My first trip of the year, fossicking. It’s early summer and hot, hot like a heatwave. I met up with my friend Kevin at his house in the Bunya Mountains. I’m keeping the exact location secret, because there is a creek, I’ve found gold in it already. I just haven’t had time to explore it properly yet.
We planned to get going early in the morning, to try to beat the heat. As the Sun set on the day, we were treated to an electrical show, playing across the darkening sky. There was not enough rain in it to wet the ground.
Friday morning was already humid at 6 am. Gear packed in the 4×4 and we are away. The entry to the fossicking area has good gravel roads, well maintained, but on entry to the fossicking area proper, good extreme 4×4 tracks, would be a more appropriate description of the roads.
This is an example of the roads inside, not for inexperienced drivers. Most of the creek crossing areas are heavily eroded, well beyond what we were willing to try. Even if the vehicle survived the two or three metre drop into the dry creek, you would then have to drive over boulders and up a similar size bank on the opposite side of the creek. To dangerous for a single vehicle to try.
We managed to get to Yarraman Creek, this creek bed is easily 1oo metres across. So this would be the spot to try our luck. There were two other groups camped on the bank of the creek, one a family with young kids, the other a couple of fossickers. the fossickers weren’t interested in talking. I picked a spot in the middle of the creek, and started to move rocks aside. I selected a spot surrounded by large boulders, the area in between them forming a triangle just large enough to get into.
Out went the larger rocks on the surface, then the pick went to work loosening the buried stone under the gravel. That was discarded as well. I panned out a load of red gravel, for no gold. Things were not looking good.
Digging deeper is always the best option when no gold turns up where you expect it to. Maybe the gold has sunk deeper into the ground. Better to explore that idea first, than to give up, yelling “There’s nothing here…”
200mm down through the red gravel, I hit a layer of grey gravel, some clay is mixed through this layer as well. Tree roots spit the hole into two sections. The right hand side has a small crevice between two larger rocks, gold appears in the pan from this crevice.
The left side of the hole still produces no gold. I haven’t found a hard bottom on the left to stop the gold from sinking, further into the creek bed. Back to the right side of the hole for more instant satisfaction. The right side has a large rock, giving a false bottom to the hole. Scraping another pan of gravel out , a small picker turns up. Happy days.
I was paying attention to the heat, getting thirsty, means you are already dehydrated. I might be onto some gold, but it’s time to go. Way to hot to keep digging and getting hotter.
I’ll be back to dig here again, when it cools off. We’re having a heatwave at the moment. Today the temperature hit 41 + degree centigrade, the tar melted out of the bitumen roads like water.
This is an old map of the 7 Mile Diggings near Nanango. You will need a 4×4 to get access to the good spots.