Rubyvale Travel Guide

  • Initial wash in the drum - girl is now 16!
    Initial wash in the drum - girl is now...
    by thedouglas
  • Family specking
    Family specking
    by thedouglas
  • Local character
    Local character
    by thedouglas

Rubyvale Things to Do

  • Pat's Gems

    This park is in Rubyvale - and you can come and look around, pay to have a fossick, buy some rough or cut sapphire. TBC

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  • Watch "Buddies" before you visit the...

    The first time we visited the gemfields, we were lucky enough to be in town when the Australian megablockbuster movie "The Buddies" was being filmed - omigoodness, it was made in 1983! This pic shows the Rubyvale pub which was built for the movie, and it was still in town the last time we visited. We stayed in the local accommodation with the movie...

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  • Gemfest

    This is a great carnival held in the gemfields in August of every year. There is a showcase of stones and jewellery - events and activities, and a great few days in the bush.At this time of year, miners, merchants and traders all come to town to sell, sway, barter and buy stone, either faceted or in the rough, or jewellery pieces. There are...

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  • Camping and Fossicking

    Refer to the map and checkout the locations where camping and fossicking are permitted:Big Bessie or Graves Hill near SapphireReward and Middle Ridge near RubyvaleGlenalbaTomahawk Creek - a bit further out, but said to be a good place to find the elusive golden yellowsNo facilities are available at any of these locations. They are strictly...

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  • Have a go at mining yourself

    You need a licence, the right tools, a bit of knowledge about what to look for - and off you go!Pick and shovel, rake, sieve and gloves are the basic implements. But you also need a means of washing the rough for sorting. I alway take a little spraybottle as well - as the water is immediately dirty after the first wash. Then I sort through the...

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  • Visit the Rubyvale Gem Gallery

    This beautiful display centre and store was opened in 1988, initially to sell cut and faceted stone by the owner. Set up in one of the town's original little cottages, built in 1914, it now houses a beautiful range of locally mined stones, designed and crafted jewellery, and a display of some of the more unique gems mined in the area.

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Rubyvale Local Customs

  • Character in the Bush

    There's nowhere like the Australian bush to turn up a character or three. One example from Rubyvale is Sparrow Pacey - who has been or was in the gemfields for about 50 years. After a disagreement with the publican of the Anakie pub in the early 1070's, he stormed off, got a stick of gelignite (as you do) and promptly blew up the front of the...

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  • They Make 'em unique in the Aussie Bush!

    There are a lot of characters at the gemfields, and plenty of stories of their mateship and shenanigans.

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Rubyvale Warnings and Dangers

  • Be prepared for the heat!

    The best time to visit the Central Queensland Gemfields is undoubtedly in winter - when it does get cold at night, and the days start out warm - but you'll be stripped back to short sleeves and less for males, by lunchtime. It is still warm when the sun is out.Winter is ideal - or general rule of thumb is March to October.The locals will tell you...

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  • Watch out for abondoned mines and shafts

    If you do go out to one of the bigger fields for a fossick, be mindful of the fact that there are plenty of old shafts and tunnels still there. Plenty of sprained ankles and big frights from careless trudging across the fields.

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Rubyvale What to Pack

  • thedouglas's Profile Photo
    Exposure in the heat

    by thedouglas Written Aug 26, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Old old old - but substantial and protective - cover for arms and legs - good boots and thick socks - and a really good hat with a wide brim.

    Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Suncream - moisturiser - cleanser - nail brush! - and plenty of handwash towels

    Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: Take a tarp also - as its nice to have some protection from the unforgiving sun. The fields are denuded of trees, and there is no natural shade to be had. BUT - a word of warning - don't sort through your stones under the tarp - everything looks blue! or the colour of your cover!

    Miscellaneous: If you aren't taking your own tools - and most people don't - easy to hire up there - take some cheap spray bottles, as this makes it easier to sort through the final wash - looking for that bit of colour!

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Road Trip
    • Family Travel

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Rubyvale Favorites

  • Methods for Fossicking and What to Look...

    Specking - on the ground is a favoured activity in the gemfields - especially after the rain. There are many stories about amazing stones turning up in freshly rained on ground. You do develop the habit of walking around with an eye to the ground up there - looking for the elusive glint!Specking on old sieves heaps, which are everywhere and...

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  • Wear old but protective clothing

    Don't take good clothes to the gemfields EVER - they will never look the same again. The dirt just gets in! If you do decide to have a fossick, make sure you have a good hat, boots, long sleeves and trousers, to avoid the inevitible cuts and scratches - and general ruination of your city honed body. Oh - and, girls, don't get your nails done before...

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  • What you need to go fossicking

    Firstly, you need to obtain a fossicker's permit either from the gemfields, or Department of Mining and Energy offices in Emerald or Brisbane.Most of the tools can be readily hired at the fields:Pick and shovel, if you are going to turn over virgin soilRakeSieveGlovesA wash drum - a 44 gallon drum cut in half in which to "wash" and then sieve and...

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