Fred's Gorge in the Minerva Hills National Park near Springsure.
Fred's Gorge in the Minerva Hills National Park near Springsure.

Local spots to catch up with loved ones

WITH all the recent rain the region is looking fantastic. It is a great time to get out and about, relax, and have a picnic.

Here are a few of my favourite spots. For more local favourites visit the Visitor Information Centre.

There are many great cafes around the region if you want to pack something without much effort, or try some local delights picked up at the local markets.

Either way, pack plenty of water, sunscreen, hats and a blanket and get out and about.

Emerald Botanic Gardens:

The Emerald Botanic Gardens is a fantastic spot to spend the day.

A real oasis nestled on the banks of the Nogoa River.

The gardens offer a tropical paradise in a perfect location for all picnic goers looking to have an easy, relaxed day surrounded by beautiful fauna and flora.

The expansive 42 hectares is not only a great place to relax and unwind, but it offers visitors the opportunity to learn more about the region’s natural environment and enjoy some great public art as well.

There are six kilometres worth of walking and biking tracks and a great play park for the kids.

Fairbairn Dam:

A short 25 kilometres South West of Emerald, Lake Maraboon is the second largest lake in Queensland, when it is full.

But even now it is a beautiful place with pleasant walks along the shore line.

A great spot for watching the goings on of fishers and water sports enthusiasts, with a couple of great lookouts and many places just to chill out and watch the world go by…

Did I mention the sunsets are amazing and one of the few places in inland Queensland you can experience a sunset over water … Beautiful..!

Being a man-made lake, the water area is called Lake Maraboon while the wall and spillway are referred to as Fairbairn Dam.

Bedford Weir:

If you are looking for somewhere different, escape to Bedford Weir, a popular boating and fishing spot 25km north of Blackwater on the beautiful Mackenzie River.

The peace and tranquillity of Bedford Weir encourages a wide range of wildlife.

Keep a look out for wallabies, potoroos, echidnas & bandicoots. There are 30 species of birds calling the weir home including a large pride of peacocks.

Minerva Hills National Park:

If escaping the heat is on your mind you can’t go past Minerva Hills National Park.

These spectacular jagged peaks just North West of Springsure are dotted with ancient Zamia palms. Enjoy panoramic views from easy to access lookouts.

There are also several walking trails and many opportunities for mountain biking.

Fred’s Gorge is the pick of places to picnic “up on the hills”

All these picnic spots, have well-maintained BBQ facilities, shelters and toilets.

You will have all you need to have an awesome barbecue, short of bringing the food to cook and share.

There’s plenty of wide, open spaces – for the kids to burn their energy while the adults mingle and cook up a storm, enjoying the wonderful green vistas.

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