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About Central Highlands

About Central Highlands

The Central Highlands region is in Central Queensland, Australia. The region encompasses an area of around 60,000 square kilometres, making it just short of the size of Tasmania.

The region was originally home to many First Nations people who remain proud custodians of these lands.

Early European settlement in the region dates from the 1850s with our first pioneers mainly grazing sheep.  Regional growth continued into the late 1800s with the inland expansion of the railway line west from Rockhampton and the establishment of a number of towns.

Significant growth occurred in the 1950s to 1980s with the introduction of beef cattle grazing and development of the Fairbairn Dam, coal mining and irrigation.

Today, it is home to around 30,000 people who live in the thirteen unique communities of Arcadia Valley, Bauhinia, Blackwater, Bluff, Capella, Comet, Dingo, Duaringa, Emerald, Rolleston, Sapphire Gemfields, Springsure and Tieri.

Our region is rich in minerals and agriculture, thriving on irrigation sourced from water storage on the Nogoa and Comet rivers. We claim the largest sapphire-producing fields in the Southern Hemisphere.

Major freight routes through the region include the north-south link between Charters Towers and northern New South Wales—identified as the inland transport alternative between Cairns and Melbourne.

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