The Emerald Shire is a modern and comfortable place to live, invest or visit. The friendly and hard working community of approximately 20,000 people enjoy a lifestyle that is rich with social, recreational, community and sporting activities.
The Emerald Shire spans 10,000km² and is well serviced by established transport networks including road, rail and air infrastructure. Modern communications and energy infrastructure are also established in the shire, through private and public domains. The region has a diverse industry base including coal mining, grazing, agriculture (grain and cotton), horticulture (grapes and citrus) and gem fossicking. This diversity of activities and production in the shire ensures its economic strength and ongoing expansion. Emerald offers investment opportunities that are unmatched any other rural area.
Three major shopping centres operate in Emerald, the newest anchored by Woolworths and Big W and the others by Coles and Woolworths. In addition, Emerald boasts numerous locally owned retail operators providing a variety of goods and services. There is a wide selection of dining and entertainment facilities ranging from restaurants, cafes, fast food operators, pubs, clubs and cinemas. Emerald has day care centres (both private and government funded), kindergartens, primary schools and secondary schools. Tertiary education is available through the Central Queensland University (Emerald campus), Central Highlands College of TAFE and the Emerald Agricultural College.
The Gemfields (45km west of Emerald) incorporate the fascinating townships of Anakie, Willows, Sapphire, and Rubyvale. It is a major tourist attraction with visitors able to experience first-hand the thrill of fossicking for sapphires and other precious gems. The region hosts the popular Gemfest, Festival of Gems, in August.
The Fairbairn Dam (18km southwest of Emerald) is a jewel the Emerald Shire’s crown. With its cool gardens, stark sandstone cliffs and bounty of native animals, this attractive and peaceful spot is perfect for picnics, sightseeing and bird watching. It is a haven for water sports enthusiasts and on the weekend is a popular spot for swimming, water skiing and fishing. Facilities include cabins and a caravan park, fuel, convenience store, public amenities, barbeques and sheltered picnic spots. Emerald Shire has a warm, dry climate with two distinct seasons, a dry winter season and a wet summer season. Winter temperatures average from 8 to 23 C, while summer temperatures range from around 22 to 34 C. The shire averages approximately 640mm of rainfall each year, falling mostly in the summer months. We welcome you to the Emerald Shire and wish you a happy and prosperous stay.