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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Finch Hatton Gorge

Finch Hatton, Mackay Area
Free Entry
A wonderful landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations make Finch Hatton Gorge a must-see attraction. There are many walking tracks which weave through sub-tropical rainforest.

Cathu State Forest

Yalboroo, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Along the rugged Clarke Range behind the Whitsunday coast is Cathu State Forest. Forests and woodlands range from distinctive poplar gum Eucalyptus alba woodlands and exotic Caribbean pine plantations on the creek flats to dense rainforest, hoop pine plantations and tall wet eucalypt forest along the range.

Kuttabul

Kuttabul, Mackay Area
Kuttabul is a character-filled rural town, approximately 33 kilometres north-west of Mackay on the Bruce Highway. The Kuttabul Hotel is the heart of the area, hosting a vast array of entertainment throughout the year, as well as providing warm rural service.

Teemburra Dam

Pinnacle, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Located in the picturesque Pioneer Valley, Teemburra Dam is approximately 50 kilometres west of Mackay City on a fully sealed road. The dam is a nature-lover's paradise. Made up of a mass of inlets and coves, it is easy to become entranced with the birds, fish and platypus which inhabit the area.

Gargett

Gargett, Mackay Area
Gargett is located approximately 65 kilometres west of Mackay city in the picturesque Pioneer Valley. This friendly little township has a local hotel that provides meals with a very interesting bric-a-brac shop close by.

Eungella Dam

Eungella, Mackay Area
From AU$5 - 5
Eungella Dam is a scenic lake fringed by rainforest, the ideal spot for boating and skiing with peaceful natural surrounds. Camping is by self-registration on-site. No motorbikes allowed. Fishing permits are required and can be obtained from local tackle shops and Mackay Tourism.

Finch Hatton

Finch Hatton, Mackay Area
Finch Hatton is a small township located in the Pioneer Valley, west of Mackay. It is home to the landscape of waterfalls, lush flora and volcanic boulder formations called Finch Hatton Gorge, restaurants, cafes, accommodation and other attractions.

Mia Mia State Forest

Eungella, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Nestled in the foothills of the Clarke Range, 20 kilometres from Pinnacle west of Mackay, the Mia Mia State Forest is mostly open eucalypt forest. Bush camping and swimming is available at Captain Crossings on Teemburra Creek.

Platypus Beach, Mirani

Mirani, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Platypus Beach is a popular swimming hole for locals and tourists, a little slice of sandy paradise on the bank of the Pioneer River, near the country town of Mirani. This is a beautiful location to enjoy swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and picnics.

Crediton State Forest

Dalrymple Heights, Mackay Area
Free Entry
In Crediton State Forest, dry eucalypt forests contrast with lush pockets of rainforest and dramatic views. Tall, ancient rose gums continue to survive and discover scattered relics from gold mining in the 1800s or take a scenic drive along Cockies Creek Road.
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