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Emerald is a large country town that looks relatively new considering it was established in 1879 as a base for the building of the western railway. The disastrous town centre fires events of 1936, 1940, 1954 and 1968 combined with the much more welcome construction of the Fairbairn Dam and the Emerald Irrigation Scheme in 1972, and the commencement of large scale Bowen Basin coal mining in 1977, shaped the town into what you see today.

Fairbairn Dam is a holiday destination in itself with a selection of cabin, caravan and camping accommodation. The lake is stocked with eight different kinds of fish including barramundi, but is famous for the Red Claw Crayfish. Relax by the lake or take a swim. Picnic tables and free electric and wood barbecues are available.

Visit the world’s biggest Van Gogh sunflower painting on an easel in Morton Park at the western end of Clermont Street (Capricorn Highway). The superstructure is 25 metres high with approximately 13.6 tonnes of steel involved in its construction. The painting celebrates the Central Highland’s reputation as a major sunflower producer.

Built in 1900 and restored in 1986, the National Trust listed Railway Station with its wrought iron lacework and pillared portico offers great photo opportunities. At the Emerald Town Hall view a fossilised tree aged 250 million years.

The Botanic Gardens straddle the Nogoa River. Use the walking tracks to weave your way around the twelve themed gardens. Don’t miss the bush chapel and Federation Pillars.

Drive north to get a view of the irrigation area activities; east to see explorer Leichhardt’s ‘DIG’ tree at Comet; south to Gindie to see the first tractor on the Central Highlands; or west to Lake Maraboon.

Activites and Experiences at Emerald

  • Off Road Driving Four Wheel Drive tours available at the nearby Gemfields.
  • Motorcycling
  • Birdwatching
  • Bushwalking
  • Camping
  • City Sightseeing Visit the Emerald Information centre on Clermont Street for your personalised sightseeing tour.
  • Driving Self drive brochure available at Emerald Information Centre.
  • Exercising
  • Flora Visit the beautiful Botanic Gardens situated on the banks of the Nogoa River.
  • Fruit Picking Work in citrus orchards, vineyards and other horticultural crops, as well as cotton chipping, is seasonally available.
  • Gambling Poker machines and Keno are available at the hotels in Emerald.
  • Game Playing Lawn Bowls, Squash and Tennis are some of the games available to play in Emerald.
  • Golfing 18 hole golf course, motorised buggies and equipment for hire.
  • Jet Boating Lake Maraboon and Fairbairn Dam has facilities for boating and skiing.
  • Art Painting
  • Meditating/Relaxing
  • Scenic Flight Helicopter and aeroplane scenic flights available.
  • Shopping
  • Sightseeing
  • Skiing – Water Go water skiing at Lake Maraboon and Fairbairn Dam.
  • Swimming The Emerald Olympic Pool Complex is open for 11 months a year. Lake Maraboon and Fairbairn Dam is also a great place for swimming.
  • Tennis Tennis courts available for day or night hire.
  • Walking
  • Accommodation
  • Airport
  • Ambulance
  • Automatic Teller Machine
  • Banking Facilities
  • Bottled Gas
  • Chemist
  • Licensed Club
  • Service Club
  • Coach Stop
  • Currency Exchange
  • Dentist
  • Electronic Funds Transfer at Point Of Sale
  • Fuel
  • Golf
  • Public Bar
  • Dog Kennels/Catteries
  • Mechanical Services
  • Medical Facilities
  • Newsagent
  • Police
  • Post Office
  • Public Telephone
  • Rail Terminal
  • Restaurant
  • Sporting Facilities
  • Supermarket
  • Swimming Pool
  • Takeaway Food
  • Tennis Court
  • Visitor Centres
  • Places of Worship
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
  • Adventure
  • The Arts Visit the biggest Van Gogh sunflower painting on an easel in Morton Park and walk the 100 metre heritage mosaic pathway. Emerald also has a modern Art Gallery displaying local artists work.
  • Aussie Lifestyle
  • Caravan and Camping
  • Rural/Country
  • Cultural
  • Educational Tour the School of Distance Education.
  • Environmental
  • Farm/Station
  • Fishing Lake Maraboon and Fairbairn Dam is a great place to try your hand at fishing.
  • Flora and Fauna
  • Food and Wine
  • Historic/Heritage Built in 1900 and restored in 1986 the National Trust-listed Railway Station is a must see attraction. At the Town Hall view a fossilised tree aged 250 million years.
  • Homestay Experience a Bed and Breakfast Homestay in a 100 year old Queenslander home in relaxed surroundings.
  • Industry/Mining, Agriculture Coal mining, gem mining, cotton, grain, citrus, vineyards, beef, aquaculture, fruit orchards are some of the industries in the Emerald region.
  • Off road
  • Outback
  • Pub Stay
  • Rail Catch the ‘Spirit of the Outback’ from Brisbane, Rockhampton or Longreach.
  • Relaxation
  • Remote
  • Soft Adventure
  • Science and Technology Visit the Science Centre in Borilla Street, Emerald.
  • Shopping
  • Wilderness
  • Wildflower Visit a local native flower farm.
  • Wildlife
  • RTN, QH and National Distributors (TQ)
  • Capricorn Tourism

Nearest Airport: Emerald

Accommodation In Emerald

Discover some of the accommodation in and around Emerald

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