Top 10 Free Attractions
Looking for things to do at no cost? Check out the ‘Top 10 Free Attractions‘ for the Central Highlands Queensland region. There is so much to see and do so if you find you are still racking your brain for things to do contact the Visitor Information Centre.
1. Emerald Botanic Gardens
Relax as you meander through an oasis like no other. The Emerald Botanic Gardens is a tropical paradise, the perfect location for an early morning walk, a family picnic or an energetic game.
Rifle Range Rd, Emerald.
2. Lake Maraboon
Fairbairn Dam and Lake Maraboon are holiday destinations in themselves! The lake is stocked with eight different kinds of fish including barramundi, and is famous for the Red Claw Crayfish. You can relax by the lake, take a swim or try your hand at waterskiing. Picnic tables, free electric and wood barbecues are available.
Via Gregory Hwy and signed turnoff to Selma Rd, Emerald.
3. Carnarvon Gorge
Carnarvon Gorge is a spectacular gorge system with towering white cliffs and lush side gorges. Located in Carnarvon National Park, it is the Central Highlands’ most popular attraction. Carnarvon Creek meanders through eucalypt and cabbage palm forest and attracts 170 bird species. Explore creeks, mossy gorges and cool rainforests on 21 kms of walking track.
4. Sapphire Gemfields Fossicking
Catch gem fever as you discover the famous jewels of the Central Highlands. Explore the famous gem shops, galleries, jewellers and locally created cottage industries that are the lifeblood of the Sapphire Gemfields.
Sapphire, Rubyvale, Anakie and the Willows Gemfields.
5. Blackdown Tableland
Blackdown Tableland National Park protects a sandstone plateau rising abruptly above Central Qld’s flat plains. Bordered by high rugged cliffs, this is the traditional home of the Ghungalu people. Rock art across the park reminds us of their connection with this land. Featuring deep gorges, the park offers amazing lookouts and scenic waterfalls.
Via Capricorn Hwy, signed turnoff 35 km east of Blackwater.
6. The Big Easel
Once famous as a major sunflower producer, Emerald is now home to the world’s biggest Van Gogh ‘Sunflower’painting located in Morton Park on an easel 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.
Morton Park, Emerald.
7. Emerald Historic Railway Station Building
In 1899 Emerald’s first Railway Station was built, but unfortunately burned down within a year. In 1900 a new Railway Station was built of timber, with iron roof and wrought iron trimmings. The heritage-listed railway station boasts an elaborate entry with wrought iron lacework and pillared portico, offering great photos.
100 Clermont St, Emerald.
8. Visitor Information Centre
Commence your tour of Emerald and the Central Highlands at the Visitor Information Centre in Clermont Street. This building, an attraction in itself, is the first ‘straw-bale’ Visitor Information Centre in Queensland. Yes, that’s right, the walls are made from bales of straw!
9. Peak Range Lookout
The distinctive Peak Range, a succession of gigantic conical and dome topped mountains north of Capella, is a photographer’s delight. Discover the grandeur of the Peaks up close on a self drive tour, or while sampling country hospitality. A special place where you are invited to relax, unwind and enjoy the stunning natural beauty.
Gregory Hwy (Great Inland Way), 1km south of Capella.
10. Japanese Gardens
The Japanese Gardens in Blackwater are reputed to be the best of their kind in Queensland. The gardens mark the relationship between Blackwater and its sister city, Fujisawa in Japan. Japanese Gardens Blackwater are an ideal spot to stop on your trip along the Capricorn Highway, located between Emerald and Rockhampton.
Capricorn Hwy, Blackwater.