Saturday 3rd July 2010
Day 8 - Glen Innes to Inverell - Grand distance of 70kms.

This morning at Glen Rest CP, my outside sensor showed MINUS 3.6 and it had stopped raining overnight.

As we were only driving 70kms to Inverell, we didn't want to leave before 10am. I had left all the packing up for today, as we had heaps of time to spare. Just before we were about to leave I went and said our goodbyes to Ross (Glen Rest TP owner), while chatting, I told him about Gary Stratton Caravan Park website ( and showed him, his caravan park. He was impressed.

On the way out of Glen Innes, we stopped at the Dump Point and emptied the 'shitter', then we had a very pleasant drive to Inverell. The weather was cool and sunny. Yes, sunny it was beautiful. We arrived at Fossicker's Rest TP at 11:10am, and were given a choice of about 10 sites to choose from, we selected a site that was in the sun. The only downside here, is that I couldn't find the 'bird' (satellite) for out satellite TV, but it wasn't a major drama, as we had Digital and Analogue and ended up with all the free to air channels.

We drove into downtown Inverell about 1:30pm to visit the Info Centre, so we drove all through the main streets of the CBD, there is a Woolies, Coles, Target Country, Mitre 10 and heaps of other shops. We arrived at the Info Centre about 2:15pm and to our surprise, it was shut. It closes at 2pm on Saturday and Sunday, so we will be there tomorrow morning and check out the fossicking areas. Back at camp, I did this, as I watched Discover Downunder and What's Up Down Under.

Tomorrow, we visit the Info Centre early and then go fossicking.

Sunday 4th July 2010
Day 9 - Inverell - Fossicking about.

This morning at Fossicker's Rest TP, my outside sensor showed MINUS 8.5°, as I turned the heater on at 6:30am.

The black tonneau cover on the mighty Navara is white with frost, but the sun is appearing through the trees and with a forecast top of 17°,it should be a great day.

We plan to visit the Info Centre and find out where the fossicking areas are, so we will go do some fossicking.

Ok, we got to the Info Centre about 10am and picked up a few brochures and the lady there showed us a number of fossicking sites, she sort of hinted not to go to the free fossicking areas, as everyone goes there. So we decided to go to 7 Oaks fossicking site, this is a private property and costs $20 each, so we paid our $40 and spent 3 hours there and our end result was 8 blue sapphires with 1 big enough to be a cutter. Peter the owner told us of a site which has crystals and Brian who is camping at 7 Oaks, told us of another site that has quartz crystals, so it was well worth going there. After leaving 7 Oaks, we decided to go and check out Peter's crystal site, we got there about 2:30pm and after approx 1.5 hours we had found about half a cup of crystals. It's a small world because there was another couple there and they were our neighbours from the Caravan park.
Back at camp, we are both buggered, we had Maccas for dinner at 5pm and I am now ready for bed. Oh yes, the weather today was great, sunny all day getting to about 16°.

Tomorrow, we plan to re-visit the crystal site, then go to the Quartz crystal site.

At Fossicker's Rest CP, Inverell.

7 Oaks Sapphire Fossicking area.

7 Oaks Sapphire Fossicking area.

7 Oaks Sapphire Fossicking area.

7 Oaks Sapphire Fossicking area.

7 Oaks Sapphire Fossicking area.

Monday 5th July 2010
Day 10 - Inverell - Fossicking about.

This morning at Fossicker's Rest TP, my outside sensor showed MINUS 5.7°, as I turned the heater on at 6:30am.

We went to Tingha Sands this morning and found about a bucket of quartz crystals (clear and smoky). It was great fun, it costs $10 each and well worth it. I will post some photos after Marg has finished sorting the crystals. We stayed about 2 hours and then returned to camp, where we cleaned ourselves and did some washing. Thank God or your own diety, for our gumboots, they are magic. After lunch, we drove into the Info Centre and bought 3 bags of wash and then did some shopping for the next couple of days, until we reach Springsure. On the way back to camp, we filled up with diesel and also went to the carwash, as the mighty Navara was a tad dirty.

Back at camp again, I started packing up in preparation for our 130kms drive to Moree tomorrow. While packing up our neighbours called in to check out what we found fossicking and also showed us what they found. When we return here next March, there are a few fossicking areas that we will visit.

Tomorrow, we drive the 130kms to Moree for an overnighter at Gwydir CP again and those thermal pools.

Fossicking at Tingha Sands.

Not our biggest.

Fossicking at Tingha Sands.

Tuesday 6th July 2010
Day 11 - Inverell to Moree - 141kms.

This morning at Fossicker's Rest TP, my outside sensor showed plus 8.4° at 7:00am.

It was a prick of a morning, as I had to pack up in the rain and I wasn't happy, Jan at all as I got wet. We left Inverell in the rain clouds and drove at a speed to meet the conditions, which weren't treacherous or anything like that, just wet. We stopped at 2 Rest Areas along the way to Moree and as we got to approx 30kms from Moree when the wet stopped and patches of blue sky appeared. We arrived at Gwydir CP at 11:00am, setup camp and by 11:30 we were lazing about in the 39° thermal pool for a 'cool' 90 minutes, it was great. Around 2pm, I was over at the laundry, drying our towels, when Marg came over with a guy. It was Steve from the Caravanners Forum, I had tried to see him twice before, but each time we were here he wasn't to be seen. So we had a chat at our fiver and more importantly, Steve showed me his fiver, he is one very clever guy, his fiver is bloody brilliant, he had built it himself.

As I was writing this there was a knock on the door about 5pm, it was Colin and Julie, who had popped in to have a chat and meet us. They are usually on Geezer Dave's forum. They are a lovely couple and Julie gave me some tips about where to stay on our way to Sapphire, she also told us about the Pillga Bore.

Tomorrow, we head for Springsure, stopping at Moonie for an overnighter.

Views from Nancy Coulton Lookout near Moree.

Views from Nancy Coulton Lookout near Moree.

Views from Nancy Coulton Lookout near Moree.

Wednesday 7th July 2010
Day 12 - Moree to Condamine - 316kms.
Disaster Day.

This morning at Gwydir CP, my outside sensor showed plus 1.1° at 7:15am.

I was up and showered by 7:15am, a bit cool but dry. It didn't take long to pack up, as we didn't unpack much, basically only power and water and inside. We called into the camping shop on the way through Moree to buy another 'flat cloth hose' as our second one has two pin holes. Anyway after parting with a $110 I walked out with a brand new hose and plastic holder.

We stopped at Caltex Goondiwindi for diesel and then headed off along the Leichhardt hwy, what a shit of a highway, so bouncy. About a 100kms from Goondiwindi, I heard a scraping noise, I was only 500m from a Rest Area, so pulled in and checked under the car and van. There was something hanging down under the van, upon further inspection, it was one of the two brackets that hold the fresh water tank in place. As the tank was nearly full about 150litres, the tank had dropped down about 3inches disconnecting the hose to the water pump, the bracket had broken a weld. So I emptied the tank to make it as light as possible and then I made a rope sling between the 2 axles to support the empty water tank. This worked well and we drove another 100 odd kms to Condamine, until the rain stopped us for the day. I stopped a few times to check the sling and everything was holding together well. We are not sure when to get it fixed, as it is more an inconvenience than a problem, we can't use our water tank, we can only use mains pressure in Caravan parks.

Tomorrow, we are still heading to Springsure, probably stopping at Banana or Moura for an overnighter.

Nice legs.

Hard at work.

Move over. Road Hog!!

Thursday 8th July 2010
Day 13 - Condamine to Moura - 333kms.

This morning at Condamine CP, my outside sensor showed plus 2.8° at 6:50am.

I was up and showered by 7:00am, a bit cool but overcast. It didn't take long to pack up, as we didn't unpack much, basically only power and water and inside. One of the overnighters came over and started talking about the mighty Navara, as he has an older model and wanted to know about ours. So I bored with my knowledge, that will teach him to ask me.
We left camp in drizzle and drove at a suitable speed to the conditions. It was only 30kms to Miles, so we filled up with diesel and away we went, next stop was at Taroom for a smoko, after that we stopped at Banana for lunch and diesel and then drove the 19kms to Moura CP, which is a mining town, but the CP is great it probably has about 10 overnight sites, we are on a drive thru beside the pool, strange that no one is in the pool. We setup camp including setting up the Satellite dish and this time I found the bird within 10 seconds, while at Inverell, I spent about an hour and then gave up, I think it was the trees at Inverell. Marg and I spent the afternoon in the fiver, on the internet with the telly on with light drizzle falling.
2 overnighters have just arrived, so we will have neighbours, apart from 100 miners.

Tomorrow, we are booked in at the Springsure RH.

Us at Moura CP.

Moura CP.

Us at Moura CP.

Friday 9th July 2010
Day 14 - Moura to Springsure - 220kms.

This morning at Moura CP, my outside sensor showed plus 7.5° at 6:45am.

I was up and showered by 7:00am, a bit cool but overcast. It didn't take long to pack up, as we didn't unpack much, basically only power and water and inside. Our 2 neighbours were packed and gone by 7:15am, our other neighbour, a female travelling with Molly, the Labrador, came over to ask if she could use our power, I said "OK", as long as I can cuddle Molly.
We left about 8:30am and had a stop at Bauhini and at Rolleston. Marg is running out of smokes, Longbeach Finesse, well, no bastard stocks them, they stock 5 other models of Longbeach, but not the one which she smokes. So she is rationing her smokes.

We arrived at Springsure RH and CP about 11:45am and setup camp including the Satellite Dish, it worked first time. About 2pm, we headed off to the Lazza Rock area about 25kms from camp. After fossicking for about 2 hours we had found a fair amount of Labradorite but mainly small in size. On the way back to camp, we had to buy a slab of VB and Marg has weakened and bought some Horizon smokes, which are similar to her usual smokes. Back at the van, time for a chilled refresher or two.

Tomorrow, we are back at the Lazza Rock site hoping to find a larger specimen.

Saturday 10th July 2010
Day 15 - Springsure - Lazza Rock fossicking.

This morning at Springsure RH & CP, my outside sensor showed plus 8.3° at 7:15am.

I didn't sleep that well last night, I was too hot with my sleeping bag, so about midnight, I put on my 2 blankets, then about 4am, I was cold, so put my sleeping bag back on. It is getting warmer, so all is good. We got up about 7:30am ish and had breakky then after getting our internet fix, we headed off to the Lazza Rock fossicking area, arriving about 9:15.
We drove along the track just near the old rusted tractor and parked about 200m off the 'main' road, well gravel track actually. We fossicked along the dry creek bed for about 2.5 hours and found about 20 pieces of Lazza Rock, but only small. Back at camp about 1pm, we filled up with air and diesel, in readiness for tomorrows 120kms to Sapphire. We also ordered hamburgers for lunch and I can recommend the BP Burger at $10.95 is dear, but bloody beautiful.

This afternoon is spent back at camp, doing this and watching the V8 supercars from Townsville.

I am wearing my shorts for the first time this trip, it is great, a very pleasant 18° outside at 3pm.

Tomorrow, we are off to Sapphire for 8 nights.

Heading from Moura to Springsure.

Marg the fossil or it is the fossicker.

Marg the fossicker.

Still at work.

One of the many, treacherous river crossings. But we made it.

us at Springsure Roadhouse & Caravan Park.

*2010 - Index page*

Heading to Sapphire.