Join us for the third PMAT field trip of 2019 and quarterly meeting, this time to look for gemstones at the Weld River Fossicking Area in Moorina.
There is no cost for PMAT members, if you’re looking to join, you can do so on the day, and the membership is $20.
The Weld and Frome Rivers in Moorina are a good place to look for sapphires, topaz, zircons, and occasional chrysoberyl. It’s a great place to go especially if you’ve never fossicked for gemstones in the river, as they’re fairly easy to find, and the area is very easy access. Most of the stones in the Weld are on the small side, but the largest sapphire ever found in Tasmania (a ~250 carat parti-coloured one) is said to have been found in this area. It’s a great launching pad for more adventurous rivers and creeks in the area, once you get the knack.
This is also a child-friendly area, and children usually really enjoy coming out here to fossick. Children of PMAT members are welcome, but must be under the supervision of a parent or designated carer at all times.
We will be meeting at the camping area at the Mutual Bridge, on Mutual Road, Derby, at 9:00 on Saturday the 26th of October. Derby is easily accessed by driving along the Tasman Highway east from Scottsdale, through Branxholm. If you’re coming from the east, the Mutual Road turn-off is on the left just before you cross the highway bridge over the Ringarooma, and just after (and almost directly opposite) the Derby football ground. If you’re coming from the west, it’s the first turnoff on the right after the Derby bridge. Drive along Mutual Road about 2.7 km to the Mutual Bridge over the Ringarooma River, and the campground is on the left hand side, between the river and the road.
Where to stay: There plenty of camping for tents and campervans/caravans (no facilities) at the Mutual Bridge camping ground. The Weldborough Hotel has a camping/caravan area in the back with hot showers and toilets, serves good meals, and has excellent beer, though they charge for camping. There is limited space for camping, camper vans and caravans at Centenary Park in Branxholm (talk to the supermarket opposite to get the keys). Other than that there are a few areas in the bush for camping, like the Ma Mon Chin and Minnie Jessop picnic areas.
Gear: As we will be in October and the nights are still chilly, the water will still be pretty cold. Wetsuit or waders will help you stay warm in the water for longer. Other than that, a set of gemstone sieves (1/4 inch and 1/8 inch), which can be purchased online from most places selling prospecting supplies, as well as Anaconda and Allgoods. A spade or shovel (I use a long-handled shovel, a post-hole shovel also works well, whatever you have around. If you have gloves your hands will be warmer. Sometimes a scoop is handy to get into cracks.
Other things to do in the area: If you’re staying for the weekend, the Gladstone Fossicking Area is only 1/2 an hour away and good for smoky quartz, if you’re lucky also topaz and amethyst. Many of the creeks in the area have sapphires. Ones that I’ve done OK in are the Frome River, the Weld River, Main Creek, the Cascade River and Black Rivulet / Black Creek. Black Rivulet also carries a little bit of fine gold, particularly at the top.
For more info, there is a thread on the PMAT Forum, or you can also call Miguel on 0400 174 956.
Come and join us on a fun day out!