Beyond the town of Emerald lie the Sapphire Gemfields, surrounded by the towns of Rubyvale, Sapphire and Anakie.
If you’re in search of serious bling, this is the place! The gemfields yield around 80% of the world’s sapphires.
Gemfest is the annual celebration of glittering stones – and it takes place at Anakie in August.
Take a tour with Pat Vine of Pat’s Gems and discover that not much has changed in a century of sapphire mining. You’ll also discover the famous “thong tree,” an unexpected feature of this pioneering landscape.
At Miner’s Heritage, go underground into a genuine sapphire mine and see sparkle frozen in rock and time.
If you come to the region to find your fortune or just to enjoy the atmosphere, there are plenty of places to stay including the Blue Gem Caravan Park, situated on the very river where sapphires were first found in the area.
Or you can snuggle into rustic timber cabins at the Rubyvale New Royal Hotel, a family-friendly pub with loads of character and a huge ‘billy boulder’ fireplace.
For more information visit
Dig the Tropic