Emerald

How did Emerald get its name? It's thanks to a lush green hill - emerald in colour - located just north of the town called 'Emerald Downs Hill'. Established in 1879, this large country town has become the hub of the Central Highlands and gateway to one of the largest sapphire fields in the southern hemisphere.

Emerald used to be a major sunflower producer, which might explain why the town is now home to the world's biggest Van Gogh sunflower painting - measuring 25 metres high. The masterpiece can be found on an easel in Morton Park at the western end of Clermont Street. Pop into the 'straw bale' Visitor Information Centre next door to pick up brochures about the Central Highlands and let the friendly staff help you plan your holiday.

Another 'must see' in the town is the National Trust listed Railway Station built in 1900 and restored in the mid-eighties. Featuring wrought iron lacework and pillared portico, it's a spectacular sight - as is the ancient fossilised tree that's found at the Emerald Town Hall, estimated to be over 250 million years old.

3 Clermont Street
Emerald, Central Highlands Area
Queensland
Australia

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Gardners Falls

Maleny, Sunshine Coast Area
Leave your vehicle in the car park on the banks of the Obi Obi Creek and take a short, level walk downstream to Gardners Falls.  You’ll pass a number of shallow rock pools which are ideal for smaller children who just want to splash about.

Heart Reef

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays, is a stunning composition of coral that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart. Located in Hardy Reef, Heart Reef is best experienced from the air by helicopter or seaplane, as visitors are unable to snorkel or dive there due it's protected status.

Bladensburg National Park

Winton, Winton Area
Free Entry
Bladensburg National Park is a large park protecting Mitchell grass downs and channel country. It is home to a wonderful variety of wildlife, including tiny mammals called dunnarts. Flat-topped mesas and sandstone ranges form a pleasing backdrop to the park's grassland plains and river flats.

Ngaro Cultural Site

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
The Ngaro people have walked this land for over 9,000 years. Protected from the elements in a once-hidden cave, Ngaro artwork adorns the fragile rock surface. The track begins deep inside Nara Inlet on Hook Island — an excellent overnight anchorage.

Millstream Falls National Park

Ravenshoe, Tablelands Area
Free Entry
Plunging over the edge of a columnar basalt lava flow, Big Millstream Falls is reputedly the widest single-drop waterfall in Australia. Lying in the rain shadow of the eastern dividing ranges, the dry open woodland here is in stark contrast with the rainforest which is only kilometres away.

Mount Lewis National Park

Julatten, Mareeba Area
Free Entry
Mount Lewis, one high rainforest-clad mountains of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area, is a treasure trove of unique and endemic wildlife. The area between the Mount Lewis and Atherton Tableland is especially diverse.
Free Entry
Michaelmas Cay, part of Michaelmas and Upolo Cays National Park, is one of the most important seabird breeding sites in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Michaelmas Cay is a small, low sand cay, covered by grasses and low-growing plants.

John Egan Pioneer Track

Stonehenge, Barcoo Area
Free Entry
The John Egan Pioneer Track highlights the ecological and cultural values of the Stonehenge town reserve. The track passes through downs country, scenic hill view country, spectacular erosions and rocky outcrops, natural springs and waterfalls (in wet seasons).

Carnarvon Gorge, Carnarvon National Park

Rolleston, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
An oasis of birdlife, unique plant species and freshwater creeks, the Carnarvon Gorge is a sparkling gem amongst the dusty heart of Central Queensland. Is it any wonder it's the region's most popular attraction?

Goomburra Section, Main Range National Park

Goomburra, Southern Downs Area
Free Entry
Nested in the western foothills of the Great Dividing Range, Goomburra is one of four visitor nodes of Main Range National Park - part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Rugged mountain ranges, spectacular lookouts, trickling streams and rare wildlife make this a very special place.
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