Mining magnates we are not – our fossicking fantasy…






   Fossicking –

(Article by Julz)

Saturday…….We stayed the night with Vicki and Tracey, our Airbnb friends in Warwick. What a wonderful place they have, extremely quiet and restful. We talk to them about fossicking, and they advised us of the ‘Rock Swap’ at the Warwick Showgrounds – off we go!  We arrive at the Showgrounds early and explore all the experienced fossickers wares. We go inside the pavillion and meet a professional crystal merchant named Tony. We are attracted to some pyrite, a crystal that has amazing alien cube shapes protruding from it. Tony shows us a video of the excavation of this wonderful crystal from the earth – and guess where it is mined? Northern Spain, where we will be in July/August, therefore, we will be adding this to our explorations of Spain! Very exciting! He also tells us his favourite fossicking place is Torrington – off we go to Torrington! 

To our delight, there was an Easter show at their Community Hall- we met the ‘salt of the earth’ community – a really humbling experience. We drove onwards to the national park, the iload’s first encounter of dirt roads and it excelled. As the place was deserted, we decided to have a small walk and with rain on the horizon, and a fear of being caught on a wet muddy road, journeyed forward to our next stop, Inverell.


Sunday ……Today is the day for our first foray into fossicking. We are staying in Inverell for two nights with a lovely lady, Amanda, who we found through Air Bnb.

Amanda took us out to a local indigenous walk, Nhinta Karra Kara track.  A tastefully and respectful walk through a very special bush walk.

 Our first stop is the visitors centre to find the local fossicking areas.  We decided to go on the cheap to Stannifer Creek.  We take out our buckets, tools and newly acquired gear and head off into the creek bed.   It is dry, because of the lack of rain in many months. Being the novices we are, we pick up everything that is unusual or pretty.  We find the tiniest slither of Peridot and some minute quartz crystals.  We think to ourselves, “we have hit pay dirt and this will cover our adventure costs” (heehee).   


Our next stop is Tingha Sands, where we pay $10 each and meet the “super” Dot.  We explain we are virgin fossickers, and she takes us under her wing. Dot and her husband started the business 16 years ago and they encourage fossickers to sort through the leftovers once they’ve extracted their sand. Again, we become excited with every little ‘pretty’, however, Dot comes to our rescue and shows us the ropes of what to do. She also comes out fossicking with us and gives us her findings, as well as a butter container of what she has collected over the last week. What a legend!



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