Having just traveled the width of the Nullarbor Plain in a little over five days we were in need of a hot shower and a relaxation session, however our new travel buddies had heard that Norseman had two fossicking sites open to the public and were keen to see what precious stones they could find. Always keen to try new things Ben and I accepted their kind offer and tagged along for the ride.
Fossicking is a term that refers to recreationally prospecting for gold, gems, precious stones and metals. Australia has a diverse wealth of gems, metals and minerals beneath its soil and it is perfectly legal to have a go at fishing some of it out yourself. There are restrictions placed on the amount of material you can move per day and limits on the use of motorised machinery however armed with a shovel and a sieve as well as a license in the states in which the past time is regulated, you can try your luck and find almost anything.
Our first experience of fossicking was relatively fruitless, the first site we visited was full of various agates and although full of a myriad of colours wasn’t particularly exciting. The rock had been broken up and sorted a number of times and we were left with small broken shards that were of no use to the professional fossicker. From here we walked over to the nearby salt lake that was currently dry and started to dig down into the mud for Gypsum crystals. Unfortunately luck was not on our side, as we dug our hole filled with water, it appeared that we were digging at the wrong time of year. Not to be deterred we vowed to attempt fossicking again on our travels and headed into town to find a hot shower and a tasty meal.