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Views From O'Briens Creek and Mt Surprise

If you haven't been to Mt Surprise or O'Briens Creek before, here are some photos to give you an idea what its like.


Tin shed out at the claim

This is the old tin miners shed at the claim out at O'Brien's Creek where we take people on tour to dig topaz. It would have been quite comfy in its day and even now is a welcome respite after slogging it out all morning in the sun digging topaz.


Morning Tea

Morning tea is supplied. By 10:30 everyone is pretty knackered and tea, coffee, and Pam's famous homemade biscuits and muffins are the go.


Down the track

From the old tin shed we take the track down to O'Briens Creek to were we will be digging topaz. Its beautiful bush around here with amazing old pink granite hills which the geologist say are over 300 million years old. The topaz were formed at this time and that makes them some pretty old stone.


Me digging a big hole

That's me digging a big hole. I had been working on this hole for about two weeks and moved alot of dirt and rocks. Found a few nice topaz which made it all worthwhile. There is something strangely satisfying about moving big rocks with a crowbar. The idea is that topaz, being a heavy stone, works its way underneath big rocks and gets caught in crevices. So to find them you've got to move the big stuff... there's no easy digging here!


A happy digger

Here's a fellow that I took on tour and a few others in the background. We're all in the creekbed which is very rocky and now full of big holes.


Up the track

Heading back up the track to the tinshed.


Group of happy diggers

Here's a group of happy diggers after a day of hard labour. That's me on the far right with my trusty crowbar. They all did pretty well that day and everyone found some nice topaz.


Digging in O'Briens Creek

Digging for topaz in O'Briens Creek. Note the sieve and stand and the piles of sand. Moved alot of sand that day for not many topaz. Some days are like that... still, it was a Wednesday and it was alot more fun then being stuck in an office like I used to be programming computers.


O'Briens Creek Campground

Great kombi that! Here it is at the O'Briens Creek campground on the banks of Elizabeth Creek. This is a pretty lush spot and during the winter season, from May thru August its quite busy. People setup camp for up to three or four months and each day they get up at the crack of dawn and head off into the hills looking for topaz and they're back by lunchtime before it gets too hot.


Evening at O'Briens Creek Campground

Evening at the O'Briens Creek campground on the banks of Elizabeth Creek. Just about to get the fire going. Its bush camping at its best with all the mod-cons, like that drop toilet in the background. My friend Flo would be horrified. :-)


Sunset at O'Briens Creek Campground

Sunset on the banks of Elizabeth Creek. Its a good time of the day, dinner is cooking on the fire, a cold beer in hand... wouldn't want to be anywhere else. Looking forward to another day chasing those topaz.


Banks of the Einsleigh River

Here's another great camping spot on the banks of the Einsleigh River. Good deep swimming hole... I don't think there were any crocs.


The mighty blue kombi

Me and the mighty blue kombi livin' the life!


My tinshed

My tinshed... its not much to look at but its quite comfy inside.


The sign

That's Pete and Pam erecting the sign that I had just finished painting the day before. That's Rocky the rockhound in the foreground.


The shop

The shop... Mt Surprise Gems.


Come topaz digging tomorrow

So gear up for a dirty weekend and come topaz digging!







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