Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Anakie QLD


Postcode: 4702

Anakie is a town in Queensland, Australia. The town is located just to the south of the Capricorn Highway, 44 km west of Emerald and is situated in a region called the Gemfields where sapphires are mined extensively. Anakie is the smallest of the Gemfields towns.

Anakie is located 305 km west of Rockhampton on the Capricorn Highway and 951 km from Brisbane. It is, by any generous assessment, a non-event of a town. It has nothing apart from the hotel-motel, a railway station, a few houses and a few unimportant roads. It is said that the name comes from a local Aboriginal word meaning ‘two hills’. The first find in the area occurred in 1875 when Archibald John Richardson found zircons at Retreat Creek. The following year a prospector found sapphires in the region and by 1881 commercial mining operations had commenced.

The arrival of the railway line in 1884 gave the loosely established settlement some focus and by 1887 Anakie was proclaimed a township. A boom occurred from 1906 when the gold miners from Clermont moved west to try their luck. In 1907 over £40 000 worth of gems were mined. World War 1 saw an abatement of activity but the end of the war saw renewed interest on the fields. In 1922 the Queensland Government stepped in to stabilise the sales of blue sapphires.

Anakie describes itself as ‘the Gateway to the Gemfields’ and the important gemfields are appropriately located at Sapphire and Rubyvale.