Tamborine Mountain

Some say this is the green behind the gold, which makes the Gold Coast so seductive, and it's easy to see why Tamborine Mountain is in tune with tourists. Let's start with the rainforest, in the third oldest National Park in the world, which celebrates the remnants of the former Mount Warning volcano.

There are numerous walks and lookouts from which to enjoy Mother Nature at her most blindingly brilliant, including the mysteriously-named Witches Falls or charming Cedar Creek. There's 12 walking tracks in all and each one is no longer than around three kilometres, so if you like a stroll among the birds, bees, flowers and the trees, this is for you.

For a change of pace, enjoy several wineries, a brewery and even a distillery up on the mountain, which is perfectly punctuated with award-winning restaurants, art galleries, sweeping coastal views and that delicious mix of old and new-world charm. Indulge in home-grown produce such as avocados, kiwifruits and macadamia nuts as well as award-winning cheeses and fabulous fudge, or dine in some seriously swish restaurants.

Select from cosy cottages, decadent dwellings and a hotel or two, including the iconic St Bernard's Hotel, in which to stay the night. Explore the area by yourself, or join a tour which takes in a number of attractions such as Tamborine Rainforest Skywalk and the Glow Worm Caves.

Romantics rush to the mountains to get married here and it's easy to see why. For this is Queensland's own Emerald City. That's right Dorothy, you are not in Kansas anymore. This is Oz.

Tamborine Mountain
Tamborine Mountain, Scenic Rim Area
Queensland
Australia

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Ka Ka Mundi, Carnarvon National Park

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Free Entry
The sandstone cliffs of the Great Dividing Range dominate the clear blue skyline to the south as you drive across the open, undulating country towards Ka Ka Mundi. This remote section of Carnarvon National Park features more than 30km of sandstone escarpments and plateaus.

Rubyvale

Rubyvale, Central Highlands Area
If you love gemstones and jewellery then chances are you're going to love this town. Set in the heart of the Sapphire Gemfields, Rubyvale is home to several gift shops where you'll find everything from sapphire necklaces to sparkling diamond rings.

Stubby Bend

Tambo, Blackall-Tambo Area
Free Entry
On the banks of the Barcoo River away from the highway noise, Stubby Bend offers fully self-contained travellers a free site for camping. A variety of birds visit the area throughout the day, you can watch the kangaroos grazing in the afternoons, and quite often at night friendly possums will visit your camp site.

Willows Gemfields

Willows Gemfields, Central Highlands Area
Willows Gemfields is 11 kilometres off the Capricorn Highway, 24 kilometres past the Anakie/Sapphire crossroads and about 45 minutes' drive west of Emerald. The Willows Gemfields is a popular fossicking spot, as very little machinery and no corporate mining has been permitted in the past.

Mount Moffatt, Carnarvon National Park

Mitchell, Maranoa Area
Free Entry
Revel in the wild and diverse landscapes of Mount Moffatt. Broad, sandy valleys of the Maranoa River are covered with open, grassy woodlands. Striking outcrops of sculpted sandstone rise above the trees.

Alpha

Alpha, Barcaldine Area
Alpha, the “Gateway to the West” was named after an early property in the area which was taken up in 1863 and then became established as a service town for railway construction workers. The town belongs to the Barcaldine Shire, one of Queensland’s largest cattle producing areas.

Salvator Rosa, Carnarvon National Park

Tambo, Blackall-Tambo Area
Free Entry
Crystal clear springs add more than ten million litres of water a day to peaceful Louisa Creek and the Nogoa River as they meander beneath a backdrop of rocky sandstone crags and spires. Named by explorer Sir Thomas Mitchell in 1846, Salvator Rosa is at the western edge of the Central Queensland Sandstone Belt.

Springsure

Springsure, Central Highlands Area
Situated in a delightful valley with spectacular Mount Zamia and Virgin Rock overlooking the town, Springsure is located 66 kilometres south of Emerald on the Gregory Highway section of the Great Inland Way.

Tambo

Tambo, Blackall-Tambo Area
From the rugged cliffs of the Great Dividing Range explorer Major Thomas Mitchell once crossed, to the open downs country that caught his eye, it is no wonder that Tambo is being discovered by travellers.

Sapphire

Sapphire, Central Highlands Area
Can you guess what kind of precious stone is found in the town of Sapphire? Since the late 1800s fossickers have been finding these beautiful blue gemstones in the fields surrounding the town and now visitors can also try their luck.
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