Family Fun Ideas

There’s no shortage of things to keep kids entertained in the Central Queensland Highlands. Base yourself in Emerald and work through these tried and tested, kid-friendly activities on your next family getaway.

How many can you tick off the list?

  • Sapphire Hunting

Children will enjoy the thrill of searching for gems at one of the Sapphire Gemfields fossicking parks. Follow it up with an underground mine tour or go for a rock hopping adventure up Policeman’s Knob.

  • Wilderness Wanderlust

Take the family to nearby Blackdown Tableland National Park and spend the day bush walking, swimming in the Gudda Gumoo rock pool and wildlife spotting. Leave early in the morning to allow for travel (150km one way) and a full day exploring.

  • Water Adventures

Hire a boat or kayak and take to the waters o Lake Maraboon. Throw in some Red Claw pots and see if you can catch some tasty, freshwater crayfish for dinner.

  • Swim, Splash, Repeat

There is no better way to spend a hot summer day than lounging by the pool. Emerald Aquatic Centre has you covered with two pools, three waterslides, and a children’s splash pad area. Note: the centre is closed from June to August.

  • Botanical Delight

Spend the morning walking or biking through the Emerald Botanic Gardens. Stop for a picnic by the river, before letting the kids explore the adventure playground including a monorail, 25-metre flying fox, and giant mouse wheel.

  • Tee Up

See which family member can belt a ball the farthest at the driving range, or who can get a hole in one at the Emerald Golf Club. Golf equipment and electric carts available for hire.

  • Blockbuster Bliss

Pick from the latest release movies playing at the local cinema, then get the kids to make the hard decision – popcorn or choc top ice cream?

  • Science Safari

Discover the wonders of science at the Outback Exploratorium’s STEAM lab, including a discovery space, workshop, and retail outlet.

  • Pedal to the Metal

Got kids who love to skate, bike or scooter? The Emerald Skate Park caters to all skill levels with half and quarter bowls and two large quarter pipes. Alternatively, let the kids enjoy the jumps, bumps, and turns of Sunrise Rotary BMX Park.

  • Playful Palate

Emerald has a host of family-friendly cafés. Savour a hot coffee as the kids enjoy a dedicated play space or spend time together painting ceramics while snacking on cannoli.

  • Eventful Happenings

Oodles of kid-friendly events take place across the region, including weekly library activities, monthly markets, and annual festivals. Find out more at

  • Playground Adventures

Nothing spells FREE family fun like a morning or afternoon spent at a playground. Here are some of our favourites in Emerald:
– Botanic Gardens, Cliffe Street
– Botanic Gardens – Windmill, Rifle Range Road
– Lions Park, Corner Yamala and Ruby Streets
– Vicki Peters Park, Rifle Range Road
– Steve Bell Park, 9 Rogers Street
– Centenary Park, 23 Centenary Drive

  • Get more ideas and inspo from the 2023/24 Central Queensland Highlands Visitor Guide.

See it online here or pick up your free copy from a Visitor Information Centre.

Image by Daly Adventures:

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