Day Five of the 2019 A-Z Challenge during the month of April. The challenge is to post six days a week, Sunday respite from writing or catching up with other participants and their posts. Each of the twenty-six days represents a letter of the alphabet and while each post stands alone they form part of a loose theme reflecting our retirement trip around Australia: Our Big Fat Aussie Road Trip.
8th October 2018
Emerald is a town in the Central Highlands Region, Queensland, Australia. At the 2016 Census, Emerald had an urban population of approximately 13,500. It is a long way from the coast – like 300 kilometres – being this far inland is a departure from our coast-hugging routine. But having run out of beaches with warm water in which to splash about we headed inland for what I feel has been a more authentic look at Australia.
The city grew up on the banks of the Nogoa River, a tributary of the Fitzroy River and just south of the Tropic of Capricorn. Given the cooler temperatures it was a wise move heading further north and inland. An added bonus is there are more opportunities to “free camp”, always our preference as we are self-contained – and existing on a single part-pension.
As this was a one-nighter we opted for the 20-hour stopover offered at one end of the Botanic Gardens, under a very busy bridge. As grim as that sounds, it was a pleasant stay in beautiful surroundings and we backed onto a shaded area right on the edge of the gardens.
The town is the service centre for a large rural farming community with a portion of its retail sector provides agricultural farming machinery and supplies to farmers It describes itself as a “prosperous regional service centre and gateway to gemfields”. The hinterland close by also has the largest sapphire gemfields in the world as well as a reasonable coal-mining industry.
Our time was spent enjoying a number of the walks provided in the gardens before moving on the following day.