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Rubyvale, Queensland

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The Sapphire Gemfields is one of the world’s largest sapphire fields, and takes in the townships of Anakie, Rubyvale, Sapphire and Willows Gemfields. Rubyvale's sapphire mining dates back to 1891. If you love gemstones and jewellery then chances are you're going to love this town. Set in the heart of the Sapphire Gemfields. Made from 'billy boulders' and ironbark logs, the Rubyvale Hotel is a quirky place worth checking out. Take an underground mine tour where you'll be able to enjoy cooler temperatures as well as a lesson in sapphire mining. Explore the tunnels with your guide before trying your luck at one of several fossicking parks found near to the town. Thankfully at these parks the staff have already done the digging for you - so all that's left to do is grab a bucket and start sieving. Whether you get lucky or not, you should definitely treat yourself to a meal and a beer at the local pub before heading to your next destination. Each year in August the annual Gemfest Festival of Gems is held at Anakie in the Sapphire Gemfields.