Lake Maraboon at dusk
Lake Maraboon


Once the home of sunflower farming in Australia, the Emerald region is now cloaked in a patchwork of thriving agriculture. Visit to explore the unique sandstone wilderness surrounding this vibrant town nestled in Queensland’s Central Highlands.

Reasons to fly Qantas

Food and drinks

Enjoy a meal or snack every time you fly with us, as well as a range of refreshments including beer and wine.  

Baggage included

Pack more into your trip with checked and carry-on baggage included in every fare.

Extensive network

Flying to more than 90 destinations across Australia and the world.

Frequent Flyer program

Qantas Frequent Flyers can earn and use Qantas Points in Australia and around the world and can earn Status Credits on eligible flights.

Places to stay

Geological beauty, serene bushland and historic gemfields - this region offers a range of comfortable accommodation options. Located right in the centre of town is the fantastic Emerald Star Hotel, offering comfortable rooms in pub style accommodation. There’s also a range of modern 4-star hotels in the main street or book an apartment or cosy bed and breakfast.

No stay in Emerald is complete without a visit to the nearby Lake Maraboon, a regional highlight popular with locals and visitors alike. Choose to stay in one on the holiday parks, deluxe cabins or campsites overlooking the beauty of the lake. The perfect base to cool off with a swim, enjoy watersports or fish for barramundi and the famous red claw crayfish.

Things to do

This may be the outback, but Emerald is a modern town with all the facilities, dining options and outdoor activities you need to create a memorable holiday. A good place to start is the Central Highlands Visitor Information Centre located in a hay bale building on Clermont Street. Follow the Emerald walking trail from the information centre past public art pieces including the world’s largest Van Gogh sunflower painting depiction in Morton Park.

Visit the historic railway station for a great photo opportunity under the iron lacework or explore rainforest, a rose garden and a maze in the Emerald Botanic Gardens. For a tasty meal, take your pick from the restaurants, cafes, pubs and bakeries in the town centre offering a variety of cuisines.

In Emerald you'll find events and activities for the whole family. Choose to visit the Southern Hemisphere’s largest sapphire gem field and join the festivities at Gemfest - the four day celebration held every August in the Sapphire Gemfields, 45 minutes drive east of Emerald.

Take a trip to Springsure and attend the lively St Patrick’s Day Races and visit Minerva Hills National Park and Virgin Rock while you’re there. If you’re visiting in October, experience the thrill of country racing at the Emerald 100 race weekend.

Spend a day exploring ancient Aboriginal rock art, stunning sandstone formations and native wildlife at Carnarvon Gorge or Blackdown Tableland National Park, both  just a few hours’ drive from town.

Getting around

From the airport

Emerald Airport is located approximately six kilometres from the town centre and taxis are available outside the terminal. 

In and around the city

The city centre is small enough to explore on foot but taxis also service the centre. The Sapphire Gemfields and the Central highlands are best discovered by car.

Related destinations

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Important information

Disclaimer: ++ Status Credits are earned on eligible Qantas, Jetstar, oneworld® member and oneworld connect® airlines only - see the Airline Earning Tables and Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions for details. Status Credits may not be earned on some fare types and booking classes. 

Disclaimer:  Meals, beverages, entertainment offerings vary between flight times.

Disclaimer: + The number of destinations is correct as at 25 January 2024 but is subject to change.

Disclaimer: #You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.