Coal wealth in the area has determined Emerald is a new and prosperous growth town. The town is on the cusp of being an 'outback' town but still has all essential services. Emerald is also an attractive town that is also now establishing links to the past. I.e. heritage factors are being identified and developed.
The Tropic of Capricorn runs through Emerald and it lies on the Nogoa River, a tributary of the Fitzroy River
Fairbairn Dam overflowed for the first time in 17 years on the 19 January 2008. Major flooding in Emerald occurred a few days after as the Nogoa River broke its banks. The floods, which were the region's worst on record, resulted in 1000 houses being affected and more than 2500 people being evacuated.
Emerald is a service town for a large number of industries in the area. Extensive coal mining operations are carried out in the district. Cotton is grown in the area, and is processed at the Yamala.
Emerald is a great town and when visiting should allow an overnight stay at a minimum.