Emerald is the gateway to Queensland's Central Highlands and sapphire fields, but this quirky historical town is also a remarkable travel destination in its own right. Don't miss these five unique attractions the next time you're passing through Emerald.
5. Visitor Information Centre
Emerald's Visitor Information Centre isn't just a place to pick up brochures and ask the friendly staff for advice, though it does that perfectly well. What earns this building a spot on the tourist trail is its very construction, being the only straw bale Visitor Information Centre in Queensland.
4. Historical Buildings
Most of Emerald's original and historic buildings have sadly been destroyed in major fires over the years, but there are still enough old structures standing to satisfy any history buff. If you're arriving by train, you'll be instantly impressed by the National Trust-listed Railway Station, which dates back to 1900 and was lovingly restored to its original wrought iron glory in 1986.
Other notable buildings include the Emerald Pioneer Cottage (1880), St Marks Presbyterian Church (1884) and a lockup that was still operational as recently as 1970.
3. The Big Easel
Before the sapphire fields, Emerald made its name as a sunflower producer, and this heritage is celebrated with the world's largest reproduction of Vincent van Gogh's Sunflowers painting.
Reaching a height of 25 metres and supported by an easel incorporating some 13.6 tonnes of steel, the gigantic artwork is housed in Morton Park and can be accessed via a decorative mosaic tile pathway built to commemorate Emerald's centenary.
2. Emerald Botanic Gardens
A slice of paradise on the edge of the Nogoa River, Emerald's Botanic Gardens house a dazzling variety of native plants over 42 hectares, including a miniature tropical rainforest and rose garden. You can enjoy a family picnic, find your way through the challenging maze, keep fit along six kilometres of walking tracks, or just soak up the tranquillity.
1. Lake Maraboon and Fairbairn Dam
Lake Maraboon is Queensland's second largest lake and a popular getaway for locals and visitors alike. Fairbairn Dam, built in 1972, maintains a high water level that's ideal for swimming, waterskiing and fishing, offering the chance to catch barramundi, cod, redclaw crayfish and more fresh water varieties.
Alternatively, you can chill out in the shade, enjoy the view and make use of the free picnic and barbecue facilities, remembering to bring a little extra food along for the parrots and possums.
Family bistro in Emerald
The Maraboon Tavern is Emerald's leading pub and bistro, where you'll find mouth-watering menus, refreshing drinks and spectacular live entertainment. Whether you're travelling solo, with your partner or with the kids, we'll make you feel at home at the Maraboon.