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Minerama Field Trip Options

One of the most important features of Minerama is the programme of field trips.  Fossickers can visit a range of locations in the company of an experienced guide to look for a range of gems.  Heaps of fun and very affordable. 

There are field trips to suit all types of fossickers – from the complete beginner to the utterly obsessed.  See the Minerama website for more information on the program or just call in to the Minerama information desk for some guidance.

Click “Continue Reading” below to see some options for each day from Thursday 6th March to Monday 10th March 2008.

Yarrow Creek
A well known and very picturesque area with a range of gems to be found: sapphire, garnet, zircon, black spinel, tourmaline and quartz.  Trips will be run to various locations along the creek on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday so you will have plenty of opportunities to try your luck here during Minerama. 

Reddestone Creek
The source of some of the best blue sapphire to come from the Australian gem fields with decades of mining behind it.  However, there are still plenty of gems to be found and this year, Minerama offers you the opportunity to fossick at “Three Waters” on Friday and “Lonewood” on Saturday.

The field trip to Emmaville on Saturday is a great day trip with some fantastic side trip options.  The trip will set off from the Emmaville Mining Museum at 9:30 am  and visit a variety of old mining areas where fluorite, beryl, candle crystals of quartz, galena, chlorite, arsenopyrite, cassiterite etc may be found.   The beauty of this trip is that once the fossicking is done, you have a few other options to finish off the day. 

The Mining Museum is always worth a look with some of the best mineral/gem collections on display you’ll ever see.  The historic Ottery Arsenic mine is another interesting spot just out of Emmaville or you can just wash the dust from your throat with a quiet drink at either of the two Emmaville pubs.

New mining east of Glen Innes for minerals such as molybdenum and bismuth has meant that this popular fossicking site is now closed to the public.  However, in cooperation with one of our major sponsors, Auzex Resources, field trips to the area will be run on Friday and Saturday.  This was one of the most popular trips last year and with limited numbers, you’ll need to be quick on the day to get one of these tickets.

Tingha Sands and Stannifer
This is another great day trip option for Sunday.  This trip will be heading west to search for quartz crystals and “grass stone” (rutilated quartz) at Tingha Sands – a commercial sand and gravel mine.  People always have a great time at this location and this year should be no exception. 

While passing through Tingha, we highly recommend a quick visit to the Wing Hing Long museum – a really interesting old collection of memorabilia displayed in the old general store.  A stop at Stannifer on the way back to look for “jellybeans” (waterworn quartz) will round out a great day fossicking.

Pretty Valley
Another really popular spot for sapphire fossicking, Pretty Valley offers the opportunity to find more than just sapphire with the chance of zircon, black tourmaline, black spinel, topaz (clear or pale blue), quartz (clear and smoky) and even a little gold.   Pretty Valley is the traditional Monday trip for Minerama and does have a limit on numbers.

Back Creek – Pinkett
The final choice is Monday’s field trip to Back Creek in the Pinkett area – this one is designed for those fossickers that are looking for something a bit different.  The big plus on this trip is the sheer variety of gems that might be found in this location.  This section of Back Creek has produced quite a lot of sapphire, zircon, topaz, black tourmaline and excellent quartz crystals.  Other possibilities include pyrope garnet, cassiterite (tin), topaz (colourless to pale blue or pink) and pale green beryl.  A great way to end the official Minerama fossicking field trip program.

Aerial Field Trips
Remember the scenic joyflights on Friday and Saturday – the mining areas of Glen Innes, Emmaville and Kings Plains as seen from the air.  A nice change of pace compared to being on the end of a shovel.  Round up a couple of mates to go with you and a half hour flight will cost just $45 per person.

Look forward to seeing you all at Minerama – we’re happy to weigh up any of your better finds so call in and see us at the Aussie Sapphire stall.