A town with a colourful history.
Located just a half hour drive from Glen Innes on the mineral-rich Mole Tableland sits the historic mining town of Emmaville.
Formerly known as Vegetable Creek, the little township boomed with the discovery of tin in 1872. It was estimated that in the early 1900s the population was around 7000, including 2000 Chinese people, who formed a large part of the mining community.
These days, the town emits a sleepier, more laid back vibe with a population of just 300, but it still has more than a few tricks up its sleeve.
The Emmaville Mining Museum is the town’s main attraction, having opened in June 1999. The quaint museum includes an impressive mineral and fossil display, as well as a photography gallery featuring the nationally renowned Curnow Collection and more than 200 historic photographs of mines and miners.
The adjoining Foley’s Museum also features a beautiful bottle collection and a range of farm machinery and working tools that hark back to yesteryear.
In the 1960s and 70s, Emmaville came into the spotlight when tales of the Emmaville Panther emerged. There are no big cats native to Australia, yet since as far back as 1958 there have been panther sightings around Emmaville. Is it real or a legend? No one knows, but there is certainly a sense of mystery in the surrounding region.
Torrington State Conservation Area is nearby, where you can get off the beaten track and discover dramatic views and granite formations, have a fossick and indulge in some serene camping and picnic spots.
WHERE TO FOSSICK
-Torrington State Conservation Area, emerald, fluorite, aquamarine, gold, tin
From Deepwater, proceed 26km northwest on Stannum-Torrington Roads. Experienced fossickers only, beware of dangerous old mine workings and shafts
-Boolabinda, sapphire, zircon, black spinel
Head south 48km on Emmaville Road, turn left onto Bullock Mountain Road. Drive 11km and arrive at Boolabinda, a private fossicking site.
DID YOU KNOW?
Emmaville was originally named Vegetable Creek after the Chinese market gardens that supplied the hungry tin miners. In 1872 the name of the town was changed to Emmaville in honour of the then Governor General’s wife, Lady Augustus Loftus, whose first name was Emma.