Past the World's largest Van Gogh - to a place where they revel in gravels


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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Sapphire
July 29th 2011
Published: August 23rd 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

It was time to leave Carnarvon Gorge. In essence this was our first major milestone to get to on our big trip – we had wanted to visit this place since we first heard about it 18 months ago. And it was worth the effort.

As we drove down the dusty track, we spied a family of emus in the grass. Makes me wonder whether we’ll see both emus and kangaroos in the same location – call it a coat of arms moment!

Lush farm land sits happily alongside the barren scrub brush of central Queensland.

Emerald is an oasis – a city in the middle of farmlands. Behind the information centre stands the world’s largest painting on an easel – Van Gogh’s 'Sunflowers'. This painting sits on a easel 75 metres tall. (I would ask why, but then again, why a Big Pineapple?) Local youths sun-baked and picnicked under it. Chalk that up to Australians obsession with ‘big’ things.

Not far away were the gemfields of Sapphire and Rubyvale. We spent the afternoon fossicking at Pat’s Gems – sieving through piles of wash searching for little shiny rocks. Bailey and Toby both found several sapphires , none of which were big enough to cut into jewellery, but were big enough to fuel young men’s minds into the jewellery business. The local tourism operators all own and mine their own plots, and prefer to do so, but need to make money to fuel their passion.

We were treated to live music upon arrival at the Sapphire Retreat Caravan Park (and for the next 2 hours). Gotta love 60s and 70s covers accompanied by ‘Band in a Box’. Anthony wasn’t impressed.

Song of the Day: I Get Around by The Beach Boys

New Car Game: Who can apply sunscreen to Toby’s face


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