MAJESTIC ADVENTURE: Explore the Carnarvon Gorge walk.
MAJESTIC ADVENTURE: Explore the Carnarvon Gorge walk. Contributed

Top 10 activities around CH

OVER the past few months of heading out and experiencing what the region has to offer I thought I would get some feedback from locals.

Here at the Visitor Information Centre we have compiled a list of the Top 10 things to do in Queensland's Central Highlands.

1. Carnarvon Gorge

THIS spectacular gorge system is just as popular the Kimberley! And for good reason. Over millions of years, water has eroded a deep and dramatic gorge system, creating majestic cliffs ever changing during the day and throughout the seasons.

2. Gorge adventure

OPPORTUNITIES abound for wildlife watching, walks, 4WD, tours, star gazing and helicopter flights, or just relaxing in the grandeur of this amazing place. Treat yourself and enhance your adventure with a guided tour. Experience a night walk revealing gliders, microbats, possums and bush stone-curlews. Rock art, stencils, engravings and paintings are some of the finest Aboriginal rock art in Australia.

3. Lake Maraboon

FAIRBAIRN Dam is the amazing structure of the dam wall! A fisher's paradise, the lake is stocked with eight different kinds of fish, including barramundi and the famous red claw crayfish. Relax by the lake, walk, bird watch, swim or try water skiing.

4. Railway, gardens

THE original train station burnt down in 1899 and within a year this new one was built. Now heritage listed, boasting elaborate wrought iron lacework, trimmings and pillared portico, it offers great photos. The Botanic Gardens by the Nogoa River offer the perfect location for an early morning walk, family picnic, bike ride or kayak.

5. Giant sunflowers

ONCE famous as a major sunflower producer, Emerald is now home to the world's biggest (25m high) Van Gogh Sunflower painting on an Easel at the Visitor information Centre. The intricately designed mosaic pathway leads you through 100 years in 100m of Emerald's colourful history.

6. National park

RISING abruptly above the flat plains of the Bowen Basin is Blackdown Tableland National Park. These rugged cliffs are the traditional home of the Ghungalu people. The park boasts colourful wildlife, spectacular views, waterfalls and swimming holes. Blackwater offers coal mine tours and a museum.

7. The Gemfields

EXPERIENCE the excitement as you catch gem fever when you visit the Sapphire Gemfields towns of Rubyvale and Sapphire, Willows and Anakie. Be amazed by the quality of jewels as you explore the famous gem shops, galleries, jewellers and locally created cottage industries. Fossick for your own precious gems and then refresh yourself at the quality cafes, gardens and pubs.

8. Sapphire mine

THE area is rich in history, character and charm, intrigue and excitement. To gain the most from your visit get out and about and underground and take a guided tour to dig, sieve, wash and inspect your very own diggings.

9. Peak Range

EXPLORE the Central Highlands agricultural and pastoral history at the Capella Pioneer Village. Featuring the 1869 "Peak Downs” Homestead complete with historical and vintage farm machines, many still in working order. Meander along the parklands and discover the Australian Lighthorse Monument. Take a drive through the farmland and take in the beauty of The Peaks, a beautiful chain of prominent and picturesque mountains.

10. Minerva Hills

MINERVA Hills National Park, spectacular jagged peaks dotted with ancient zamia palms provide the scenic backdrop to the historical township of Springsure, known for its heritage, hills and hospitality. It is steeped in both Aboriginal and early pioneer settlement history, including some our more unfortunate conflicts.

So what do you think? Have you ticked many off yet?


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