Truth be told, there's no better way to explore Emerald than to follow in the footsteps of a local expert. So, if you’re looking for amazing things to do in Emerald, check out these top tours.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a gem fanatic or just a curious soul, the sapphire gemfields near Emerald will astound even the most sceptical. One of the largest gemfields ever discovered on Planet Earth, sapphires were first discovered back in 1875 which led to a discovery of the gemfields spanning across an astonishing 900 kilometre square radius.
Just a convenient 45 minutes drive away from the centre of Emerald town, the Sapphire Gemfields are easy to clear with a day trip.
You’ll have to head to the Miners Heritage to explore a mine tour. Indulge in being gem crazy, and experience a cool climate down under despite the intense heat outside.
The Miners Heritage is where magnificent lies. Operating as Australia’s largest underground sapphire mining tour, you can experience what it feels like to be a true Aussie miner. It’s a short tour that is suitable for the whole family. And with all the sparkly sapphires shining on the walls throughout the tour, you and your loved ones will be fired up to get your hands dirty for some fossicking after.
For those who are aching for more learning, you’ll be glad to know that there is an underground museum where you can read on the history of sapphire over the years. To bring a little something home with you, you can even buy a bucket of “wash” which is leftover findings from commercial mines and fossick them to find some hidden gems.
Don’t be deceived by the small price as some lucky ones have found carats of sapphires before. In fact, a grey nomad picked out an 8 carat yellow sapphire from an $8 was bag in recent years! You really won’t know what you’ll find unless you try.
A fossicking tour
The hunt for treasure starts here. Fascination Gems in Rubyvale, which is only a short 45 minute drive from Emerald, lets you get down and dirty. Travellers on the road can easily spot the turn-offs with signage scattered along the road.
Learn to fossick and find some amazing pieces here. After all, the art of digging for precious gemstones isn’t just a tourist attraction here in Rubyvale, it’s an entire lifestyle of its own. With the gemfields being founded almost a century ago, you’ll be surprised that there still are plenty of sapphires and other precious gems to be uncovered.
It is a self-drive tour which includes a fossicking licence along with many useful tips to put into action from an experienced miner, along with all the tools you need and driving directions to get there.
Once you have arrived at the designated fossicking spot, simply get your hands dirty and dig up the earth, sieve the dust, wash the stones off, and watch the sapphires sink to the bottom of your bucket. From tiny chips to a big rock potentially worth thousands, you’ll never know what you find - and it’s yours for the keeping!
A true Outback Adventure
Take the Aussie Outback for a spin and go on a 7 day adventure with Outback Queensland. The journey starts from Emerald, which is home to the largest Van Gogh sunflower painting, paying attribute to its reputation as a once-upon-a-time massive sunflower producer. This quaint town is the gateway to the largest sapphire gemfields in all of the Southern Hemisphere.
And to begin your journey, there isn’t anything better than feasting at the local favourite, the Maraboon Tavern. With a happy belly filled with delectable dishes, amazing beer on tap, and a great value for money, your journey will kick off with such a great start.
With plenty more stops from Rubyvale to Sapphire to Alpha to Longreach to Winton to Ilfracombe and back to Emerald, the days of adventuring and exploring are bountiful.
Highlights of this spectacular journey include the Australian Miners Historic Museum, where history comes to life, a fascinating cruise along the Thomson River during a beautiful sunset, a fancy Cobb & Co stagecoach ride that will bring you back in time, the fantastic Australian Age of Dinosaurs and the Dinosaur Stampede, and finally take a dip into a refreshing Artesian Spa to relax your day away.
Note that these are only some highlights of the tour and that there will be plenty more activities that await you throughout your trip. There is just so much to see and do in the Aussie Outback, and with a local expert to show you the ropes, you’ll have every opportunity to experience the best.
Once you’re back in Emerald, you can always head into the Maraboon Tavern for another scrumptious meal. Offering exceptional service that will make you feel warmly welcomed the minute you are through the doors, the service is only outperformed by the exquisite delicacies coming out of the kitchen.
With highly trained chefs that are experienced in creating culinary masterpieces, you can bet that the steaks and other meats are the best ones you’ll find in all of Emerald. The chef is also diverse enough to cook up a mean crispy pork belly for an Asian twist, and for the fish and chips lovers, you’ll be happy to know that the barramundi here is always freshly caught.
Big screens await you so you won’t miss that footy game. And parents with kids will rest with ease thanks to the designated play area for kids that will keep them busy while you relax and enjoy your time at the Maraboon Tavern.
What a great way to adventure Emerald on a happy belly!