This wee,k Top of the Town welcomes the Bribie Island Gem Club.
Always wanted to go fossicking but don’t know where to start? Here’s a couple of tips for days out among the rocks in the Stanthorpe area.
Swiper’s Gully is a peaceful site in the Passchendaele State Forest, to the north-east of Stanthorpe. Gem quality topaz and other gemstones and mineral can be found in shallow alluvial gravels in Swiper’s Gully. The topaz is commonly colourless but pale blue; yellow and green (rare) have been found. Generally the stones are waterworn but crystals with well-developed faces are not uncommon. You can also find quartz varieties rock crystal (clear) and smoky quartz along with rare garnet and zircon, and fragments of cassiterite.
The boundary of the site is clearly marked with brightly coloured pegs. Digging is permitted with hand tools only. Make sure you bring your own water. It is open to the public but you will need a fossicker’s licence from the Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre – $10.80 for a family for one month.
Another option is Allynblue Sapphires, a good day trip from Stanthorpe when combined with a picnic at Queen Mary Falls. Check them out on their Facebook page at