Emerald, Sapphire and Rubyvale …. they’re all here!

Yes, Emerald, Sapphire and Rubyvale are all names of towns here in the Gemfields of Central Queensland and we have had some fun as novice fossickers. Forget Easter eggs, we went searching for Thunder eggs and found quite a few. Thunder eggs, to the uninitiated, are nodule-like rocks which formed within volcanic ash layers millions of years ago. They come in various shapes and sizes and it’s only on splitting them that you really appreciate what’s inside. As in the movie Forrest Gump, you never know what you’re gonna get, but Mike was pretty happy with his!

Next we tried our luck at finding sapphires. We had hoped to get first hand experience of digging and finding sapphire at a Designated Fossickers Area but it hasn’t stopped raining for two days and the area has been closed off. We had to contend instead with buying a $25 Gem Bag of pre-washed grit and using our keen eyes, a torch and tweezers, pick the gems out in the comfort of our motor home. Our wash contained over 30 little sapphire chips, mostly green or blue in colour, but none that would make us rich!!! We aim to go back to Armfest again tomorrow and buy another bag and ask them to check that we didn’t miss any carats in our first lot!

Our pootling adventures this week have been quite varied. We spent a few days in Mackay and whilst out cycling the Bluewater Trail came across a street that could have come straight out of an episode of Wanted Down Under. The houses were all huge, a bit too perfectly manicured, they backed onto the beach and would have been outside most families’ means! Still, one can dream!

We cycled the Pineapple Trail in Yeppoon without seeing a single pineapple but we did buy a tasty one at the Sunday market in Emu Park. This week we have seen a sculpture that sings, poignant ANZAC Memorials, fabulous street art and a huge shell collection. We love the public swimming lagoons we’ve seen at Airlie Beach, Mackay and Yeppoon – the latter having an infinity pool overlooking the beach. We gave Bobby Dazzler’s Cafe a miss in Rubyvale and instead frequented Muggachinos where an Austrian man served his own homemade Apple Strudel! Mike thought it was very good!!!

It may surprise you to know that the dilapidated structure in the next photograph is actually the original East Coast monument marking the Tropic of Capricorn. We’ve spent two and a half months in the tropics – yes it has been hot and humid but we have loved it. Sadly only seven weeks of pootling left to go.

Crossing Capricorn on the East Side

Original Tropic of Capricorn Memorial (East Coast)

6 thoughts on “Emerald, Sapphire and Rubyvale …. they’re all here!

  1. Gerry Kehoe

    Good Day Sheila,

    Diamonds are a girls best friend as the song goes, however, Emeralds, Sapphires and Ruby thankfully for Mike they are all names of towns in Queensland, I can hear the sound of relief from here from Mike’s deep pockets. You know its not good for his blood pressure talking about spending money….

    At least you’ve found a new pastime ‘fossickers’ please be careful when you say that, I’ve been struggling somewhat explaining that.
    I think the movie should have been ‘Make My Day’ buy me some Diamonds!!

    Love the houses but they appear a little away from the shops so I think we will pass on them plus I wouldn’t be able to get any use out of my bus pass.

    Although you did’nt see any Pineapples on the Pineapple Trail in Yeppoon you didn’t mention if you had seen any Emu’s in Emu Park, just saying….

    As you are getting closer to the end of your journey I’ve noticed you are getting somewhat selective, deciding not to visit Bobby Dazzler’s Cafe and instead frequenting Muggachinos.
    I would have thought its only right to try out both after all it could be while before you go back, and Bobby my now have an Inferiority complex….

    The East Coast monument marking the Tropic of Capricorn looks like a Bus Shelter, so I could use my Bus Pass after all…………..
    Seven weeks and counting, stay safe and keep Pootlinggggggg


    1. SheilaK Post author

      No diamonds Ged but an expert looked at our haul and we’ve got over 50 gemstones suitable for cutting and well over 200 sparkling sapphire and zircon chips that are either too small or not of a good enough quality for cutting. Not bad for the £30 we spent buying two bags of wash – not to mention the fun we had, especially when I found one the size of a peanut!! The expense will come in the cutting and setting stones in gold!!!



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