|Emerald Historic Railway Station|
Before leaving Emerald we thought we’d drop into the tourist information centre one more time for some information on the towns that lay ahead of us,glad we did as we got talking to a local bloke working there who has been in Emerald quite some time.He started telling us a few stories from over the years of his experiences taking people out to the gem fields. We even found out why Emerald was called Emerald not because of Emeralds like we stupidly thought but because back in the day when it was discovered which was really the area called “Emerald Downs” a station just out of Emerald.When they came across it they found it to be so green compared to surrounding areas ,so Emerald was named after the station “Emerald Downs”.
Another story he recalled was about two of his mates who were out around Rubyvale fossicking, when one of the blokes tripped and nearly went over a edge of a cliff,his mate helped him up, but only then realising what he had just tripped on, one mighty big Sapphire.That day ended their friendship as both guys claimed it was their find.
Whilst at the info centre we did the tourist thing and took a photo of the “Big Easel” another add to the ever increasing list of Big Things throughout Australia. Right next to the Easel is a mosaic pathway that leads you through 100 years in 100 metres of Emeralds colourful history it runs right beside a small historical village which also has the towns original lockup that was still operating until ‘1970’ and a Church and Communications museum.
|A 250 million year-old fossilised wood|
As Pete had then left us to go back to the bus to work on repairs and the maintenance side of things,we then walked into town,looking for the 250 million year-old fossilised wood that the kids were interested in seeing ,we found it near the town Hall it had been dug up in ‘1979’ when a new railway bridge was being built across the Mackenzie River.
Then it was a walk back to the main strip of town so we could have a look at the Historic Railway Station built in ‘1900’ pretty cool looking building with it’s elaborate entry.
Peter and Brock love anything to do with trains so stopping by the station and looking around kepted them pretty happy!
|” The Big Easel “|
The last day in Emerald was spent packing up & putting the van back in the trailer,ready to leave in the morning for Sapphire,or Rubyvale still not sure which one to camp at yet! After nearly two weeks in Emerald we are Happy to say we have found the people of Emerald nice & friendly and the town a great place to base yourself to look at surrounding areas of Clermont,Blackwater and Springsure and Lake Maraboon for fishing and all water sports, there’s also Sapphire and Rubyvale up the road but most people that like to have a go at fossicking usually stay on the gem fields out that way!Can’t really say what the caravan parks are like for accommodation as we were lucky enough to have stayed at the showgrounds while we made repairs.Though there is a rest area at the Emerald Botanical Gardens where you can stay overnight,it’s situated at the end of town beside the Nogoa River,within the gardens there are toilets and water.If it’s busy Big Rigs don’t have much of a chance squeezing in though!
So tomorrow brings another day of the unexpected! It’s been cold of a night but beautiful sunny days,well until now it’s been raining slightly all day so I think we are in for a muddy time fossicking for gems.