How did Emerald get its name? It’s thanks to a lush green hill – emerald in colour – located just north of the town called ‘Emerald Downs Hill’. Established in 1879, this large country town has become the hub of the Central Highlands and gateway to one of the largest sapphire fields in the southern hemisphere.
Emerald used to be a major sunflower producer, which might explain why the town is now home to the world’s biggest Van Gogh sunflower painting – measuring 25 metres high. The masterpiece can be found on an easel in Morton Park at the western end of Clermont Street. Pop into the ‘straw bale’ Visitor Information Centre next door to pick up brochures about the Central Highlands and let the friendly staff help you plan your holiday.
Another ‘must see’ in the town is the National Trust listed Railway Station built in 1900 and restored in the mid-eighties. Featuring wrought iron lacework and pillared portico, it’s a spectacular sight – as is the ancient fossilised tree that’s found at the Emerald Town Hall, estimated to be over 250 million years old.