We have a couple of metal detectors thrown in the back of the Ute as part of our general Kit. We decided that we needed something to do – an interest, hobby or purpose so we wouldn’t go stark raving mad.
Hubbie didn’t want my hobby to become nagging at him; and I didn’t want Hubbies hobby to revolve around him drinking…. metal detecting fit the bill perfectly while giving us the possibility to (maybe) make some pocket money as we go.
Now days the metal detecting gold rush is starting to peter off but it can still draw people like a moth to a flame. We have been doing it on and off for a couple of years – going away for long weekends to our favorite spot at ‘Western Creek Station’. Some trips we found gold, some trips not – but we always had a ball catching up with other detectorists and the local gossip.
If your ever around the Forsyth / Georgetown Area and have a gold detector we highly recommend you drop in and spend a few days at Western Creek – I bet you’ll end up spending longer as Shirley makes you feel very welcome and the facilities are fantastic.
There are two flushing toilets as well as two showers with ample hot water provided by a wood burning ‘Choofa’. For those that don’t know what a Choofa is – ask google as this is way to technical for me and frankly as long as I’ve got hot water I don’t really care.
Finding gold isn’t the purpose behind our new lifestyle choice. The main purpose is to find an area of Australia we both love, so we can start the next chapter of our lives…. but until then finding some gold is a bonus.
Halls Creek Gold
By now you have probably read the fluff piece about Halls Creek (listed under People and Places) so you know where it is.
We are staying at the ‘Old Halls Creek Lodge’, about 15 km from Halls Creek today. As the Lodge is currently for sale it can only offer rudimentary facilities until a new owner can be found. If anyone out there is interested this place has unlimited potential.
As we are self-sufficient anyway, it didn’t stop us from taking advantage of the 4 hours of power when the generator is going; or the shower and toilet block even though only a few of the showers and toilets work. The Lodge might need some work but its still the best place to set up Base Camp with easy access to the gold fields.
We have been finding the odd piece of gold here and there, nothing to big and definitely not enough to live on.
Most of the gold we find is averaging about a gram or below, there have been a couple of bigger pieces – which are nice. You can see from the photo what the size of the nuggets are. I’m sure there are more seasoned detectorists who can find the larger ones but we are still learning and are happy just to find these.
For those who are wondering if this is all the gold we found – maybe or maybe not…. I’ll let you all keep guessing.
We only stayed on Crown Land – after exhausting all avenues to seek Pastoral permission. We didn’t mind staying on the Crown Land as we were finding gold.
If you spend the time to apply for the correct permits or seek permissions from the Mining Lease Holders you might be able to do far better. We have heard a few of the campers before us (earlier in the season) each found on average 6 oz of gold over a two month period. If you do come up this way definitely don’t go into any areas you don’t have written permission for as the fine is $150,000.
We have been in the Halls Creek Area for 3 weeks now and will be leaving in the 4th week. I’m finding the temperature is starting to rise – maybe if we got here earlier I would be willing to stay longer.
When we first got here at the beginning of August; the weather was fantastic – the day-time temp was around 27 to 30 with no humidity and very breezy conditions. The night-time temp was averaging about 6 with the late afternoon cooling down quick enough to start the fire at dust….. Beautiful. There were even a day it felt barely above 18 (due mostly to the wind) – I can remember having the fire going until lunchtime.
Now at the end of August the day-time temp. is 32 and the night-time temp about 15. This is still great weather but I know the build-up is around the corner and its only hotter and humid from here. Hubbie recons I’m a wooz… – he is loving the weather and is completely in his element. I love the cooler months and have no desire to experience Summer all year round.
So we struck a compromise and decided to travel south towards Marble Bar – ha.. ha….
As some of you might know Marble Bar is famous for being one of the hottest places in Australia…. but I recon I might have a week before I’m on Hubbies case again. After all it is roughly 750 km South West of Halls Creek and Inland from Port Headland on the coast – I suppose I’m about the find out.
Why Marble Bar – well its another gold area and I have always wanted to check out the Pilbara – the scenery is said to be striking. The Pilbara extends east of Port Headland and incorporates a large mining area – I think the main mining is for iron ore made famous by the Hancock’s; but as these facts are off the top of my head they are most likely wrong. Feel free to consult the ‘Great Oracle in the Sky’ (Google) for the correct answer.