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.

Emerald, Central Highlands Area
Queensland
Australia

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Eimeo

Eimeo, Mackay Area
Eimeo Beach is sheltered and picturesque, a popular choice for swimming. During the summer months the beach is patrolled by lifeguards. The soft sand is paralleled by an esplanade park with a children's playground and barbecue facilities, the perfect location for a pretty beachside picnic.

Pioneer River, Marian

Marian, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The Pioneer River, one of the few 'blue water' rivers in Queensland, and its main tributary, Cattle Creek, flow through the heart of the Pioneer Valley, from the Clarke Connors Ranges in the South and West to the Pacific Ocean at Mackay.

Eimeo Beach

Eimeo, Mackay Area
Free Entry
In a sheltered bay with powder soft sand, Eimeo Beach is a favourite destination of visitors and locals for fun in the sun. The beach is seasonally patrolled during the summer months by volunteer lifeguards.

Lamberts Beach

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Lamberts Beach is seasonally patrolled and the nearby Lambert's Lookout offers fabulous sea views out to the Cumberland Islands. It's also a popular spot for surfers when the swell is right, and a great whale watching platform during the winter months.

Dolphin Heads

Dolphin Heads, Mackay Area
Free Entry
A beautiful part of Mackay's Northern Beaches, Dolphin Heads is a rocky and sandy headland, popular with photography enthusiasts. It can be reached by car within 15 minutes from Mackay's Central Business District.

Gooseponds, North Mackay

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
The Gooseponds in North Mackay are a combination of popular walking tracks around a large central wetland lagoon, an initiative of Mackay Regional Council's 10,000 steps program. There are also a number of exercise stations along the walk giving fitness fanatics a varied workout.

Marian

Marian, Mackay Area
Marian is the gateway to the Pioneer Valley and is situated approximately 30 kilometres west of Mackay. This riverside town is home to the region's largest sugar mill; all sugar cane grown in the Valley is now crushed at this mill.

Illawong Beach

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
A serene and peaceful coastline awaits at Illawong Beach. Kilometres of sandy shoreline as well as off and on dog leash areas make Illawong Beach a popular choice for sunrise strolls. At low tide, the ripples in the sand stretch for kilometres, where small blue soldier crabs can be seen scuttling across the surface.

Lamberts Lookout

Mackay, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Overlooking Lamberts Beach, the Cumberland Islands and Slade Point, Lamberts lookout offers stunning views especially at sunset. This is also a popular viewing platform to see the migrating whales as they breach and play off the coast of Mackay.

Pioneer Valley, The

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
A wonderland of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations contrast against a tapestry of sugar cane fields as you head through The Pioneer Valley and Eungella National Park. Apart from being one of the richest sugar cane growing areas in Australia, this valley is by far one of the most picturesque in Australia, encompassing many rural townships where warm hospitality and delicious food can be enjoyed.
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