Field trip to Gladstone - Mt Cameron Fossicking Area, 2 Oct 2021

Hi everyone,

The next PMAT field trip will take place at the Gladstone Fossicking Area on Saturday 2 October 2021. We haven’t gone to Gladstone since October 2017, so it will be nice to re-visit the area and see if we can find some nice smoky quartz.

Since we will be in a designated Fossicking Area, no Prospecting License is needed. The Fossicking Area is along the south side of Waterhouse Road, west of Gladstone. The main collecting areas are Mt Cameron Creek, Ah Kaw Creek and Sextus Creek. For more information visit the MRT website. There is also a post on the Fossicking Area and Mt Cameron smokies here.

There is no cost to attend, as long as you’re a PMAT member. If you wish to join, you are welcome to pay your membership in person on the day.

The main material found in the area is smoky quartz, with occasional spectacular pieces over 30 cm long. There is also topaz, cassiterite and gold. Most of the workings are dry, so digging and raking rather than panning and sieving. There is a possibility to detect some gold along Fly-by-Night Creek, where there are historic alluvial gold workings.

Stones_20150627_001-300x225 Stones_20150627_002-300x225

This is what the main material in the area (smoky quartz) can look like. It is not too hard to find good facet-grade smoky quartz.

Where and when?

We will meet at the camping and toilets area behind the Gladstone Hall (behind the pub) for a short General Meeting at 9:00 am on Saturday the 2th of October 2021. After the meeting and official PMAT business is over, we will head out to the Fossicking Area which is a few hundred meters away.

Hazards and terrain

The area has some abandoned mining works, and contains a few open shafts and open cut workings, particularly east of Fly-by-Night Creek.

The terrain is scrubby and visibility can be difficult. If you don’t have a GPS then it’s best to stay near the creeks. Granite faces can be slippery in the rain.

Where to stay and what to bring

Camping for a few vans / tents is available behind the Gladstone Hall, which has some basic facilities. There is a lot of camping at the fossicking area west of the town. The main paddock has an entrance approximately 1.4 km from the Chaffey Street intersection along Waterhouse Rd. If you drive past a farmhouse you’ve gone too far. I will try to get there early Friday afternoon and put up a PMAT sign at the entrance.

The pub has a few rooms for hire and there is a service station that also serves as a small general store.

The main useful tools if looking for smokies are buckets and either a pick or a rake or both. Much of the material is in piles of ‘forkings’, the oversize that was removed from tin sluices.

Any questions, please ask here.


Never been there. Looking forward to it!


I won’t be able to make it due to work😭.
There’s some interesting history up there too, this Chinese pig oven was just past the YZ workings from memory.


Count me in keen as just one nice piece and I will be stoked :smiley::rofl::rofl::sunglasses::ok_hand:

Hi Miguel
I’m new to the group and am coming on the Gladstone trip to sign up and meet everyone


Super keen to come along! Might try make a long weekend of it! Try for some Weld Sapphires while I’m up that way!!


I was up there this weekend, so I took a couple of shots of the area we will be camping in.

The entrance is hard to see. It is on the south side of the road, and the easiest way to find it is to be on the lookout about 50 m past a sign saying there is a right-hand curve and slowing the speed limit to 55 k/h (I think, the speed might be different).

This is what the entrance looks like from the road, travelling westwards (towards Bridport):

There are some small ruts at the entrance. They should not be too much of an issue for most cars, and may be drier next month. They were not deep:

Finally, this is the paddock we will camp in. The gully behind it is one of the main collection locations:

There are more sheltered sites in the scrub further up the dirt road, but the road gets worse as you go up the hill and you may need high clearance.

If you have any trouble finding the site on the Saturday morning, I will make sure that someone (probably me) is at the meeting site behind the pub at 9:00 am to show you the way. There will be a PMAT signpost at the entrance to the camping area.


I thought I would mention the water quality in creeks coming off Mt Cameron. If camping I would not rely on the sparkling little creeks for my water supply. Historic tin mining areas are known for heavy metal contamination of streams. Picturesque Little Blue Lake at South Mt Cameron has signs advising against drinking the water.

Good on you Miguel for checking out the area.


Good to mention, though the creeks on the northside are often dry.

Same goes for a lot of the goldfields too, with mercury.


wont be able to make it ,recovering from operation

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Hi all
Coming to sign up to be a member on the Gladstone trip and was wanting to check the membership price was still $20 for a single?

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Yes, still the same. Look forward to meeting you there!


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