Scuba diving and snorkeling are the two best ways of opening up the underwater world and really exploring the tremendously interesting environment that’s waiting under the surface. The chance to meet fish, rays, and even sharks and dolphins in their own comfort zone is very exciting and it can be fantastic fun too. However, not all dive sites are suitable for those who are just starting out. Here are three of the best holiday destinations for those who want to try diving or snorkeling for the first time:
1) The Great Barrier Reef, Australia. This is not just the biggest tropical reef in the world, but the biggest structure made by living organisms. The Barrier Reef is so huge that it’s visible from space and it’s even more spectacular close up. It’s home to countless different species of fish from tiny, garish clowns to massive groupers, as well as a full complement of rays, smaller sharks, sea turtles, giant clams, and of course corals.
Most probably you heard that there is a green light for a major expansion of the Australian port of Abbot Point and that it will become the world’s biggest coal port. Constructing this port will include the removal of around three million cubic meters of seabed which will be dumped in the area of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage.
It’s less known that there is a new innovative technology based on de-watering the sludge with containers. This technology is taught in high school and GED classes yet it’s not that popular.
Let me give you some explanation. To create the Australian port of Abbot Point a lot of dredging needs to be done.
To give you an idea of the scale of this dredging, if all the dredged material were dumped on land, the pile would be bigger than the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the finest tourist attractions in Australia (generating a revenue of $5.7 billion annually), and dumping such a huge pile of mud in this beautiful national marine park could very well threaten the World Heritage listing of this unique region.
But there are alternatives to dumping the spoil! The valuable technology using geo-containers for dewatering the sludge of Abbot Point Harbor by Dutch textile technology corporation TenCate could take care of the dump.
The system works with TenCate Geotube containers, tubular, permeable high-end geotextiles, that are all over the world utilized as an innovative and sustainable solution for dewatering contained solid waste from lagoons, ports, rivers, and canals, geotextiles are also as a new innovative process. Read more
Every year in August (In Australia’s winter) you can visit Gemfest, the Festival of Gems, and Miner’s Heritage. Gemfest is the largest Sapphire exhibition in Australia that is organized annually over four days.
Of course, local Sapphires will be the Gems of choice during the festival, but you can also admire a great selection of pearls, diamonds, opals, zircons, and several other interesting Gemstones at the festival.
Australia’s Sapphire Gemfields, in Central Queensland, is a region that covers some 900 square kilometers (347 square miles) of the most important Sapphire-bearing terrain in the world. The area includes the towns of Sapphire, Rubyvale, Anakie, and Willows. The area offers a lot to uncover, and you may even discover your riches that could be just a stone’s throw away.
What are Sapphires
The mineral corundum has a gem variety that’s called ‘Sapphire’. It is actually one of the most sought-after and highest prized gems that we know, and Sapphires can have all sorts of colors. All gems of all colors are called ‘Sapphires’ with the exception of the red stones that are named ‘Rubies’. So a Ruby is a red Sapphire.
When visiting towns like Sapphire, Rubyvale, Willows Gemfields, or Anakie, you’ll surely be under the spell of some pretty serious gemstone fever. Just come and check out this impressive region, the Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields.
The area is found on the Capricorn Highway, some 3 hours west of Rockhampton, and some 45 minutes west of Emerald, in Australia’s Central Highlands Region, Queensland.
The Sapphire Gemfields region covers more than 900 square kilometers (348 square miles) that offers you plenty of opportunities to discover your own gemstones in abandoned mines.
You have many different options if you want to explore the Sapphire Gemfields. There are many guided tours that offer walk-in tours of underground mines, or you can join a digging tour. Another option is booking a self-drive ‘fossicking’ tour where you will receive all necessary equipment and maps to explore the area’s backtracks.
You also can visit one of the ‘fossicking’ parks or purchase a bucket of ‘sapphire wash’, You will learn to sieve the ‘wash’, and how to recognize a sapphire in the rough.
The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system and measures more than 2200 kilometers (just over 1400 miles). You can sail, dive, snorkel, and swim in this impressive and stunning living masterpiece.
The Great Barrier Reef offers great adventures and is home to widely varied marine life and coral of the greatest vivid colors.
No matter whether you travel on a budget or in luxury, you’ll be very impressed when you explore the beautiful Whitsunday Islands, discover the ancient and stunning Daintree Rainforest, or take a relaxing break on one of the luxurious tropical islands like Lizard or Hayman.
You can go island-hopping or enjoy a relaxing stay in one fantastic coastal getaways like Hervey Bay, Cairns, Port Douglas, or Mission Beach.
The Keppel Islands form a true island paradise located on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. With 18 breathtakingly beautiful islands, the Keppel Isles boasts the very best of the reef, a sparkling blue sea, and pristine white sand beaches.
You can swim right off the beach and onto the world’s biggest coral reef while you’ll be protected by a fringing reef. This makes that the waters surrounding the Keppel Isles are surprisingly amazingly calm, which makes it the perfect spot for all sorts of watersports, such as scuba diving and snorkeling, water-skiing and tubing, and sea kayaking.
The region boasts an abundance of sea life, tropical fish, and colorful coral, that are filling the waters only the shortest swim away. If you feel like diving a little deeper, the Keppel Isles are entirely surrounded by fringing reefs and an impressive marine life. There are over 40 fantastic dive locations where you can marvel at hard and soft coral, a huge variety of tropical fish, the friendliest turtles, dolphins, sea snakes, and gigantic manta rays.
The Central Queensland Sapphire Gemfields are located on the Tropic of Capricorn approximately 350 kms (217 miles) west of Rockhampton, Queensland Australia ( 50 kms west of Emerald). Access is by sealed roads to the townships of Anakie, Sapphire, Rubyvale and The Willows. The area has a permanent population of around 3000 people.
During the peak tourism period from May to September, this number will at least double and up to 60,000 visitors come here over the course of a year. Winter is the peak season for Australian travelers and in Summer we often can see an influx of international tourists escaping the northern hemisphere winter.
The Gemfields has a unique easily going lifestyle, many of the residents have a strong independent streak and an unconventional outlook on life. This has resulted in the Gemfields evolving its own special style of building and living.
In this post, you can learn how to go about when you want to go fossicking for sapphires in the Sapphire Gemfields, Central Queensland. The Sapphire Gemfields cover around 900 square kilometers, some 348 square miles, and the area is actually one of the largest sapphire fields on earth.
The area includes the towns of Rubyvale, Anakie, Sapphire, and Willows Gemfields. Mining in the fields started in 1875 when a Railway surveyor found the first sapphire gem here. Today, visitors from all across the planet come here to search for a sapphire that may come in multiple colors, from yellow, blue, and green, to multi-colored and star-shaped sapphires.
If you feel like trying your luck you can come to Central Queensland and find a sapphire in the Gemfields of Central Queensland. Sure, you can come to the Rubvale Gem Gallery and purchase a fine piece of sapphire jewelry or a cut gem, but digging up your very own rough sapphire is a great experience that’s sure to make your souvenir a lot more precious.
If you want to find your own sapphire, take a look at these guidelines for fossicking for sapphires.
The Sapphire Caravan RV Park is situated on more than four 4 acres of the most beautiful Central Queensland bushland right in the middle of the Gemfields. Sapphire Caravan Park was formerly named Sunrise Cabins, but all is under new management and a new name to provide the best fossicking experience.
The park guarantees its guests a tranquil stay and peaceful stay with the greatest bush views, and abundant wildlife and hundreds of birds. If you visit the park, you’ll feel like you’re staying in a fine retreat instead of staying at a Caravan Park.
The park includes Billy Boulder cottages that all come with their unique decor and names to provide a unique touch and give you a homely feel. Here you can experience a one-of-a-kind holiday you’ll never forget while at the same time you might find a great Sapphire at one of the area’s many fossicking locations.
People from across the globe are visiting the Gemfields hoping to find their own “BIG” one. Here you can experience the real excitements and thrill, so join the thousands of people that want to try their luck while having the best of times in Australia’s Central Queensland.
The biggest Van Gogh sunflower painting in the world is found in Morton Park, Emerald, Central Queensland, Australia. This superstructure is 25 meters high, and the painting itself measures 7 x 10 meters, sitting on a 17,000 kilogram steel easel.
The huge sunflower painting is part of a concept by artist Cameron Cross who wants to erect a total of seven gigantic Sunflower Sculptures in also seven different countries. Cross want to make seven reproductions of Van Gogh’s seven different Sunflower paintings. The Sunflower Painting in Emerald was completed on November 8, 1999, and it celebrates the role of Australia’s Central Highland, and Emerald in particular, as a major sunflower producer.
Canadian artist Cameron Cross came to the idea to erect seven Sunflower sculptures and as far as I know there were three of these gigantic reproductions realized over the years, So far Cross’ project has unveiled three sites, the first in Altona, Canada (1998), the second in Emerald, Australia (1999), and the third in Goodland, Kansas, U.S. (2001).
Future big reproductions are planned in Japan and South Africa. I don’t know how far Cross has gotten with realizing his plans, and if you know, we would appreciate if you would inform us.