Explore Australia’s Central Highlands with an Emerald rental car
A lush green, rolling hill is the namesake for the town of Emerald. This bustling hub of Australia’s Central Highlands region is home not only to lavish countryside, but boasts the largest gemfields in the southern hemisphere. This magnificent historical town will have you wishing you had arrived sooner, and tempting you to stay longer. Pick up a rental car in Emerald to head out into the wondrous highlands of Queensland.
Driving a rental car in Emerald
While it may draw many visitors in with its fascinating gemfields, Emerald is not heavy on traffic which makes driving fairly straightforward. The main town streets are simple to get around and well maintained, just be aware of country roads which may be unsealed.
Getting To and From the Airport
The Emerald Airport is just 6km south of the town and less than a 5-minute drive away. Pick up your rental car as soon as you touch down at Emerald Airport and head north on Gregory Highway where signs will guide you to the centre of town.
Tips for Driving in Emerald
Take note of these important road rules for Emerald, Queensland:
● Motorists drive on the left.
● The speed limit is 50km/h in the town, and up to 100km/h on rural roads.
● Beware of wild animals, especially when driving in the countryside.
● Make sure you abide by give way and stop signs.
The Emerald Airport provides both short and long term parking, both of which are easy walking distance from the terminal. There is plenty of on-street parking around Emerald and most large attractions have carparks. Always take note of time restrictions to avoid getting a fine.
Pre-book your rental car with Airport Rentals
With a great network of suppliers such as Hertz, Avis and Thrifty, Airport Rentals provides a wide range of fantastic car hire deals to choose from, all in one spot. Type a few details into our search engine and browse the efficiently-presented results. You’ll have your pick of several brands at various price points and can choose the best one without having to worry about paying a booking fee. It’s as simple as that!
The Emerald Airport lies 6km south of Emerald, and is the main airport for the Central Highlands region. It’s serviced by Qantas, Virgin Australia and Alliance, and has 54 flights collectively to Brisbane per week. The terminal was recently refurbished and has a comfortable arrivals lounge where you can pick up the keys for your rental car. The friendly staff there are more than happy to answer any queries you may have.
Your trip to Emerald - everything you need to know
For somewhere to stay in Emerald, check in to the popular Emerald Cabin and Caravan Village, and enjoy spending your evenings in the beautiful surrounding gardens. For a cheaper option, the Central Inn has comfortable rooms, or relax poolside at Emerald Meteor Motel. If you’re looking for lakeside accommodation, Lake Maraboon Holiday Village has a great range of rooms and numerous facilities available for all budgets.
Events and Festivals
Emerald and the surrounding Highlands region hold annual events and festivals, so no matter when you’re planning to visit, there’s bound to be something on.
● The Central Highlands Multicultural Festival is held in August and celebrates the region's diversity.
● The not-for-profit event, Garage Sale Trail, seeks to inspire environmental and social change, and is held annually in October.
● December sees the town celebrating the festive season with the Light Up Your Town competition.
Dining out in Emerald offers an array of choices. Le Porte Rosse serves delectable Italian cuisine and the Capricornian Restaurant has a fantastic range of dishes on their menu. For a cosy, relaxed feel head to Theo's Cafe or Vybe Cafe for your morning coffee.
The town of Emerald
Emerald is home to just over 15,000 residents and provides a bustling base for the Central Highlands Regional Council. This Queensland city sits on the junction of the Gregory and Capricorn highways, and the Nogoa River runs to the south of the town. In addition to gemfields, this agricultural region grows citrus, grapes and has large cotton plantations.
Small town Australian culture is much like the rest of the country: laid back and welcoming. You’ll feel right at home when you visit Emerald.
Things to do in Emerald
● The Fairbairn Dam is a short 25-minute drive to the south, holding in the waters of Lake Maraboon.
● Head 45 minutes to the west of Emerald and visit the sapphire gemfields for a truly stunning experience.
● Both the Water Gardens and the Emerald Botanic Gardens are well worth a visit.
● Outside the Emerald town hall is a fascinating fossilised tree, believed to be 250 million years old.
The best way to get around Emerald is by rental car, however Emerald Coaches run a charter bus for large groups and private hire. There is also a bus and train service which runs from Emerald to Brisbane, Rockhampton and Mackay.
Like the rest of Queensland, Emerald has a subtropical climate, which means it can get very hot in summer. Between December and February the temperature peaks at around 34 degrees Celsius and in winter only gets down to a warm 22 degrees Celsius.