry Hayes Mayor – Central Highlands Regional Council

Central Highlands

centralhighlands.com.au @centralhighlandsqld Central Highlands QLD @centralhighlandsqld #centralhighlandsqld

We respectfully acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands across the Central Highlands and respect the Elders - past, present and emerging - for they hold the stories about the rivers and mountains, the traditions, the cultures and hopes of Australia’s First Nation Peoples.

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Image: Lake Maraboon Front Cover: Carnarvon Gorge


CONTENTS Things to Experience................................6 Stay, Eat, Shop............................................8

EXPERIENCE THE GREAT INLAND WAY Arcadia Valley and Bauhinia....................9 Carnarvon Gorge.................................... 10 Rolleston.................................................... 15 Springsure................................................. 16 Lake Maraboon........................................ 18 Emerald...................................................... 20 Capella....................................................... 24 Tieri............................................................. 26

EXPERIENCE THE CAPRICORN WAY Duaringa.................................................... 27 Dingo.......................................................... 28 Bluff............................................................ 29 Blackdown Tableland National Park... 30 Blackwater................................................ 32 Comet......................................................... 34 Sapphire Gemfields................................ 35 Rubyvale.................................................... 38 Sapphire..................................................... 40 Anakie and Willows Gemfields........... 41 Bogantungan............................................ 42 Calendar of Events................................. 44 Major Events............................................ 46 Drive Trails................................................ 48 Getting Here............................................. 49 Regional Map........................................... 50 Business Supporters.............................. 52 Talk to a Local.......................................... 54

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THINGS TO EXPERIENCE 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.

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, Rainworth Fort, Emerald Pioneer Cottage Complex and the Indigenous crypt, Yumba Burin, at Springsure. Explore heritage walks in Rolleston, Comet, Springsure and Duaringa. 6


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 selfdrive Central Highlands Mining Trail through key mining areas in the Bowen Basin.

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.

The Central Highlands is home to an array of colourful and fascinating wildlife. Get up close to a platypus, microbats and gliders at Carnarvon Gorge or try to spot the unusual eastern pebble-mound mouse at Minerva Hills. Wild peacocks add flair to the banks of Bedford Weir while over 150 species of birds have been recorded at Lake Nuga Nuga.

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. centralhighlands.com.au

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Stay Accommodation options are diverse, catering for all budgets and comfort levels. For something unique, stay in a glamping tent on a working cattle property, or a cabin made of ironbark logs and billy boulders. Treat yourself to a room at one of the region’s well-appointed motels and hotels. Alternatively, fall asleep to nature’s nocturnal sounds at one of the caravan and camping sites.

Eat Whether you are chasing fine dining, a relaxed pub meal or freshly brewed coffee, the Central Highlands has options to satisfy any appetite. Discover what local produce is seasonally available and where to buy it at grownincentralhighlands.com.au 8

Shop Retail therapy can be found in the Central Highlands’ array of local boutiques and national chain stores. To purchase something local, visit the markets for food, crafts and artworks, the Sapphire Gemfields for jewellery or one of the Visitor Information Centres for souvenirs and handicrafts.


EXPERIENCE THE GREAT INLAND WAY ARCADIA VALLEY

BAUHINIA

Nestled between the Expedition and Carnarvon Ranges, Arcadia Valley lives up to the Greek origins of its name, Ideal Paradise.

Located on the Dawson Highway, Bauhinia typifies the best in country hospitality.

Things to Experience

Fishing Wet your line in Zamia Creek, 10 kilometres south along the Dawson Highway. See if you can spot the Bauhinia tree, which produces orchid-like flowers, growing in the creek.

Nuga Nuga National Park offers a bush camping area on the bank of Lake Nuga Nuga. Note: there are no visitor facilities. Lake Nuga Nuga is the largest natural body of water in the Central Highlands. Local Aboriginal people’s belief is that the lake was created by a pair of Mundagurri (Rainbow Serpents) that now reside under the two dominating peaks at the northern shoreline of the lake. Explore the serenity of the lake by canoe, taking in the spectacular display of waterlilies which flower at times during the year. The lake provides a valuable habitat for water birds, making it a twitcher’s delight.

Things to Experience

Expedition National Park The Robinson Gorge section of the park can be accessed from Bauhinia. The gorge winds 14 kilometres between sheer sandstone cliffs, up to 100 metres high.

Wallaroo Outback Retreat Wallaroo Outback Retreat features eight fabulous glamping tents, six individual bathrooms, a rustic hall, a fully equipped kitchen and most importantly, a crackling fire pit. Wake up amongst the towering eucalypts listening to the magical sounds of the bush. We make camping not just easy, but that little bit luxurious!

Expedition National Park The Lonesome section of the park can be accessed from Arcadia Valley. Stop at the lookout and take in the spectacular views. Station Stay For a unique experience, stay overnight on a working cattle property. Guided tours are also available and feature a working dog demonstration.

252 The Basin Road, Injune 4454 P: 07 46 263 746 E: info@wallaroooutbackretreat.com www.wallaroooutbackretreat.com centralhighlands.com.au

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EXPERIENCE THE GREAT INLAND WAY

CARNARVON GORGE Over millions of years, water has eroded a deep and dramatic gorge system within the layers of soft, white sandstone – creating majestic cliffs that change colour with the movement of the sun. Carnarvon Creek flows all year, giving life to a luxuriant growth of ferns, palms, shrubs and trees.

Things to Experience Walking 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 Aboriginal cultural sites. 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. 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 Aboriginal rock imagery in Australia. Wildlife Opportunities for birdwatching are plentiful. More than 170 bird species 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.

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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, gas barbecues and drinking water are available. Swimming Take a refreshing dip in the Rock Pool, carved from the bed of Carnarvon Creek by the turbulent waters of past floods. It is the only place designated for swimming. Guided Tours and Talks Enhance your Carnarvon Gorge adventure with a guided tour by one of the commercial operators.

ƒƒ Ka Ka Mundi Drive though the undulating sandstone country and discover stately bottle trees emerging from silver brigalow forest. Camp by the springs and watch abundant birdlife.

ƒƒ Mount Moffatt Enjoy spectacular views from the Consuelo Tableland, the highest plateau in Queensland.

Scenic Flight Treat yourself to a scenic flight and take in the magnificent views of Moyamber Gorge.

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

Rewan Memorial On your way into Carnarvon Gorge, visit the Rewan Memorial, erected to honour the lives of the Australian and US soldiers who were aboard a Dakota C-47 aircraft that broke up in a violent storm in 1943.

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

Other Top Spots to Visit Carnarvon National Park has three other sections. Take a fourwheel-drive adventure to Salvator Rosa, Ka Ka Mundi (accessed via Springsure) and Mount Moffatt (accessed via Injune).

ƒƒ Salvator Rosa Rocky sandstone crags and spires dominate the skyline. Enjoy crystal clear springs and colourful wildflower

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displays. Camp under the timeless night sky next to the Nogoa River.

Accommodation Camping at the gorge is only available during Easter, JuneJuly and September-October school holidays. Camping permits are essential and bookings must be made in advance online with Queensland National Parks. Privately-run accommodation is available nearby year round.


EXPERIENCE THE GREAT INLAND WAY

Closest Accommodation to Carnarvon National Park Offering unique safari style cabins with tranquil surroundings, it is the perfect place to relax, dine and discover Carnarvon Gorge. ◌ Ensuited cabins ◌ ◌ Licensed a la carte restaurant ◌ ◌ Fresh espresso coffee ◌ ◌ Saltwater swimming pool ◌

P: 07 4984 4503 | www.carnarvon-gorge.com

Australian Nature Guides See it, know it, love it!

Carnarvon Gorge’s tour specialists Online offer: $5 off Lower Gorge Explorer. Valid 2019-20. Code: CHDC19

w: carnarvongorge.info p: 07 4984 4652 centralhighlands.com.au

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POPULAR SITES

Mickey Creek Gorge Wander along Mickey Creek and into narrow side gorges where the walking track becomes a rockhopping adventure.

Art Gallery Over two thousand engravings, ochre stencils and freehand paintings adorn the 62-metre-long sandstone walls of this significant Aboriginal site.

Boolimba Bluff Gaze out to distant ranges at Boolimba Bluff, which towers 200 metres above Carnarvon Creek. This is the only formed lookout track from the gorge and passes through a diversity of habitats.

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

Nature Trail Grab your camera and get up close to the local wildlife along the banks of Carnarvon Creek.

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

Boowinda Gorge Rock-hop into this sculpted side gorge, 100 metres upstream of Cathedral Cave.

For further information, maps, walks and camping permits, visit queenslandnationalparks.com.au 14


EXPERIENCE THE GREAT INLAND WAY

ROLLESTON Rolleston lies in the centre of a rich, resourceful and beautiful valley. The sandstone cliffs that follow the Carnarvon, Expedition and Shotover Ranges mark the boundaries of this fertile agricultural district.

Things To Experience  eazley Park Located in the heart of B Rolleston, Beazley Park features Purbrook Hut, an art gallery, coffee cart, outdoor cinema, playground and picnic facilities.  urbrook Hut is made from pieces of a grand P homestead built in the 1860s. Local historical information is displayed on the walls.

 rt Gallery The historic post office building A is now used as an art gallery featuring local exhibitions.  eritage Walk Discover the history behind H some of Rolleston’s buildings on the Heritage Walk. Guides are available from the Rolleston Library. Fishing Anglers can try their luck at the local fishing hole along the Comet River. Point of Interest: The Rolleston Coffee Cart is open from April to September and serves travellers home-baked goods and fresh coffee.

Rolleston Caravan Park

» Gateway to Carnarvon Gorge 100kms from Rolleston » 160kms to Blackdown Tablelands » 86kms to Lake Nuga Nuga » Very friendly park » Modern, clean amenities » Well-equipped camp kitchen » Powered & unpowered sites » Drive-thru sites

Self-contained en-suite units Shady & grassed areas with BBQs Pet friendly Town water Public laundry Mobile phone coverage – Telstra/Optus » Large rigs are most welcome » Dump point close by » » » » » »

Cnr Comet & Meteor Streets Rolleston Qld 4702 | P: 07 4984 3145 E: rollcaravanpark@bigpond.com www.rollestoncaravanpark.weebly.com centralhighlands.com.au

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EXPERIENCE THE GREAT INLAND WAY

SPRINGSURE Springsure’s name was derived from the permanent springs in the creeks and gullies at the time of settlement in the area. It is known for its heritage, hills and hospitality.

Things to Experience

Federation Woolshed Located in Rich Memorial Park, the Federation Woolshed is a replica of the sheds that Britain sent to the colonies at the turn of the 20th century. Photos and antiques line the walls of this historical building. It also acts as the information centre and is open daily, from March to October. Heritage Walk takes in the Woolshed precinct and the Main Street. Maps can be obtained from the information centre. Minerva Hills National Park Spectacular jagged peaks dotted with ancient Zamia palms provide the scenic backdrop to this national park. Enjoy panoramic views over the surrounding countryside from easy-to-access lookouts, including Fred’s Gorge. There are several walking trails and opportunities for mountain biking. Virgin Rock Lion’s 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.

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).

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

Staircase Range Lookout is located 17 kilometres south of Springsure and is named after a sandstone escarpment that has naturally formed in a staircase shape. See the Old Wagon Road that was cut into the sandstone by pick and crowbar. Wills Memorial Site A memorial headstone can be viewed at the site of the 1861 frontier conflict on Cullin La Ringo Road. Rainworth Fort Complex includes an original fort building constructed to store food and resist attack. It also includes the relocated Cairdbeign homestead, an 1800s school building and a fascinating collection of period pieces and historical artefacts. Yumba Burin (Keeping Place) Situated at the cemetery is an Indigenous crypt in which barkwrapped Aboriginal remains and artefacts are stored. Contact Darryl Black 0475 086 480 for access. 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 Federation Woolshed for access. Labradorite, a feldspar gemstone of iridescent colour, is found in the Springsure area. Fossicking permits available from the local hardware store.

springsure woolshed information centre ■ ■ ■

Open March 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

William Street, Springsure 4722 P: 07 4984 1961

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LAKE MARABOON Located 25 kilometres south-west of Emerald, Lake Maraboon is Queensland’s second largest lake. It has a massive 15,000 hectare surface area when full, which is three times the size of Sydney Harbour, and can hold 1.3 million megalitres of water. While the water is called Lake Maraboon, meaning ‘where the black duck fly’, the wall and spillway is called Fairbairn Dam. 18

Things to Experience Fishing Lake Maraboon is a popular freshwater fishing destination and is stocked with Murray Cod, Yellowbelly, Saratoga and Barramundi. A fishing permit is required and can be obtained from the Emerald Post Office or online daf.qld.gov.au 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. Boating There are no boating restrictions on Lake Maraboon although there is a no boating and no


EXPERIENCE THE GREAT INLAND WAY

fishing zone around the dam wall. Waterskiing, jet skiing and kayaking are popular activities. Swimming Take a refreshing dip in the designated swimming area. Lookout Enjoy stunning views of the lake, spillway and surrounding area from the lookout.

lake maraboon holiday village Water lovers rejoice – this park is for you! ■ Fishing & Redclawing ■ Villas, Cabins & Ensuite Sites ■ Boating & Kayaking ■ Disabled Facilities ■ Powered & unpowered ■ Modern Amenities & sites for all size rigs – Camp Kitchens no rig too big!

Picnic Enjoy a relaxing and picturesque picnic. The sunsets are particularly stunning and should not be missed. Tables and electric barbecues are available. Accommodation Camping is not permitted around the lake, however camping and cabin facilities are available at the privately-run accommodation provider nearby.

Fairbairn Dam Access & Selma Road, Emerald 4720 P: 07 4982 3677 E: enquiries@lmhv.com.au www.lakemaraboonholidayvillage.com.au centralhighlands.com.au

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EMERALD Named not after the gem, but for the lush green pastures that surrounded the town, Emerald was established in 1879 as a base to build the western railway. As the Gateway to the Outback, Emerald is a great base to refresh, restock and relax.

Things to Experience Strawbale Visitor Information Centre Commence your tour of Emerald and the Central Highlands at the Visitor Information Centre in Clermont Street. The building is an attraction itself as the walls are made from 300 bales of barley straw covered in lime and earthen renders. Located in front of the centre is a sculpture of an Eastern Bearded Dragon made of recycled farming equipment. Guided Walking and Drive Tours The Visitor Information Centre offers guided tours of the Emerald CBD and one-day drive tours of the area. Bookings essential. Van Gogh Sunflower Painting Once famous as a major sunflower producer, Emerald is now home to the world’s biggest Vincent Van Gogh Sunflower painting located in Morton Park. The superstructure is 25 metres high with 20

approximately 13.6 tonnes of steel involved in its construction. 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 the universe through to visions of the future. Pioneer Cottage Complex The 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. Contact the Historical Association for access. CBD Artworks Take a short stroll along Egerton Street and view the town’s magnificent public art. All pieces were commissioned from a public competition. Emerald Botanic Gardens are located on the banks of the Nogoa River. The 42 hectares of gardens include a rose garden, maze, bush chapel, sculptures, rainforest and playground. Six kilometres of walking and bike tracks lead to different plant communities of the Central Highlands.


EXPERIENCE THE GREAT INLAND WAY AND CAPRICORN HIGHWAY

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

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Railway Station Built in 1900 and restored in 1986, the National Trust-listed railway station, with its wrought iron lacework and pillared portico, provides visitors with great photo opportunities. Emerald Art Gallery showcases exhibitions from local, state and national artists and is located at the Central Highlands Regional Council office. Visit its Facebook page for upcoming events. Emerald Aquatic Centre Enjoy a day at the aquatic centre which features three waterslides, barbecue facilities, 50-metre pool, heated 25-metre pool and a fabulous children’s splash pad area. Central Highlands Science Centre Discover the wonders of science as you explore the interactive exhibits and events. The centre is open to visitors from Wednesday to Sunday on Queensland school holidays. Fishing Try your fishing luck in the Nogoa River from either the botanic gardens or the bottom weir. Rifle Range Reserve is a nature refuge which provides walking and bike tracks set in a tranquil bush setting. 22

Point of Interest: Outside the Town Hall you will find a fossilised tree estimated to be 250 million years old. The tree was unearthed in 1979 when a new railway bridge was being built across the Mackenzie River for the Gregory Mine.


EXPERIENCE THE GREAT INLAND WAY AND CAPRICORN HIGHWAY

LUV-A-COFFEE

maraboon pet resort

Serving coffee, tea, cold beverages, yummy cakes and slices. Extensive menu, serving breakfast and lunch all day. ■ Open M–F: 7.30am to 5pm; SAT 7.30am to 2.30pm; SUN 7.30am to 1.30pm

■ ■ ■ ■

Shop 2 The Plaza, 144 Egerton Street, Emerald 4720 P: 07 4982 0055 E: luv-a-coffee@coffomac.com.au www.facebook.com/luvacoffeeemerald

Standard and luxury accommodation options for cats and dogs ■ Premium dog grooming studio Air conditioned rooms with indoor/outdoor runs, premium bedding and large exercise yards Doggy day care service Facility tours by appointment

2 Keeping Street (PO Box 2316), Emerald 4720 P: 07 4987 7748 E: admin@maraboonpetresort.com.au www.maraboonpetresort.com.au

central highlands regional council

emerald central palms motel

Our region extends over approximately 60,000 km2 and includes nine library branches, six aquatic centres and seven customer service centres. We maintain 4632 km of roads and numerous parks and gardens, including the impressive botanical gardens in Emerald, the linear parkland in Capella and the Japanese gardens in Blackwater.

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.

19 Esmond Street, Emerald 4720 P: 07 4982 3600 E: centralpalms@iq.net.au www.emeraldcentralpalms.com

P: 1300 242 686 E: enquiries@chrc.qld.gov.au www.centralhighlands.qld.gov.au

emerald maraboon motor inn ■

EMERALD EXPLORERS INN

Our spacious rooms are comfortable, functional and contemporary ■ Surrounded by great food choices and entertainment facilities with a tropical garden pool environment and onsite fitness room Enjoy flexible check in/check out times with our commitment to guest satisfaction

Quality four star accommodation – Executive, Standard and Family rooms available. Explorers Inn offers great service, fine dining and relaxed surroundings. Licensed restaurant, swimming pool, Foxtel, free Wi-Fi and free under cover parking (space for larger vehicles). Close to town, airport and shopping.

★★★★ 5 Esmond Street, Emerald 4720 P: 07 4982 0777 E: maraboon@emeraldmotel.com.au www.emeraldmotel.com.au

1585 Gregory Highway, Emerald 4720 P: 07 4982 2822 F: 07 4982 0389 E: admin@emeraldexplorersinn.com.au www.emeraldexplorersinn.com.au centralhighlands.com.au

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CAPELLA Located within the famous Peak Downs District, Capella is renowned for its productive fertile soils and spectacular scenery.

Things to Experience Capella Pioneer Village Explore the Central Highlands’ agricultural and pastoral history at the Capella Pioneer Village. More than 5,000 items are grouped into exhibits including: settlers, the wool industry, railway, wartime, Queensland – British Food Corporation 194856, grain farming and Capella life. The village features the 1869 Peak Downs Homestead; Australia’s largest restored drop-plank homestead. Don’t miss the annual Capella Pioneer Village Heritage Day held on the second Saturday in September. Australian Light Horse Monument According to local lore, the first time Australian troopers wore the now famous emu feathers in their slouch hats was at Peak Downs station during the Great Shearers’ Strike of 1891. The 24

locally constructed monument in the Capella Parklands is a striking dedication to the area’s contribution to the history and tradition of Australian armed forces. 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. Lilyvale Waterhole, named after the Crinum lilies that grow around the waterhole, was once a thriving town on the Cobb and Coach route from the coast to Clermont until the railway bypassed it. Now only a few remnants of broken ceramics can be seen at the Lilyvale Waterhole. A shelter was built on the original location of the Lilyvale Hotel as part of Australia’s 1988 bicentennial celebrations. Townsfolk had clung to the hotel roof during floods. Floods also washed away the headstones in the cemetery so a plaque has been mounted listing those who were buried. In addition to its historical interest, Lilyvale Waterhole is a great out of the way spot to camp.


EXPERIENCE THE GREAT INLAND WAY

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. Capella Covered Arena Located at the Bridgeman Park Sporting Complex, the arena is the largest arena of its type in Australia. It is the venue for concerts and sporting events, such as cutting, campdrafting, rodeos and gymkhanas.

Capella Cultural Centre Catch some great live performances or a latest release movie at the centre. Capella Aquatic Centre Relax at Capella’s ‘beach’, which features five solar-heated pools, gym, squash courts, barbecues, waterslide and café. Point of Interest: 30 murals are painted on light poles and walls along Peak Downs Street, depicting Capella’s history.

CAPELLA PIONEER VILLAGE

Capella Van Park

1869 mortise and tenon Peak Downs homestead, > 5000 objects in 17 buildings, country cinema, vintage farming and mining machinery, Capella life. $12 Adults | $9 Seniors/Students Open Wed, Fri & Sun between 9am and 1pm. Tour and school group bookings welcome anytime.

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

1 Pioneer Street, Capella 4723 P: 07 4984 9425 E: mhburns@bigpond.com www.capella.com.au/capella-pioneer-village

13 Langton Street, Capella 4723 P: 07 4984 9615 F: 07 4985 2867 E: capellavanpark@hotmail.com www.facebook.com/Capella.Van.Park centralhighlands.com.au

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TIERI

of Saratoga, Golden Perch, Eel-Tail Catfish, Sleepy

Tieri is a vibrant mining community supporting the nearby Oaky Creek coal mine.

you’re looking for a spot to stop overnight, this

Things to Experience

equipped with tables and public amenities.

Cod, Spangled Perch and Red Claw crayfish. If

Bundoora Dam The man-made dam is constructed on German Creek and holds around 10,000 megalitres of water. It is an ideal spot for water skiing and swimming and has areas of sandy shoreline. For keen fishers, the dam is full

is a perfect place to camp and the area is well-

Point of Interest: Streets in the town centre are named after cattle stations that originally surrounded the town.

EXPERIENCE THERESA CREEK DAM Where friendship and adventure awaits

Clermont’s top 5 things to do 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Discover the rich history of Clermont Historical Centre. Enjoy the panoramic views of the Peak Range National Park. Find the green frogs on the carriages at Railway Station’s murals. Explore the lagoon & learn about the tragic 1916 floods. Unveil the mysteries of Copperfield, a town that is no more.

isaac.qld.gov.au 1300 ISAACS (1300 472 227) Enjoy your stay at Theresa Creek Dam with amenities, kiosk, BBQ, playground and waste disposal available. 26


EXPERIENCE THE CAPRICORN WAY DUARINGA Duaringa, the welcoming gateway to the Central Highlands, is the oldest town in the area, dating back to the 1870s.

Things to Experience

The park has a camping area with electric barbecues and hot showers for a donation. Enjoy delicious home cooking at Afternoon Tea in the Park, held on Sundays from May to September, and hosted by the Duaringa State School.

Duaringa Historical and Tourism Centre is easily identified from the Capricorn Highway by a huge mural, painted by local artists, depicting the meeting of the Dawson and Mackenzie Rivers becoming the Fitzroy River. Inside you’ll find tourist information and historical pieces donated by residents in the area. Local arts, crafts and produce are also for sale. The centre is open daily from May to September. Duaringa Historical Trail takes visitors on a walking tour of 20 historical buildings and landmarks. Interpretive signage provides insight and reflection on the town’s rich history. Pocket guides are available from the Tourism Centre. Mackenzie Park is home to the unique Budgeroo or Duaringa stringy bark tree. These trees were of great cultural significance to the early Aboriginal community, who used its bark to make rope, baskets and building materials.

Point of Interest: Australian Country music performer Melinda Schneider filmed part of her music video Real People in Duaringa.

DUARINGA POST & NEWS ■ ■

OPEN 7.30am to 10.30am (CLOSED 10.30am to 2.30pm) OPEN 2.30pm to 6pm Post Office with all banking facilities, Western Union, Post Billpay, mobile/internet credit, newsagent, scratch its, groceries, cold drinks, ice creams, Eftpos, souvenirs, gifts, dresses and hardware odds and ends

Cnr Alice & William Streets, Duaringa 4712 P: 07 4935 7100 F: 07 4935 7341 E: duaringapost@bigpond.com.au www.facebook.com/DuaringaPost centralhighlands.com.au

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DINGO Nestled in grazing country, Dingo is named after the wild Australian dog that roamed the area. The town sits at the junction of two major highways that service the beef, timber and coal industries.

Things to Experience Dingo Statue A life-sized bronze statue of a dingo sits in the main street as a tribute to the town’s name. Bingegang Weir Located 65 kilometres north of Dingo, Bingegang Weir is a popular destination for fishing, camping and boating. World Dingo Trap Throwing Competition Dingo is home to the annual World Dingo Trap Throwing Competition held in conjunction with a country race day in August. The traps are tossed like a hammer throw, with the record currently standing at 48 metres. 28

Blackdown Tableland Gateway Dingo (51 km) and Bluff (53 km) are convenient access points to explore Blackdown Tableland National Park and both offer caravan park and hotel accommodation.


EXPERIENCE THE CAPRICORN WAY

BLUFF Originally known as Duckworth, the town name was changed in 1877 to Bluff to match the name of the railway station.

Things to Experience Bluff Railway Station is a major railway assembly depot for the surrounding coal basin and a must-see destination for train spotters. Coal Train Facts

ƒƒTrains can be more than two-kilometres long with up to 100 carriages.

ƒƒTotal loaded weight is 10,800 tonnes. ƒƒThe value of saleable coal per train is

approximately $850,000 to $1 million.

Point of Interest: In 1894, Bluff Colliery began operating the Cambria mine, one of Central Queensland’s first coal mines. centralhighlands.com.au

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EXPERIENCE THE CAPRICORN WAY

BLACKDOWN TABLELAND NATIONAL PARK Rising abruptly above the surrounding plains, Blackdown Tableland National Park is a cool oasis. Covering approximately 47,950 hectares, this sandstone plateau boasts colourful wildlife, spectacular views and a range of nature-based activities. Blackdown is the traditional home of the Ghungalu people, who have visited this place for thousands of years and have left behind rock art; vivid reminders of their special culture.

Things to Experience 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. Four-Wheel-Driving Follow the Loop Road, pass magnificent sandstone outcrops, alive with basket ferns and king orchids, then stop at Mitha Boongulla lookout for great views of the surrounding plains. Suitable for high clearance four-wheel-drive vehicles only. Viewing Wildlife 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. Access 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 towing heavy trailers or caravans. Accommodation Relax in Munall camping area’s cool and quiet bush surroundings. Book a camp site in advance online with Queensland National Parks. Caravan park and motel accommodation is available in Dingo, Bluff, Duaringa and Blackwater. For further information, maps, walk trails and camping permits, visit queenslandnationalparks.com.au centralhighlands.com.au

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EXPERIENCE THE CAPRICORN WAY

BLACKWATER Blackwater, known as the coal capital of Queensland, is a town filled with a rich history and a heart-warming community, and is surrounded by natural treasures.

Things to Experience Blackwater International Coal Centre (BICC) is home to the Australian Coal Mining Museum, mine tours, 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. Mine Tours Experience an awe moment on a tour of one of Blackwater’s operating coal mines. See the magnificence of massive open cut pits, oversized machinery and equipment, and learn about coal mining from an expert. Tours depart from the BICC and bookings are essential. 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, have a picnic and take in the serenity.

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, guided mine tours, modern training and conference facilities, 100 seat digital cinema, Visitor Information Centre, Coal Café and Japanese Gardens.

Capricorn Highway, Blackwater 4717 P: 07 4982 7755 E: manager@bicc.com.au www.bicc.com.au

Blackwater Lions Park Found on the Capricorn Highway, the Lions Park is well known for one of the largest displays of flags in the world. The 37 flags represent the different nationalities that worked side-by-side to establish the district’s coal industry. The park has other historic features that include a restored engine of a 1953 C Class locomotive train and the old railway station that was built in 1877. Bedford Weir Escape to Bedford Weir, a popular boating, camping and fishing spot on the beautiful Mackenzie River, 25 kilometres north of Blackwater. The area is suitable for overnight stays and water (not potable), toilets and showers are available. Wood-fired barbecues and a playground are set in shaded areas by the river, making it an ideal picnic spot. The weir is stocked with Barramundi, Saratoga and Yellowbelly, or throw in a pot to catch some of our freshwater crayfish, Red Claw. The peace and tranquillity of Bedford Weir encourages a wide range of wildlife. Keep a look out for wallabies, potoroos, echidnas and bandicoots. Bird lovers are in for a treat, with as many as 30 species of birdlife calling the weir home including a large pride of peacocks. Don’t miss the annual Saratoga Spectacular fishing contest held in October. Coal Face Memorial Located near the ambulance station in Mackenzie Street is a memorial titled At the Coal Face, which commemorates all the miners killed in accidents at Blackwater coal mine pits. Point of Interest: Two pine trees grown from seeds taken from the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey are the highlight of the town’s war memorial in Arthur Street. centralhighlands.com.au

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COMET Comet was named after the Comet River that runs close to the township. The river itself was named by German explorer and naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt during his first expedition through Central Queensland after observing Comet Wilmot in the western sky in December 1844.

Things to Experience Dig Tree View the Coolibah tree trunk that Ludwig Leichhardt marked with DIG L and a downward arrow during his second exploration of the region in 1847. DIG L indicated to those who followed that he had buried a powder canister under the tree containing letters and journals. The marked area of the tree was later removed and is housed in a purpose-built display in Comet. Comet Railway Station Located at Whistle Stop Park, the old Comet Railway Station houses a display of local memorabilia, including old photographs and heritage railway bridge plans. Comet Tales and Walking Trails Take a selfguided walk around the township, stopping at 16 historical sites. 34

Fishing Drop a line into the Comet River under the railway bridge, at the Comet Weir or in the Mackenzie River at Riley’s Crossing. Historic Comet Cemetery Take a drive to the historic Comet Cemetery and contemplate what may have caused the deaths of 73 people between 1877 and 1879. Point of Interest: Empty beer bottles were used in the structure of the railway bridge built in 1914. They were discovered in 2005 when the bridge was reconstructed.


EXPERIENCE THE CAPRICORN WAY

SAPPHIRE GEMFIELDS

Fossicking Try your hand at finding a fortune, with nine areas designated for recreational and tourist fossicking across the Sapphire Gemfields.

You’re sure to catch gem fever when you visit the Sapphire Gemfields, one of the largest sapphire bearing areas of the world.

A fossicking licence is required and can be purchased online or at various businesses. They are inexpensive and come with a set of maps and rules. Hand tools and mining equipment are also available for sale or hire.

Taking in the townships of Rubyvale, Sapphire, Anakie and Willows Gemfields, the Sapphire Gemfields are only a 45-minute drive west of Emerald and cover almost 900 square kilometres. People from all over the world descend on the Sapphire Gemfields each year to experience fossicking firsthand, trying their luck to uncover the ultimate gem.

Things to Experience Gemshops and Galleries There’s no better place to purchase an Australian-mined and cut sapphire or quality sapphire jewellery. Gemcutters are available to facet your very own find and jewellers will set them into a piece of jewellery that could become a valuable family heirloom to be treasured forever.

For further information, visit qld.gov.au/ recreation/activities/fossicking/licences-permits 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. Fossicking Parks enable people of all ages and fitness 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 and zircons. centralhighlands.com.au

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EXPERIENCE THE CAPRICORN WAY Sapphire Gemfields Treasure Trail Begin the trail at Sapphire Reflections, a 12-metre-tall artwork, adorned with sparkling glass panels, located at the Anakie Crossroads. The trail takes visitors throughout the Sapphire Gemfields, stopping at five interpretive panels and 30 place markers. The trail tells the stories of the characters, capers, history and boom or bust nature of the local gem industry. Augmented reality and audio posts enable visitors to engage in the trail. Pick up a copy of the Treasure Trail Guide, including detailed maps, from local operators. Geo-Caching Discover 19 hidden gems on the Sapphire Gemfields geo-cache trail. Grab your GPS and a treasure map from the Central Highlands Visitor Information Centre, and hit the trail for fun and adventure. Four-wheel-drive tracks are everywhere. Try a day out to Tomahawk Creek fossicking area with its 2,500 hectares of bush tracks. Camping is allowed in some of the fossicking areas, however permits are necessary. Miners Common Be ready to give way to cattle, horses and camels. Officially proclaimed in November 1914 and known as the heart and soul of the Gemfields, the Miners Common covers 4,500 hectares. On the last remaining miners common in Australia, residents have the right to graze a few head of livestock in unfenced areas including the town centres of Sapphire and Rubyvale. Gemfields Architecture Pioneers of the Sapphire Gemfields built their homes or shacks out of a wide range of unique materials. From billy boulders to bush timber, corrugated iron and even glass bottles. Local Characters Meet the friendly locals and characters called the Gemmies. Many of the residents today were once tourists who came to visit and never left.

centralhighlands.com.au

37


RUBYVALE Originally known as Policeman’s Creek, Rubyvale is an oasis in the moonscape scenery, with its unique local architecture of billy boulders and ironbark logs.

Things to Experience Fossicking

ƒƒMiddle Ridge – sapphire and zircon gems can be found in the mostly shallow wash of this area.

ƒƒTomahawk Creek – more remotely located

some 45 kilometres north-west of Rubyvale. Blue and parti coloured sapphires have been found in the generally shallow wash.

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. Miners Common Museum, Arts & Cultural Centre, nestled on 20 hectares of walking trails, houses relics from the Sapphire Gemfields’ colourful history. The Centre hosts the Gemfields folk festival Sapphires Shine for Queensland in early June. 38

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. Point of Interest: The movie Buddies was filmed in Rubyvale. It starred Colin Friels, Harold Hopkins, Kris McQuade and many local people as extras. The story depicted life on the Sapphire Gemfields during the machinery boom of the 1970s.


EXPERIENCE THE CAPRICORN WAY

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: April–Sept 9am till 5pm; Oct–March 9am till 3pm (Closed some Public Holidays)

97 Heritage Road, Rubyvale 4702 P: 07 4985 4444 E: admin@minersheritage.com.au www.minersheritage.com.au

new royal hotel Judged Queensland’s Best Bush Pub 2014, 2015 and 2016, this true Aussie pub is 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 top up your supplies at the Bottleshop.

Cnr Keilambete & Goanna Flats Roads, Rubyvale 4702 P: 07 4985 4754 E: info@rubyvalehotel.com.au www.rubyvalehotel.com.au

Rubyvale Gem Gallery Mining sapphires since 1974  Gem Gallery  Café  Holiday Apartments

Main Street, Rubyvale 4702 p: 07 49 854 388 e: admin@rubyvalegemgallery.com www.rubyvalegemgallery.com

WINNER

2007 AUSTRALIAN TOURISM AWARDS SPECIALISED TOURISM SERVICES

Rubyvale caravan park Situated opposite the pub and centrally located to local amenities including café, jewellery shops, fossicking parks and underground mines. This pet-friendly park has flat, shady, easy accessible caravan, motor home, camper trailer and tent sites. 5 large sites available + free Wi-Fi, laundry, camp kitchen and fully self-contained cabins for 2-6 people.

16 Main Street, Rubyvale 4702 P: 07 4985 4118 E: stay@rubyvalecaravanpark.com.au www.rubyvalecaravanpark.com.au centralhighlands.com.au

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SAPPHIRE Mined since the late 1800s, many fortunes have been made and lost in Sapphire. The area is known for its laidback lifestyle and casual charm.

Things to Experience Fossicking

ƒƒBig Bessie – sapphire-bearing shallow

wash covers most of the area. It has been extensively worked but there are still patches of undisturbed ground that are likely to contain sapphires.

ƒƒGraves Hill - green, yellow and blue sapphires

have been found in the shallow wash that covers more than half of the 116-hectare area.

Sapphire Gemfields Wetlands Get in touch with nature as you walk through 98 hectares

BLUE GEM TOURIST PARK ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Located on the banks of Retreat Creek – Sapphire Green grass/slab sites – vans & camping Cabins Fossicking park/ equipment hire/licences Food, fuel, gas, ice Pet friendly Excellent customer service

925 Anakie-Sapphire Road, Sapphire 4702 P: 07 4985 4162 E: bluegemtouristpark@bigpond.com www.bluegemtouristpark.com.au 40

of pristine bushland and seasonal wetlands. The reserve has 3.6 kilometres of walking and cycling tracks, seating, a restored historic fossickers home, board walk, viewing platforms and bird watching hide. Photo Opportunities If you love a photo opportunity, then The Big Ring, Big Spanner, and Big Pick and Shovel can all be found in and around Sapphire. Point of Interest: FW Schlieffen was a piano tuner who drowned in a swollen creek in 1906. Floodwater made for a difficult burial, in fact holes had to be drilled into the coffin so it would sink into the grave and allow FW Schlieffen to rest in peace. Rest he did without a plaque for 94 years until 2000 when two plaques were placed on his headstone.

pat’s gems tourist fossicking park ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Sapphire fossicking Gemstones and jewellery Licensed café/restaurant Budget accommodation Souvenirs, and much more Open 7 days from 8am

1056 Rubyvale Road, Sapphire 4702 P: 07 4985 4544 F: 07 4985 4544 E: patsgems@bigpond.com www.facebook.com/patsgemstouristfossickingpark


EXPERIENCE THE CAPRICORN WAY

ANAKIE

WILLOWS GEMFIELDS

Anakie was declared a township in 1885, making it the oldest town on the Sapphire Gemfields. It is located at the Anakie Crossroads and is the area’s civic centre with the police and school located here.

The Willows Gemfields is a township 35 kilometres south-west of the Anakie Crossroads. It is a popular spot for fossicking, specking and experiencing a quiet bush life.

Things to Experience

Things to Experience

Fossicking Glenalva – is situated 20 kilometres southwest of Anakie. A variety of coloured sapphires can be found in the shallow wash that covers most of this area.

ƒƒ

Anakie Railway Station was built in 1884 as part of the rail push into western Queensland. To meet the demand for water from the train’s steam engines, a dam had to be constructed. It was dug by pick and shovel and at its deepest was six metres. Today the dam is used for recreational purposes.

Fossicking The Willows Gemfields is a popular fossicking spot because very little machinery was ever used there. It is known for its green and yellow sapphires. Point of Interest: Some of the world’s most famous sapphires have been found on the Willows Gemfields, including a 332 carat rough yellow, aptly named the Golden Willow.

Also located next to the railway station is a 130-year-old bottle tree engraved with the initials of soldiers and their sweethearts before they went to war. Gemfest – Festival of Gems is held over four days in August each year. The festival showcases exquisite gemstones and jewellery from local, national and international traders.

Anakie Caravan Park ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

Only 2km off the Capricorn Highway Powered/unpowered caravan and camp sites Ensuited units/budget cabins ■ Camp kitchen Kiosk/local sapphires/jewellery ■ Fossicking park Pet friendly ■ Great stopover to break your journey or to visit the famous Sapphire Gemfields

7 Richardson Street, Anakie 4702 P: 07 4985 4142 E: anakievanpark@bigpond.com FB: Anakie Gemfields Caravan Park centralhighlands.com.au

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BOGANTUNGAN

disasters. The Midlander passenger train,

While today Bogantungan is just a few houses on the highway, it has its place in history.

flooded Medway Creek, just west of the town.

Things to Experience

the water. Sadly, four passengers and three

Bogantungan Historical Railway Station On 26 February 1960, Bogantungan became the site of one of Queensland’s worst train

O U T B A C K

heading east to Rockhampton, passed over the The bridge collapsed when the train was partly over, and a number of carriages dropped into crew were killed, and 43 people were injured. The station has numerous interpretive panels and memorabilia about the crash.

Q U E E N S L A N D

EVENTS

Every event will leave you with a story to tell... APRIL WINTON’S WAY OUT WEST FESTIVAL MAY MUSIC IN THE MULGA, EULO JUNE VISION SPLENDID OUTBACK FILM FESTIVAL, WINTON

JULY BIRDSVILLE BIG RED BASH

SEPTEMBER BIRDSVILLE RACES

BOULIA CAMEL RACES

CHARLEVILLE BILBY FESTIVAL

AUGUST MOUNT ISA MINES RODEO

OUTBACK FESTIVAL, WINTON

CUNNAMULLA FELLA FESTIVAL

LAKE MOONDARRA FISHING CLASSIC, MOUNT ISA

DROVER’S CAMP FESTIVAL, CAMOOWEAL

NOVEMBER ROMA CUP

For more information on Outback Queensland events, visit

42


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! Clermont Byfield Capella

Great Keppel Island Emu Park

ROCKHAMPTON

Rubyvale EMERALD

Sapphire

Pumpkin Island

Yeppoon

Blackwater

Anakie

Mt Morgan

Willows

GLADSTONE

Dululu

Springsure

Rolleston

Biloela

Monto Carnarvon Gorge National Park

Eidsvold Mundubbera Gayndah

For tours & accommodation contact Capricorn Coast Visitor Information Centre Scenic Highway, Yeppoon Freecall 1800 675 785 l Open 7 Days www.visitcapricorn.com.au


CALENDAR OF EVENTS

JAN

Australia Day Celebrations

MAY Capella Show

May Day Fun Fair, Blackwater

CFMEU Rodeo, Blackwater

Springsure Mountain Challenge

Billy Kart Dash, Springsure

MAR

St Patrick’s Race Day, Springsure

Comet Show

JUN Eat Street Markets, Emerald

APR

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Springsure Show

Emerald Show

Waitangi Day, Emerald

Easter Sunflower Festival, Emerald

Australian Ag-Grow Junior National Emerald Field Finals Rodeo, Days Emerald

JUL Easter Rodeo, Emerald

Emerald Cup Races

Bullarama, Duaringa

Boots’n’ Ballgowns B&S, Emerald

Sapphires Shine for Queensland Folk Festival, Rubyvale

Christmas in July Craft Fair, Capella

Australian Kart Championships Round, Emerald


AUG

World Dingo Trap Throwing Competition & Races, Dingo

Gemfest, Sapphire Gemfields

SEP

Beer and BBQ Festival, Emerald

Pioneer Village Heritage Day, Capella

NOV

Nogoa November, Emerald

Christmas Craft Fair, Emerald

Dec

Christmas Mega Markets, Emerald

New Year’s Eve Races, Emerald

Ladies and Tradies Race Day, Emerald

OCT

Emerald Colour Run, Emerald

Saratoga Spectacular, Blackwater

MARKETS Emerald Lions Markets – First Sunday of each month Blackwater Market – Contact BICC for dates Capella Community Markets – Fourth Sunday of select months Rubyvale Markets – Every Saturday, March to October Sapphire Markets – Every Sunday, March to October

Emerald 100 Race Day

Oktoberfest, Emerald

Springsure Markets in the Park – Second Sunday of each month centralhighlands.com.au

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Image: World Dingo Trap Throwing Competition and Race Day

46


MAJOR EVENTS CENTRAL HIGHLANDS SUNFLOWER FESTIVAL Easter, Emerald

WORLD DINGO TRAP THROWING COMPETITION AND RACE DAY August, Dingo

The Central Highlands Sunflower Festival is jam-packed with activities, competitions and events. It’s fun for the whole family with a street parade, races, rodeo, art exhibition and school fete.

The World Dingo Trap Throwing Competition is held in conjunction with a country race day and features Fashions on the Field and live entertainment.

Central Highlands Easter Sunflower Festival

Dingo Race Club

AG-GROW EMERALD FIELD DAYS June, Emerald

CAPELLA PIONEER VILLAGE HERITAGE DAY Second Saturday in September, Capella

Featuring more than 300 exhibitors targeting the agricultural and mining industries, AgGrow incorporates several well-known events including the Queensland Working Cattle Dog Championships and the Queensland Superior Beef Bull Sale. aggrow.com.au

The Capella Pioneer Village Heritage Day has something for everyone with a tractor parade, blacksmithing, sheep shearing, tractor pull and balance events, craft stalls, entertainment and food. Capella Museum EMERALD 100 RACE DAY Second Saturday in October, Emerald

GEMFEST – FESTIVAL OF GEMS August, Sapphire Gemfields

Pioneer Park is a sea of colour as locals converge to witness a great day’s racing and participate in the festivities on offer. The Emerald 100 is Emerald’s major race day and always a highlight of the social calendar.

Gemfest is an annual four-day exhibition providing a unique gemstone and jewellery experience, including offerings from respected local, national and international gemstone traders, quality entertainment and food. gemfest.com.au

Emerald Jockey Club

For the latest information on major tourist, sporting and community events, contact the Central Highlands Visitor Information Centre or centralhighlands.com.au

Sapphire Gemfields Celebration 8th-11th Aug 2019 6th-9th Aug 2020 Alan King Memorial Park, Anakie QLD

   

Activities & Entertainment Fabulous prizes to be won Gems, Jewellery, Crystals & lots more! Local, National & International exhibitors

P: 0448 681 888 E: info@gemfest.com.au

www.gemfest.com.au

Like us on:

centralhighlands.com.au

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DRIVE TRAILS

Sapphire Gemfields Treasure Trail Learn about the characters, capers and history of the Sapphire Gemfields while exploring the mining landscape. 75 km one way

Central Highlands Mining Trail Don’t miss the opportunity to visit a local coal mine as you travel between Clermont and Bluff. 215km one way

Maraboon H2O This trail takes you through the Emerald irrigation area, over the 820m long Fairbairn Dam wall to Lake Maraboon. 55 km loop

Blackdown Beauty Enjoy a relaxing drive through Australian bushland, including the winding and scenic ascent to Blackdown Tableland. 160 km loop

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Arcadia Explorer A relaxing drive through farm and grazing land and the Expedition and Carnarvon Ranges before arriving at Lake Nuga Nuga. 195 km loop

Minerva Discovery Loop Take in the natural beauty and panoramic views of Minerva Hills and explore the local Indigenous history. 95 km loop

Bundoora Bound Travel through farm and grazing land with the Peak Ranges as a backdrop. Pass open cut coal mines before arriving at Bundoora Dam. 55 km one way

For further information, get a copy of the Touring Map brochure from a Visitor Information Centre or online centralhighlands.com.au


GETTING HERE By Road

By Rail

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

Catch the twice-weekly Spirit of the Outback that travels along the coast from Brisbane to Rockhampton and then heads west through Blackwater and Emerald to Longreach and return. queenslandrailtravel.com.au

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

emerald airport Emerald Airport is the gateway to the Central Highlands region. The airport supports tourism, business, leisure, agriculture and mining. The airport services Qantas Airways and Virgin Australia amongst others as well as general aviation including ight training, aircraft maintenance and freight operations.

By Coach Greyhound Australia offers a connecting coach service from Rockhampton to Emerald and Longreach. greyhound.com.au Mackay Transit Coaches runs a daily service between Mackay and Emerald. mackaytransit.com.au

By Air QantasLink and Virgin Australia operate daily services between Brisbane and Emerald. qantas.com.au virginaustralia.com.au

Gregory Highway, Emerald 4720 P: 1300 242 686 E: enquiries@chrc.qld.gov.au www.centralhighlands.qld.gov.au

Car Hire Hertz, Budget, Avis and Thrifty have branches in Emerald. centralhighlands.com.au

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CAIRNS MACKAY

TROPIC OF CAPRICORN

EMERALD LONGREACH

TIL MA Y WA DA

50


Brisbane

ROMA

617

Rockhampton

799

196

Blackwater

873

270

75

Emerald

927

324

130

55

Sapphire

1069

579

385

310

276

Barcaldine

1177

686

492

417

383

108

Longreach

476

469

386

402

456

700

700

Roma

720

401

225

240

295

549

657

244

Carnarvon Gorge

764

335

140

68

122

376

484

335

173

Springsure

927

324

129

54

69

343

450

455

294

121

Capella

985

382

187

112

92

366

473

513

352

179

59

Clermont

1357

747

553

478

466

741

640

879

718

545

424

376

Charters Towers

952

336

367

384

398

673

780

785

624

445

331

290

628

DUMP POINTS CHARGES MAY APPLY

2WD DRIVE ROUTES 4WD DRIVE ROUTES

SEALED MINOR ROADS SEALED ROADS

Mackay

DIRT ROADS MINOR DIRT ROADS centralhighlands.com.au

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BUSINESS SUPPORTERS Anakie Caravan park

emerald airport

australian nature guides

Emerald Cabin and Caravan Village

Blackwater International Coal Centre

emerald central palms motel

BLUE GEM TOURIST PARK

EMERALD EXPLORERS INN

CAPELLA PIONEER VILLAGE

emerald maraboon motor inn

Capella Van Park

emerald medical group

carnarvon gorge wilderness lodge

emerald motel apartments

central highlands regional council

EMERALD TOURIST PARK

DUARINGA POST & NEWS

fairbairn bakery

7 Richardson Street, Anakie QLD 4702 P: 07 4985 4142 E: anakievanpark@bigpond.com

O’Briens Road, Carnarvon National Park QLD 4702 P: 07 4984 4652 E: info@ausnatureguides.com www.carnarvongorge.info

Capricorn Highway, Blackwater QLD 4717 P: 07 4982 7755 E: manager@bicc.com.au www.bicc.com.au

925 Anakie-Sapphire Road, Sapphire QLD 4702 P: 07 4985 4162 E: bluegemtouristpark@bigpond.com www.bluegemtouristpark.com.au

1 Pioneer Street, Capella QLD 4723 P: 07 4984 9425 E: mhburns@bigpond.com www.capella.com.au/capella-pioneer-village

13 Langton Street, Capella QLD 4723 P: 07 4984 9615 E: capellavanpark@hotmail.com www.facebook.com/Capella.Van.Park

4043 O’Briens Road, Carnarvon Gorge QLD 4702 P: 07 4984 4503 E: info@carnarvon-gorge.com www.carnarvon-gorge.com

Cnr Egerton and Borilla Streets, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 1300 242 686 E: enquiries@chrc.qld.gov.au www.centralhighlands.qld.gov.au

Cnr Alice & William Streets, Duaringa QLD 4712 P: 07 4935 7100 E: duaringapost@bigpond.com.au www.facebook.com/DuaringaPost 52

Gregory Highway, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 1300 242 686 E: enquiries@chrc.qld.gov.au www.centralhighlands.qld.gov.au

64 Opal Street, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 49 821 300 E: eccv1@bigpond.net.au www.emeraldcabinandcaravanvillage.com.au

19 Esmond Street, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4982 3600 E: centralpalms@iq.net.au www.emeraldcentralpalms.com

1585 Gregory Highway, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4982 2822 E: admin@emeraldexplorersinn.com.au www.emeraldexplorersinn.com.au

5 Esmond Street, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4982 0777 E: maraboon@emeraldmotel.com.au www.emeraldmotel.com.au

Lot 1, Pilot Farm Road, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4986 7400 E: enquiries@chhealth.com.au www.emeraldmedicalgroup.com.au

3 Cypress Drive, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4987 4333 E: info@emeraldmotelapartments.com.au www.emeraldmotelapartments.com.au

43 Roberts Street, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4982 1589 E: info@emeraldtouristpark.com.au www.facebook.com/emeraldtouristpark

117 Clermont Street, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4982 1103 4 Hospital Road, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4982 1485 FB: Fairbairn Bakery Emerald


Gem Air Village Caravan Park

outback tyres

Gemfest festival of gems

pat’s gems tourist fossicking park

HELI-CENTRAL

Rolleston Caravan Park

Lake maraboon holiday village

Rubyvale caravan park

luv-a-coffee

Rubyvale gem gallery

maraboon pet resort

springsure woolshed information centre

Miners Heritage Walk-In Mine

Takarakka Bush Resort & Caravan Park

new royal hotel

Wallaroo Outback Retreat

2 Village Road, Willows Gemfields QLD 4702 P: 07 4985 5124 E: gemair@bigpond.com www.gemairvillage.com

Alan King Memorial Park, Anakie QLD 4702 P: 0448 681 888 E: info@gemfest.com.au www.gemfest.com.au

Carnarvon Gorge QLD P: 07 4984 4662 E: bookings@1800helicopter.com.au www.1800helicopter.com.au

Fairbairn Dam Access & Selma Road, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4982 3677 E: enquiries@lmhv.com.au www.lakemaraboonholidayvillage.com.au

Shop 2, The Plaza, 144 Egerton Street, Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4982 0055 E: luv-a-coffee@coffomac.com.au www.facebook.com/luvacoffeeemerald

2 Keeping Street (PO Box 2316), Emerald QLD 4720 P: 07 4987 7748 E: admin@maraboonpetresort.com.au www.maraboonpetresort.com.au

97 Heritage Road, Rubyvale QLD 4702 P: 07 4985 4444 E: admin@minersheritage.com.au www.minersheritage.com.au

Cnr Keilambete & Goanna Flats Roads, Rubyvale QLD 4702 P: 07 4985 4754 E: info@rubyvalehotel.com.au www.rubyvalehotel.com.au

92 Eclipse Street, Springsure QLD 4722 P: 07 4984 1051 E: admin@obtyres.com.au

1056 Rubyvale Road, Sapphire QLD 4702 P: 07 4985 4544 E: patsgems@bigpond.com www.facebook.com/patsgemstouristfossickingpark

Cnr Comet & Meteor Streets, Rolleston QLD 4702 P: 07 4984 3145 E: rollcaravanpark@bigpond.com www.rollestoncaravanpark.weebly.com

16 Main Street, Rubyvale QLD 4702 P: 07 4985 4118 E: stay@rubyvalecaravanpark.com.au www.rubyvalecaravanpark.com.au

Main Street, Rubyvale QLD 4702 P: 07 49 854 388 E: admin@rubyvalegemgallery.com www.rubyvalegemgallery.com

William Street, Springsure QLD 4722 P: 07 4984 1961

Carnarvon Gorge, QLD P: 07 4984 4535 E: info@takarakka.com.au www.takarakka.com.au

252 The Basin Road, Injune QLD 4454 P: 07 46 263 746 E: info@wallaroooutbackretreat.com www.wallaroooutbackretreat.com

IMPORTANT CONTACTS EMERGENCY

Police, Fire, Ambulance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dial 000

NON EMERGENCY

Police. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 14 44 Fire. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07 4983 7590 Ambulance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 22 33

EMERGENCY SERVICES

SES (State Emergency Service). . . . . . . . . 13 25 00

HOSPITALS

Blackwater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07 4980 1800 Emerald. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07 4987 9400 Springsure. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 07 4984 1200 Central Highlands Regional Council (24 hours) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1300 242 686 For all church and town services contact the local visitor information centre. centralhighlands.com.au

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TALK TO A LOCAL Let a local help you plan your Central Highlands experience. Our friendly staff have a wealth of knowledge and are always happy to help with maps, brochures and advice.

Emerald Central Highlands Visitor Information Centre 3 Clermont Street P: 07 4982 4142 E: emerald@chdc.com.au

Springsure Federation Woolshed Information Centre William Street P: 07 4984 1961 For further information about visiting the Central Highlands region visit centralhighlands.com.au

Blackwater Blackwater International Coal Centre Capricorn Highway P: 07 4982 7755 E: manager@bicc.com.au

Duaringa Duaringa Historical and Tourism Centre Mackenzie Park P: 07 4935 7077

centralhighlands.com.au @centralhighlandsqld Central Highlands QLD @centralhighlandsqld #centralhighlandsqld

Photo Credit: Jesse Lindemann (Front Cover), Blink Photography, Nathan White Images, Darren Jew, Wallaroo Outback Retreat, @acountrymum, Reuben Nutt, Australian Nature Guides, Casey Eveleigh, Takarakka Bush Resort, John Augusteyn, Trina Patterson, @taratrail, Central Highlands Regional Council, On the Road Photos, Owen Fuller, @jennifervaniston, @george_greco, Diane Armstrong, Our Gypsy Life, Above and Beyond Aerial Imagery, Ag-Grow Emerald, Gemfest, Capella Pioneer Village, Teisha Ingram, Scott Prince, Falon O’Donnell, A & M Photography Tourism and Events Queensland and Capricorn Tourism.

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Disclaimer: This publication is produced by Central Highlands Development Corporation. Every effort has been made to ensure information is accurate and correct, however the Corporation cannot be held responsible for any errors, changes or omissions.


centralhighlands.com.au

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Central Highlands Visitor Guide  

Carnarvon Gorge | Sapphire Gemfields | Central Highlands Linking the Reef to the Outback

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Carnarvon Gorge | Sapphire Gemfields | Central Highlands Linking the Reef to the Outback