TREASURE TRAIL: Steering Committee Members Peter Brown and Jan Ward with the new Sapphire Gemfields Treasure Trail brochure.
TREASURE TRAIL: Steering Committee Members Peter Brown and Jan Ward with the new Sapphire Gemfields Treasure Trail brochure. Contributed

Discover treasure trove of attractions in Central Highlands

THE new Sapphire Gemfields Treasure Trail brochure is set to make it easier and more enjoyable to explore one of the Central Highlands' premiere destinations.

Launched ahead of the 2019 tourism season, this eight-panel, full-colour fold-out uses detailed maps to provide a comprehensive guide to the area, including the Sapphire Gemfields Wetland Reserve.

Copies are $1 each and can be purchased from local businesses and visitor information centres.

The initiative follows on from the recent development of the wetland reserve.

"We opened the Wetland Reserve last year and launched the Sapphire Gemfields Interpretive Trail in 2017, so this brochure is a natural progression from those projects,” Sapphire Gemfields Steering Committee chair Ewan Letts said.

"The Gemmies is already an iconic destination however there was clearly much potential to attract more visitors, inspire them to stay longer and to better help them navigate and get to know the area.

"This trio of projects achieves that.”

The Steering Committee consists of local business operators, community members, a Central Highlands Regional Councillor and tourism development coordinator Paul Thompson from the Central Highlands Development Corporation.

"The brochure - together with the Interpretive Trail and Wetland Reserve - is a case study in the importance of partnerships to develop the region's tourism industry,” Mr Thompson says.

"These types of projects are incredibly valuable to the tourism sector and the wider community, but they can only happen when all stakeholders are engaged in the process and driven to make it happen.”

Mr Letts, who also owns and operates Blue Gem Tourist Park, agrees it's "an amazing feat” for a relatively small community.

"But it's because we've got a committee of dedicated members with a range of skills and we've had the unwavering support of council,” he said.

"Not only has council contributed financially, it's also given our group constant input and crucial advice, particularly on applying for state and federal funding and meeting the criteria of how that money is spent.”

The brochure will be distributed at various industry events and traveller expos, such as caravan and camping

A total of 40,000 copies have been printed.

The Steering Committee's formation in 2013 was facilitated by the Central Highlands Regional Council.

The Sapphire Gemfields is one of the world's largest sapphire fields and takes in the townships of Anakie, Rubyvale, Sapphire and Willows Gemfields.