Festival true gem of a moment to shine

DON'T MISS THE ACTION: Be sure to allow time to browse the stalls at Gemfest, which sell a wide range of items including gems mined from the region.
DON'T MISS THE ACTION: Be sure to allow time to browse the stalls at Gemfest, which sell a wide range of items including gems mined from the region. Gemfest Photos

ONCE a year, Central Queensland's Sapphire Gemfields shine brighter than ever.

The annual Gemfest Festival of Gems entices crowds of more than 7000 people to visit the region to witness beautiful gems and big finds first-hand.

The four-day event has been running since 1988, and this year is set to be bigger than ever with a fantastic combination of traders, merchants, activities, exhibitions, entertainment, workshops, prizes, demonstrations and more.

Traders will travel from all over the country and from overseas to showcase a glittering array of earth's treasures.

Visitors will also have the chance to take home a piece of the action with nearly 30k worth of jewellery to be won.

For your chance to win, be sure to try your luck at the stake a claim, the jewellery raffle, the silent auctions and major raffles.

There will be plenty to see and do at the event, which runs from August 10-13 in Anakie.

You'll be able to see sparkling displays of the gem of choice at the festival, local sapphires, as well as diamonds, zircons, opals and other gemstones, along with gold crystals, fossils and minerals.

Also on the list of 'must-sees' is the Jewels of the Outback exhibition, featuring rare and exceptional sapphires, many only on display once a year at Gemfest.

A Saturday Night Spectacular to be held at Rubyvale Flats will include live entertainment and fireworks.

About the region

The historic Central Queensland Gemfields are the largest sapphire fields in the Southern Hemisphere, home of sapphire mining and much more.

Located halfway between Rockhampton and Longreach, and 50 kilometres west of Emerald, the region consists of four townships - Anakie, Rubyvale, Sappphire and the Willow Gemfields.

Different fossicking areas in the gemfields include The Reward, Millionaires Hill, Poverty Hill and Goanna Flats.

Spanning 900 square kilometres of prime gem fosssicking territory, the Gemfields are full of amazing stories of lucky strikes, fabulous characters, good fun and of course, some of the finest sapphires in the world.

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