Great Keppel Island, Queensland, and Great Barrier Reef Resorts

Great Keppel Island is located just north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The stunningly beautiful island boasts 28 kilometers of the most beautiful bays and beaches. The island offers you 17 astonishing white sandy beaches where you can enjoy the best sub-tropical climate on earth.

The island has very mild winters and is located far enough south to not be influenced by the tropical monsoon, and enough north to enjoy the sun. So read on to learn more about Great Keppel Island, Queensland and Great Barrier Reef Resorts.

Great Keppel Island measures nearly 1500 hectares and it truly is a sanctuary to an extensive world of native fauna that includes over one hundred species of birds such as rainbow lorikeets and kookaburras, and a wide variety of seabirds.

In 1770, Captain Cook was actually the first European to visit the island, and he named the 14 islands after Royal Navy Admiral Keppel. Great Keppel Island is the largest of the islands followed by North Keppel Island.

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Gemfest – Central Queensland Sapphire Fields

Gemfest, Central Queensland’s annual 4-day Festival of Gems is a great exhibition that provides a one-of-a-kind jewelry and gemstone experience. Here you can find the finest offerings from the best-respected gemstone traders from all across the planet and there is lots of quality entertainment and the best food. At the Festival of Gems, you can discover some of the finest and unique Australian Sapphires around, and the festival takes place every August in Anakie, Queensland, at the town’s Allan King Memorial Park. Gemfest is one of the world’s most impressive, and Australia’s best-known showcase for gemstones from both the country itself and from internationally renown artists.

Every year, tens of thousands of visitors from all parts of the world gather in Anakie to enjoy and share the excitement of the Gemfields and to marvel at the numerous gems that are on display. Many Gemfest visitors are staying for the entire Australian winter season and a lot of them are loyal and regular visitors to Central Queensland. The Gemfest festival has enjoyed a high profile for many years and is recognized by experts as among Australia’s finest Gem Shows. The organization behind Gemfest – Festival of Gems has set up a nonprofit agency that’s dedicated to promoting Central Queensland’s Sapphire Fields and stimulating the tourist industry in the region.

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Scuba Diving and Snorkeling – Three fantastic destinations for beginners

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.

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Innovative Technology of Dewatering Geocontainers and Great Barrier Reef

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

Gemfest, The Festival Of Gems, and Miner’s Heritage

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.

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Sapphire Gemfields – The Towns

Bling Bling Baby

When visiting towns like Sapphire, Rubyvale, Willows Gemfields, or Anakie, you’ll surely be download-45under 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.

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The Great Barrier Reef

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.

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Southern Great Barrier Reef – The Keppels

beaches-gki-2The 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.

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Mining Sapphire in Gemfields Queensland Australia

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.

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Fossicking For Sapphires in The Gemfields

fossicking-for-sapphiresIn 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.

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