Caves and Fossicking

Don't rely on your weekly lotto ticket to get-rich-quick. Head out west, grab a fossicking pan and strike it rich with a gold or gemstone find. And since you’ve got your hiking boots packed, head north to the towering Capricorn Caves and test your nerve with adrenalin pumping experiences.

  • Venture underground and experience for yourself how sapphire mining is done by locals – take a walk-in mine tour at Rubyvale, or book a self-drive fossicking tour at The Willows Gemfields and uncover some of the world’s most famous and unusual coloured sapphire’s.
  • If you don’t fancy getting your hands dirty, Rubyvale is also where you can buy a bucket of ‘wash’ – learn to sieve it and recognise sapphires in the rough! If you don’t find your own gem, the local gem galleries and shops offer unique sapphire jewellery for sale.
  • If gold is more your style, check out the glittering gold at Mount Morgan through a guided tour and uncover one of the oldest mines in Australia.
  • Explore the incredible above ground limestone caves formed from an ancient coral reef over 400 million years ago. The Capricorn Caves are the oldest tourist attraction in Queensland!

Plan your Holiday

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M and M Sapphires

Sapphire, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
Buy direct from the Miner. M and M Sapphires have exquisite Cut Sapphires and Sapphire Jewellery on display. They can also set your stones, or choose from their wide range of precious and semi precious gems, into their large range of jewellery settings.

Dig the Tropic Four Day Drive

Multiple Locations
Resting 23.5 degrees south of the Equator, the aptly-named Capricorn region lays along the Tropic of Capricorn, considered one of Earth's major circles of latitude. Home to extreme conditions and dramatic landscapes, experience the living museum which is a countryside embedded with mineral wealth, tell-tale fossils, and inspiring landscapes.

Rubyvale Gem Gallery

Rubyvale, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
Australian Tourism Award winning Rubyvale Gem Gallery is a small family business established in 1988, and now situated in their new shop on Main Street in Rubyvale. For over 40 years Peter Brown has been mining and cutting the local sapphires, and setting them in uniquely designed jewellery.

Dig the Tropic

Multiple Locations
It's 23.5 degrees south of the equator and the natural wonders and diverse landscapes of Australia, Chile, Brazil and South Africa all share it. The Tropic of Capricorn lays the groundwork for a trail of real dinosaur fossils, ancient rainforests, sapphire gemfields and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World - the Great Barrier Reef?

Central Queensland Outback Drive

Multiple Locations
Experience the best of the diverse Queensland outback in this fully sealed drive that is suitable for most vehicles. Keep you eyes peeled for native animals, vibrant wildflowers, colourful characters and historic architecture.

Great Inland Way

Multiple Locations
The Great Inland way starts in Sydney and takes in much of central New South Wales before reaching the Queensland border at Hebel. The Queensland leg of the Great Inland Way road trip extends 1863 kilometres from Outback Queensland to the Coral Sea.

Pacific Coast Way

Multiple Locations
The Pacific Coast Way links coastal havens, hinterland towns, and major cities all along the east coast, from the Gold Coast to Cairns. The Pacific Coast is a 'big' drive. Take your time: the real journey hides just out of sight, ready to be discovered off the highway.

Capricorn Way

Multiple Locations
Have you ever seen a real dinosaur fossil, experienced an ancient rainforest, mined for your own sapphires or explored one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World? Do all these things and more with Capricorn Way's Dig the Tropic Drive.

Mount Hay Gemstone Tourist Park

Wycarbah, Rockhampton Area
From AU$25 - 35
Mount Hay Gemstone Tourist Park, 36 kilometres west of Rockhampton on the Capricorn Highway is an internationally known destination for thunderegg fossicking. Thundereggs or 'volcanic birthstones' are crystalline formations that occur when gas bubbles in molten lava solidify on cooling.

Miners Heritage Walk-In Mine

Rubyvale, Central Highlands Area
From AU$17.50 - 20.00
Miners Heritage is Australia's largest Underground Walk-In Sapphire Mine Tour. Go to the Central Queensland Sapphire Fields and take an informative 30 minute guided Mine Tour which is suitable for all ages.
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