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Gemstones-Gemhunting- North West Qld-Fossicking Areas.

NW Queensland Fossicking Area’s

Mount Isa and Cloncurry area’s.

Looking for gemstones.

Looking for gems, Gemhunting with other people is more interesting than going by your self. Plus it is much safer in groups.  There is so many place to go between Mt Isa and Cloncurry, area.

All Year round Fossicking.

In the hotter months you do not do much fossicking because the rocks are even very hot, having  a air conditioners in your cars, and having shade when you go fossicking make it a nice day out. You have to start out very early in the morning. Out here it is day light at 6am and it is still day light at 7pm at night, in the summer months.

  When there is no rain.

Camping And Fossicking in cooler Months of the year.

I live in Mount Isa. North West Queensland. Only over the past 4 years have I been Interested in Fossicking for Gems- Stone. I am still a newbie. Lots more to learn. Fossicking is all year hobby. When there is rain, no way do you go on a dirt road, you are asking for trouble.

North West Queensland Fossicking Area’s.

You have to have a Fossicking Licence, before you can go Gem hunting in Queensland. If you are looking for gems-stones-rocks-gold, you have to have a licence,

Out here you can explore the country side, bush,  if you have a 4 wheel drive and a good GPS.  So easy to get lost.

Get Permission.

Remember the land belongs to some one, so you could need permission to go on there land. Find out from the locals Lapidary Clubs. Or go to Government website to find out more..qld.gov.au

You are stupid if you go out exploring when it is wet. Raining.

We nearly  got caught, 3 times in 2016 June, July and October. We packed up quick, we could see the rain coming. We were lucky we did not get stuck in the mud. The clean up took a week to do. Not much fun.

Weather. No Phone.

In the North West we do not get very good weather reports, our report is possible showers that never happen. over phone coverage is gone 5 minutes out of town. That is why you show have a good GPS. Ours has bird eye view, so you can see the country side ahead of you. It tracks you where you go, and when you get out of the car, you put it in your pocket. No chance of getting lost that way.  If you have not got a GPS mark your trip, when you get out the car mark your track, use rocks.

Take your own water.

Take your own water, most of the creeks beds are  dry. Water for drinking and washing your hands and stones.

Out of Date Books.

There is a lot of books out there that are out of date. Pictures  Most  Placers  are not accessible in the wet.  our country is red/black mud. even a 4 wheel drive can not handle it most of the time. Going on roads after flooding only wrecks the roads for everyone else.   No one grades the roads we go on, if you check with your insurance company you will find even your car is not insured on these roads.

Want to go Fossicking.  Not Sure where to go.

If you want to go fossicking and you are not sure where to go, Ask your Question, I might be able to answer you. Most people out here are very friendly. Best idea is to go into the tourist shop, in the town you are visiting, buy a sample of the stone you are looking for. ( Remember to support these shops they have to make a living).

Places you can go between Mount Isa and Cloncurry.

Going from Mount Isa.

Mount Frosty.

Wee Macgregor Mine.

Crystal Mountain

Maltese Cross

Toms Mountain

Fountain Springs.

Old mine towns.

Smoky Crystals

Mary Kathleen

And lots more fossicking areas.

Some of the Gem Stones/Rock you can find.

Amethyst. ( lots of different shades).

Garnets.

Crystals.

Maltese Cross.

Peacock Ore.

Sunset Opal.

Topaz

Smokey Quarts.

Quarts (different colours.)

lead

copper

Agate. There are lots of different ones.

Ribbon Stone.

Aquamarine

Beryl

Calcite

Spinel

Chrysocolla

Boulder Opal

Sapphire

Tiger Eye

Lolite

Rhyolite

Jasper

Pyrite

Malachite

Tourmaline

Magnetite

Moonshine

Peridot

Prehnite

Zircon

Rutile.

Pink Quarts.

I have found the above in Queensland and Northern Territory. Australia.

If you are visiting Mount Isa. Visit Our local Lapidary Club

Have a great day.

Happy Fossicking.

If you enjoy this website please leave a comment.

This website is some thing new I am learning to do, so be patient, ask me a Question if I can not answer you, I will find some one else, that  might be able to answer you.

Happy Fossicking.

Wendy.

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Posted on 3 Comments

Boulder Opal From Opalton.

Fossick for Opals.

Gem of a holiday, Camping in the Bush Park at Opalton.

Search for opal, by Noodling. Patience and a good eyes.

Opalton, Queensland’s Capital of Boulder Opal.

Offers visitors the opportunity to fossick for opals.

Finding a bit of Sparkle in a rock and then making something from it is very rewarding. Opal is Beautiful

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Opal from my Collection not polished.
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22.51ct Boulder opal 26.47mm x 19.55mm x 6.13mm

Boulder Opal From   Opalton in Queensland.

 

Boulder Opal
Boulder opal is the second most prized form of opal, after black opal. The name derives from the fact that boulder opal is found embedded in ironstone boulders. The opal usually forms as thin veins within these boulders, and most stones are cut to include some of the host ironstone matrix. Boulder opal is sometimes referred to as opal in matrix for this reason. Boulder opal is especially attractive because, like the black opal, it has a dark body tone which adds vibrancy to the play of colour. Boulder opal also has a higher density because of the ironstone content, and can be more durable as well.

Opalton is 120kl From Winton

 

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4.65ct Boulder opal 16.86mm x 7.22mm x 4.71mm

Boulder Opal is found at Opalton. Opalton is about 120 kl From Winton. The road is a dirt road  is pretty good. You have to watch out for the animals crossing the road.There is a bush Park at Opalton, they like people to camp there. Toilets and shower .

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Watch Out For Animals

 

 

 

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Opalton is a Small place, People do live there, that have got claims. Such  a very friendly place to visit. Most of the claim sites are, tin shacks and caravans. When you dive to Opalton from Winton which is 120kl, it  is a dirt road, yes you would be able to drive a normal car there, the first thing you come to, is the  sign for Opalton. A little ways up, you will see buildings on your left. Kept  going and on your right you will see a sign saying bushpark. This is where you camp, it has toilets and showers. Hot water if you light the donkey.  Cost in May 2016 was $2.50 each per night. When you set up camp the locals come down and talk to visitor., very friendly people.

Flys.

Lots and lots of flies, make sure you have cream and a fly net.

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Opaltons Bushpark

Opalton is the centre of the largest and most extensively worked opal deposits in Australia. The opal fields are within a belt of deeply weathered cretaceous rocks known as the Winton Formation and they mainly produce ‘Boulder Opal’ – the second most valuable opal after the  Black Opal.

Opalton Discovered.

The field was discovered in 1888 by George Cragg, a stockman from Warrnambool Station. The first claims were worked in 1894 and the township was started in 1895 following a rush to the region. By the end of the century the township was supporting about 600 people and the usual commercial activities were established including two hotels, stores, blacksmith and saddler’s shops, as well as a police station and telegraph office.

 

 

Working Claims.

Now days there is a hand full of people working claims out at Opalton. One claim owner has been moving a lot off dirt, and has not seen any colour for 6 months, ask why, you never know what tomorrow will bring, plus once you see the colours of opal, it is addictive,

Opal Fever.

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A Wall Underground

When visitor go to Opalton they fossick in dirt piles around the camping grounds, or ask the locals where to go. Just remember these people are very helpful and go out of there way for visitors. Ask if they, have opal for sale, support these people.

 

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Fossicking Licence.

Opalton, Queensland’s Capital of Boulder Opal, also offers visitors the opportunity to fossick for opals. You do have to have a fossicking licence, they are only around $10 for a month. Most tourist shop have them or go online to buy one.

Spray Water Bottle.

Fossick through the piles of dirt at Opalton,  To see Opal easy it is a good idea to have a spray water bottle on hand, when you see a flash of colour, spray water the brilliant colours shine , just makes you want to find more. So So Pretty.

Looking for Opal

It Is rugged, in the Australian out back.

Dirt tracks every where, it is a good idea to have a navigator, to leave sail tracks so you can get back to where you come from.

Some places like Opalton have tracks go every where.

Equipment For Noodling.

Equipment for Noodling, The only equipment you require is a small pick ( a prospector’s pick is ideal). Patience and a good eye.  Another item is your spray bottle of water, and a container to put what you find in.

 

When it Rains.

If it rains you don’t go anywhere, even to leave your camp to go for a walk is a big effort, Mud. Off cause you have some people just because they have a 4 wheel drive they can go through the mud, they just wreck the roads. Stupid.

No Phone Coverage.

There is no phones coverage.  If you can afford a satellite phone is great. The locals have phone lines and TV’s. Batteries, Generators, Solar Panels .They Just have got a great life style. Nothing to spend money on. Once they have set up camp.

This is our third time back to Opalton. Why?  Because of the Opal you find , and there is not any digging, Peace and quite. Love Opal and Love Opalton

                                   The Opal.

                Born in the dark and depths of time,

                Taking Millions of years to form,

                 Coloured with silicon rainbows fine

                  Lies the opal with Heart so warm.

                  Entombed in beds of hardest clay

                   Many a foot from the top,

                  It’s very hard work, the miners say,

                  But the prize is the best of the lot.

                  The pick rings out on the hard, white bed,

                  The hope rise high in the miner’s breast,

                  The sparks fly off past the miner’s head

                   And a river of light is exposed to the test.

                   He holds the candle close to the vein,

                   Red, Green, Yellow and flash bright,

                  Now taken from mother earth where it has lain

                  Treasured by mankind, born to the light.

                  This was Written By.

                  Michael Lynn (at the age of 14 years).

 

Need more information about Opalton . Please leave me  a comment. and I will get back to you soon.

I fossick on the surface when we go to Opalton , I do have some stone for sale, it is pot luck, if you find opal in the stone, most stone show signs of opal. Postage will cost more than the stone. Contact me.

 

Have A great day.

Wendy

Opal stones I have for sale.  Postage is extra.

Large Opal Stone 27cm x 15cm x 11.5cm $300.00
Large Opal Stone 27cm x 15cm x 11.5cm $300.00

 

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Boulder Opal with half of its shell. Priced $50.00 8cm x 3cm x 4 cm
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Boulder Opal $50.00 9cm x 4cm x7cm
Opal Matrix $15.00 each
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Stones that have signs of Opal Small $2, Large $5 each