Gemfields shine with stars in their eyes

Michael Taylor gives some Gemfields locals a peek at the sky.
Michael Taylor gives some Gemfields locals a peek at the sky. Meghan Kidd

THE Gemfields not only has sapphires sparkling in its backyard, it now has a new observatory to light up the gems in the sky.

The owners of the Rubyvale Motel and Holiday units, Michael and Jane Taylor, have built an observatory in their front yard.

Called Gems by Day, Jewels by Night, the newest feature at the Gemfields is to be a star.

Jane said the observatory came about through a Federal Government grant for a new tourism possibility.

"It's really about our tourists visiting the region and having something to enjoy at night time," Jane said.

"We have beautiful views from here, and it's something else we can offer."

They held an opening ceremony on Tuesday for residents to view the sun, followed by an evening gaze at the night sky.

Michael said they were happy to see residents enjoy the observatory.

"A lot of people saw some things into the night - Jupiter, Pluto and the galaxy. It was great," he said.

Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and Central Highlands Regional Council Mayor Peter Maguire opened the observatory.

"You've added to your tourism," Mr O'Dowd said.

"It's going to be great for the Gemfields - congratulations to all who had anything to do with it."

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