Frosty's Fossicking Frolics

Bellata Agate.

Tuesday 1st October 2013
Fossicking for Agate at Bellata.

It was a bloody awful night, our coolest time was just after midnight then it warmed up, consequently, we only had a sheet on. Marg got up at 5:30am and I arose about 6:15am. We buggered about on the internet and watched Sunrise (Kochie is on leave), had brekky and left camp at 8:53am.

We have heard that there maybe some agate at Bellata about 50kms south of Moree on the Newell Hwy, that's why we are staying 2 nights at this caravan park. On the way out, I asked at the Office about agate at Bellata, the girls didn't know and said our best bet was to ask the locals. I'm sure that I am not the first person to ask about fossicking at Bellata, anyway, he drove out the CP and headed south along the Newell, there was a constant stream of trucks sitting on 95 - 100kph, so I sat behind a truck and enjoyed the drive for the 51kms to Bellata.

On the way, I thought Plan A would be to visit the Caravan park and ask them where we could fossick. We arrived in downtown Bellata and pulled up in front of the Caravan Park (Co-Ords -29.912818, 149.792542). It appears a tad worse for wear, it is overgrown, you can just make out the awning slabs, the gate is chained up and it looks crap. I don't think that it has seen a caravan for awhile. Plan A just went out the window.

We quickly came up with Plan B, drive out to the quarry on the East side of town. As we were driving there, a car approached us from behind, so I pulled over to let it pass, it promptly turned into the golf club, so we followed it. As the lady got out, I asked her about fossicking, she said that look for red gravel, that will be your best bet. She also said, check out the road leading into Palmerston Quarry (opposite the cemetery), but do not go over the fence it's private property, as previous fossickers have left gates open etc.

We drove up the road to the gates of Palmerston Quarry (Co-Ords -29.919685, 149.822503) (it also looks disused), parked and did an 'emu parade' along the road towards the main road. We ended up with a 'woollies bag' full of stones. Some of the stones are broken, but should be cuttable and some need cutting to see if they are any good. We thought as we are in Bellata, to visit the other quarry (Co-Ords -29.891755, 149.736445) on the west side of town. We did a quick look, they appeared a lot smaller than what we already have, as we were happy with our haul from Palmerston Quarry, we headed back to camp in Moree, but on the way we topped up with fuel, arriving at 12:05pm and it was hot (30.8°).

We turned on the Air Cond and sat inside and played on our computers. About 2pm, we changed into our togs and walked over to the Artesian pools. We went straight to the cool big (30meters) pool, it took a few seconds to acclimatise, but it was enjoyable. As we frolicked in the pool, we watched the thunderstorm approach, it was a big black front, so after the big pool we went into the 34° pool and eventually walked back to the fiver, just before the rains arrived. The winds blew gusting to 83kph at 3:30pm, we are located next door to the Moree Airport. Currently, the main front has blown over and it is raining and the temperature has dropped to 17.5°.

Dinner will be pies followed by watching Big Brother.

Tomorrow we are off to Peak Hill about 447kms. A big day by our standards.

Little Gem Van Park, Bellata appears CLOSED.

Little Gem Van Park, Bellata appears CLOSED.

Little Gem Van Park, Bellata appears CLOSED.

Palmerston Quarry - No Entry.

The gravel road from the Quarry to the Berrigal Creek Road.

Our haul, sorted, but unknown until we cut them.

Bellata,NSW - Agate.