Have you got a hankering to head out into the Great Outdoors? You might be looking at a trip to the far, far north of Tropical Queensland, or you might be thinking of heading to Cairns. No matter where your trip is going to take you, you need to ensure that you include Emerald on your itinerary. When we say Emerald, we are of course referring to the small town located in the Central Highlands region of Queensland, Australia. As of the last census in 2011, Emerald has a population of 12,895 people. The town of Emerald is also the business centre for the Central Highlands Regional Council. Google find emerald on the nogoa river, which is a Tributary of the Fitzroy River. The town of Emerald is just 300 kilometres away from the coastline, and almost 270 kilometres west of Rockhampton, on the junction of the Capricorn and Gregory highways. The Tropic of Capricorn actually cuts through the Gregory Highway just north of Emerald.


For a bit of history about this part of the world, the area of Emerald was originally owned by Aboriginal groups for tens of thousands of years before European colonization began in the 19th century. The first European to explore the area including Emerald was Ludwig Leichhardt. This exploration occurred between 1843 and 1845. The British Colony of Queensland was established further on down the track in 1859, and the European colonisation that occurred in Central Queensland was disastrous for the existing Aboriginal population. Many people were moved, homes were lost and the theft of land occurred with no compensation from the Crown. A sad time in the history of the area, and repatriations are still being made to this day.


Today, Emerald is a service town that exists to supply an outpost for a large number of industries that exist in the area. You will find that extensive coal mining is being carried on the district, while cotton is grown as well. Cotton produced in the area is processed at the Yamla cotton gin, while other agricultural growing occurs, including citrus, grape, and grain growing. These kind of industries are the lifeblood of a place like Emerald, where many workers and employees are locals who have been born and raised in the area.


Emerald is a pretty nice place to visit, with warm to hot summers and mild winters. The maximum temperature gets to around 34 degrees celsius in January, while the lowest it gets in winter is around 7 degrees celsius. The average annual rainfall is 641 millimetres, and it’s not too bad of a spot most of the year to enjoy a picnic in the park. This brings us to our the top 5 things to do in Emerald, in the hopes that next time you visit, you’ll enjoy a wonderful time out!


  1. Botanic Gardens. Be sure to stop in and enjoy the native plants in the Emerald Botanic gardens. They are a treat for any nature lover, and a great way to learn about some of the native plants in the area.
  2. Fairbairn Dam. A great picnic spot and a nice place to head out for a drive. It’s worth it just to see the expanse of water in the wet season.
  3. Central Highlands Visitor Information Centre. Discover more of the attractions that exist in this stunning part of the world in the Central Highlands Visitor Information Centre. Learn and then head off on your next adventure.
  4. Emerald Aquatic Centre. Enjoy a cooling dip in the Emerald pool when you need to escape the heat. It’ll be well received.
  5. Emerald Art Gallery. Local artists exhibit in this stunning gallery.
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Enjoy your time in Emerald and experience the best of the top end. Be sure to sort out your Emerald accommodation before you go to secure the best deal and to get the best option for your needs.