GET ON THE WATER: Boating at Fairbairn Dam.
GET ON THE WATER: Boating at Fairbairn Dam.

EXPLORE: 10 things to do within 50km of home

AFTER weeks of staying home, Central Highlands residents have been given the green light to travel up to 50km from home, provided social distancing remains in place.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that, from tomorrow, Queenslanders will be able to have picnics, go boating and fish for leisure and even visit non-essential businesses.

To help you get the most out of your first weekend of freedom, Central Queensland News has compiled a list of 10 things you can do across the region.

Ensure you check the exact distance from your home address before venturing out.

1. Walk through the Botanic Gardens

Stretch your legs and go for a stroll or a jog on the banks of the Nogoa River. Or slow down for a picnic and notice the native plants covering 42ha of land, and visit the playground while you’re there. The Botanic Gardens is located in Emerald.

2. Go fishing at the Bottom Weir

Breathe the fresh air and go fishing. At Bottom Weir you’ll find saratoga, yellowbelly and silver bream. Bottom Weir is in Emerald.

3. Capella Creek Nature Walk

Walk along the track running beside Capella Creek, which will take you to the birdwatching area. And while in Capella, visit the Australian Light Horse monument and the railway station built in the early 1980s.

4. Explore Arthurs Bluff State Forest

Take a step into nature, walk through one of the many trails and keep an eye out for wildlife along the way. Pack a picnic and enjoy a family day out. The forest is next to Blackdown Tableland National Park, near Blackwater and Bluff.

5. Grab a snack at Blackwater International Coal Centre

Stop in and visit the friendly staff for a coffee and snack or take a stroll through the relaxing gardens, all while abiding by social distancing laws.

6. Hike at Blackdown Tableland National Park

Hikers and adventure seekers have been itching to get back here since the national parks were closed, and now they can. If you live in Blackwater, Bluff or Dingo, get in the car and take a drive to the national park with the family. Pack a water bottle and take a hike, but keep your distance from other walkers.

7. Pack a picnic for Bedford Weir

Throw in a line at the popular spot on the Mackenzie River. If you just want to get the family out of the house, pack a picnic and enjoy the day under one of the shaded areas along the water.

8. Throw in a line at Fairbairn Dam

People keen to get back on the water can now head to Fairbairn Dam. Take a boat, jet ski, kayak, throw in a fishing line or head out for a swim. Grab some fish and chips or a pizza from the Lake Maraboon Holiday Village and relax while looking over the water.

9. Bundoora Dam

Located 28km southwest of Middlemount on Connection Rd, Bundoora Dam is a great spot to ski, swim, boat and fish. The dam holds saratoga, golden perch, eel-tail catfish, sleepy cod, spangled perch and redclaw crayfish, and camping nearby is permitted. There are tables and amenities available.

10. Sapphire Gemfields Wetland Reserve

Located at Rockhound Rd in Sapphire, walk or cycle to see a restored historic fossicker’s home. There are two viewing areas and more than 3.6km of walking trails at the Westland Reserve, home to lots of local flora and fauna.


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