For those who are looking to keep busy but aren’t sure of their options in Emerald, be sure to check out our list of things to do in Emerald promised to entertain you.
Starting with pretty things, a trip to the town of Sapphire will have your curiosity about all things sparkling satisfied. A rural locality nestled in the Central Highlands, Sapphire is only a 45 minute drive West of Emerald and is home to the Sapphire Gemfields - one of the world’s largest sapphire fields.
The gemfields itself covers almost 900 square kilometres, attracting visitors and curiosities from all over the world.
A visit here is a must for those who love experiencing things first hand. Try your luck at fossicking to uncover an ultimate find for you to keep. There are 9 areas designated for recreational fossicking, where you can have a crack at it. Simply purchase a fossicking licence on site or online for cheap and you’ll even get maps and rules that lay out the perimeters for your fossicking adventures. Mining equipment and tools are available for sale or hire on site as well.
If you’d rather just admire the gems, head to the Gemshops and Galleries to admire Australian-mined and cut sapphires and perhaps even make a purchase. If you’d like to create your own custom piece, simply reach out to the gem cutters and jewellers available on site and begin to make your masterpiece.
Approximately 6 hours drive West from Emerald, Winton is known to be the Dinosaur Capital of Australia and the home of Waltzing Matilda.
The Waltzing Matilda Centre in Winton uncovers a strong history into Australian culture, with a tune so famous that it is embedded in our society.
But unofficial Aussie anthems aren’t the only reason why Winston is a renowned town, it also happens to be an absolute territory for dinosaur discoveries. Home to the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum, the world’s largest collection of Aussie dinosaur fossils can be found in the Collection Room and Dinosaur Laboratory. Explore the museum and be amazed by the spectacular findings of what used to be the creatures that roamed Planet Earth well before our time.
To entice your curiosity even further, Winton also happens to be the only place with recorded evidence of a dinosaur stampede. Located at Lark Quarry Conservation Park, the Dinosaur Stampede goes back more than 95 million years ago with 3,300 immortalised footprints stampeded into stone. This is an iconic Australian Monument you do not want to miss.
And if you have a fascination for opals, Winton happens to be home to Boulder opals where you can buy some in town or even take a day trip to Opalton.
A different take on the stereotypical image of the Australian Outback, Cloncurry is nestled upon hills with a river that flows by the town.
A bumpy landscape to say the least, Cloncurry offers more than just hills to explore. For spectacular views of the sunset, head to Chinaman Creek Dam and pack yourself a picnic and some comfy blankets to watch the candy colour hues dance over Mt Leviathan as night falls upon Cloncurry. On your way back to the town, make it a point to stop at the Cloncurry Lookout for panoramic views of town lights light up the sky.
Beyond relaxation and landscape wonders, Cloncurry boasts the richest mining lands in Outback Queensland, with 11 operating mines in this mining township. So if you’re fascinated by the impact mining has on Australian society, there isn’t a better place to explore than Cloncurry.
And for those who prefer a little more thrill, head to the ghost town of Mary Kathleen. Once a thriving mining town, the disuse of its only mine led to the desertion of the town. But what makes Mary Kathleen a spectacular destination to visit is in how the mine was a Uranium mine, leaving its waters to this day a blue hue that will make the Amalfi Coast envious. With rock formations that are levelled for you to wander around the blue lake of the mine, an experience here will last a lifetime.
To learn more about Mary Kathleen and it’s mine, visit the Cloncurry Visitor Centre and Museum at the Mary Kathleen Park.
Nothing beats a great adventure to a unique town nearby Emerald than to explore on a happy stomach. Before leaving Emerald, you just simply have to stop by the Maraboon Tavern to experience the best dining Emerald has to offer. A local favourite, this tavern holds the hearts of its patrons for good reason. Quality food, steaks that melt on your mouth, wide range of crisp fresh beers on tap, highly skilled and experienced chefs, excellent value for money and exceptional customer service to top things off, you really could not ask for better.
Visit the Maraboon Tavern today before heading off on your adventure out of Emerald!
Banner image credit: Outback Queensland