Trip to Weldborough POSTPONED to 29 Oct 2022

Hi everyone,

The creeks are too high and the Hotel campground too wet to use. We’re cancelling the trip. See you in Sabbath Creek


Our next field trip will be to Weldborough on Saturday 2022-10-21T22:00:00Z2022-10-22T06:00:00Z

The meeting place will be at the Weld River fossicking area at 9:00 am Saturday 22nd October. As usual, there is no cost for the trip, but it is only open to members. If you’re interested in joining PMAT, you’re more than welcome to come along and join up on the day.

The Weld River has produced good sapphires and topaz, as well as occasional chrysoberyl over the years, and given recent rainfall should be a good place to spend the day. Other nearby options include Main Creek, Black Creek and the Frome River.

Getting there

The Weld River Fossicking Area is in Moorina, approximately 15 minutes from Derby and 1 hr from St Helens. Drive into Frome Road opposite the Moorina Golf Club, until you get to the bridge over the Weld River in a few hundred meters. The fossicking area extends upstream a few km from the bridge to the first gorge.

Where to stay

There is a small camping area at the Weld River Fossicking Area, but the word is that squatters have set up permanent camps in there.

There is a council-run caravan park in Branxholm.

There is free camping at the back of the Weldborough Hotel, with toilet facilities and paid showers. The Hotel serves meals, though if you’d like to eat at the pub, it would be wise to book early: Contact Us - Weldborough Hotel

I will be staying at the Weldborough Hotel Friday night and Saturday night.

What to bring

The water my well have started to get noticeably colder, so it would be good to bring either waders or a wetsuit in order to stay warm for extended periods in the water. For fossicking for gemstones, your main tools will be a long-handled shovel and a pair of gem sieves. Other useful bits of gear include panning dishes, scoops, and containers for your gemstones.

Nowadays using a small river sluice is allowed, and Black Creek has a small amount of gold in it, so if you’re planning to head out there, bring your pan or sluice.

Fossicking options

There will likely be people heading to other locations either on the Saturday, or those who stay overnight, on the Sunday. I will be around camping at Weldborough Hotel from Thursday onwards, so if you come early I’d be happy to show you around.

Trip rules

For safety reasons there will be a register on site. Those heading out for the day will be asked to sign out, and indicate where (generally) they headed to. Please sign in again when they return safely so we know not to come looking for you.


Is the Moorinna camp ground open, I called into there a few months ago and it’s recovered well, but a bit on the small side.

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Thanks @dhawley, it sounds like the pub will open in October.

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Sounds like a great trip. Does anyone know if it’s worth having a go at detecting gold in warrentina?

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I’d say no, but not because it might not be there, just that access is not great, or at least it wasn’t. Thick.

If you’re staying for the weekend, it’s definitely worth taking a drive around and having a look to see if there’s fresh ground anywhere, maybe.


Well, it looks like possibly major flooding this week with ~200 mm forecast for the NE highlands, including the Ringarooma catchment. Not sure how this might affect us:

If the weather stays dry after, campsites might be less of a quagmire, and the rivers might have gone down enough to get a good dig in. It’ll be great for the rest of the summer; we haven’t had a really good flood up there for about 10 years.

At the moment I’m considering all possibilities, but we probably won’t make a call until we see the forecast at the start of next week. Given how good the fossicking gets after a good flood, my preferred option if we can’t make next week would be to postpone to another weekend as soon as possible.

On a separate note, Weldborough Hotel are now open and it is still free camping with coin-operated showers. If you want a meal at the pub, make sure you book ASAP as they have limited capacity.

Anyway, we’ll keep an eye out on how much rain actually comes down!


Ok, the weather is looking like it won’t cooperate, with more flooding forecast for the weekend.

We’re pushing the trip by a week, to Saturday 29th of October.

See you there!


Thanks for the update Miguel👍

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Check with the pub, there’s a birthday party there that weekend with heaps of people camping there. Could be a bit rowdy!

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Thanks, will do. It’s a hard one, most of the committee is unavailable for the following couple of weekends. There’s also the option of staying at Branxholm if they have space. Will check and report tomorrow


Thanks Miguel,hopefully see you 29th

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Some happy snaps just to keep all you fellow fossickers keen :grinning:
Managed a day out Weldborough way in between floods, work and more rain!
Water levels still up, but workable, some good wash layers in shallow gravels
Good luck!


Nice one! A couple of those topaz look like good cutters too.


Thanks, yes some of the topaz is really clear and solid, some crystal pieces.
Keen for some more ice-blue ones: they’re my favourite

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Hi everyone,

We’re keeping an eye on the weather to see if it will be safe to get into a creek on Saturday. At this stage the forecast keeps changing significantly every few hours, so please check back here before heading out to see if the trip is still on.

If it looks like the creeks will be too high to prospect safely, we will pull the plug.

Hopefully see you on Saturday!


My rain Bucket is full!!:umbrella:

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G’day, are we still on for this weekend’s trip?

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Hi @PDuce, we’ll make a call today.


Hi everyone,

I’ve had a look at the forecasts and had a chat to the Weldborough Hotel.

The forecast is good for Saturday, but still raining today and tomorrow, which might leave the creeks a bit touch-and-go. My go-to flood gauge, which is on the Ringarooma at Moorina, was washed away during last week’s flood. Other nearby gauges (Ringarooma at Branxholm and George River at St Helens) are still showing fairly high river levels.

Weldborough Hotel have advised that their camping area is not recommended due to the state of the grass and mud, so people will have to organise their own accommodation.

Given this I’ not sure we should be going ahead. I’m really keen to get in the creek because the floods will have brought down good stuff, and I reckon the fossicking is going to be outstanding for a bit.

I’m happy to still head out on Saturday if anyone wants to chance it, knowing that it might be a wasted trip. Otherwise I’m already committed for the next few weekends, so we would have to pull the plug altogether and our next trip would be Luina/Sabbath Creek in November.

Any thoughts?


So what happens if the water levels are too high will we be still able to dig?