Emerald in Queensland is located in the beautiful central highlands region of Queensland – about 880km north west of Brisbane and about 270km inland from the coastal town of Rockhampton.
Emerald is known as a big coalmining town but several precious stones are found there also – hence the name Emerald. You’ll also find towns named after sapphires and rubies nearby – and these are directly correlated to the gems found there. It’s a little quaint, really, but it helps to get the tourists in. The region is also known for cotton and other agriculture.
Emerald is located in the Bowen Basin – the largest coal reserve in
Australia. There are a few dozen operational coalmines, extracting more than 100 million tonnes of coal
each year. The size of the industry means you’ll find some of the world’s largest mining
industry employers here – BHP Billiton, Xstrata, Anglo American.
With a population of about 11,000, Emerald is a larger centre than its neighbours, but there are about 30,000 people in the surrounding region – which really adds to the vibrancy of the place. The locals pride themselves on their sense of community. There’s plenty of weekend and weeknight sporting teams to join – everything from football, cricket and netball, to various horse sports, to water sports like powerboat racing and water skiing, which can be done on the local reservoir. Fishing is also popular.
The town has a good hospital (there are two more in the region) and there are 29 schools in the surrounding region, including technical colleges and a campus of Central Queensland University.
The average temperature in January is 34C and in 23C in the winter months of June and July – so the local climate is pretty good. If anything though, it can be a bit wet. This part of Queensland is renowned for flooding.
For more in the central highlands, check out the Central Highland’s website. It even has a map showing the extent of the coal mining industry in the region.
For more information on Emerald have a look at the Emerald Council website.
Visit our Life in Australia section for guides to more Key Industry Locations.