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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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Minerva Hills National Park

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
A relatively small National Park near Springsure in Central Queensland, Minerva Hills is dominated by Mount Boorambool, rising 600 metres above sea level, and the larger cliff fringed Mount Zamia (560 metres), which offer panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Mount Fox

Ingham, Hinchinbrook Area
Free Entry
Located south-west of Ingham, Mount Fox was created by a violent volcanic explosion about 100000 years ago. In the explosion, a lava flow 10 metres thick spewed from the southern end of the crater and chunks of molten magma were thrown out of the volcano's vent.

Pinnacles, The

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Arguably the best dive site in the Whitsundays, with hard corals comparing favourably to those seen on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The best dive is off the western beach, adjacent to the Woodpile and swim east at a depth of seven to 15 metres.
Free Entry
The Boondall Wetlands lie on the edge of Moreton Bay between Nudgee Beach, Boondall and Shorncliffe. The wetlands include more than 1000 hectares of tidal flats, mangroves, salt marshes, melaleuca, grasslands, open forests and woodlands.

Tree Top Walkway

Canungra, Scenic Rim Area
Free Entry
O'Reilly's Tree Top Walk allows you to walk through a canopy of flowering and fruiting trees covered by vines whilst you explore the epiphytic orchids and ferns surrounded by the many birds and animals that inhabit the tree tops.

Coongarra Rock

Biggenden, North Burnett Area
Free Entry
For Four Wheel Drive enthusiasts, Coongarra Rock and Falls provide an opportunity to explore rocky outcrops, caves, rock pools and natural vegetation. It is possible to climb the rock but should only be attempted by fit and experienced bushwalkers.

Butterfly Bay - Hook Island

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
A popular bareboat anchorage, Butterfly Bay is situated on the northern side of Hook Island. There are limited public moorings and snorkelling can be enjoyed along the bay edge or just off the beach. Offering coral outcrops with shallow walls, the bay is populated by many small, colourful reef fish species.

Mount Beerwah

Glass House Mountains, Sunshine Coast Area
Mount Beerwah is the highest of the 10 volcanic plugs that make up the Glass House Mountains. It has two peaks, the taller of which is 556 metres high making it one of the most visually prominent mountains in south-east Queensland.

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.

Forest Den National Park

Longreach, Longreach Area
Free Entry
Mitchell grass plains and gidgee woodlands are protected in this remote park in the Torrens Creek catchment in central-western Queensland. Forest Den National Park's semi-permanent waterholes along Torrens and Paradise Creeks provide a refuge for travellers and wildlife alike.
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