Mount Shadwell & Mortlake Fossicking Trip October 2013

Another successful field trip was arranged and participated with much enthusiasm to Mt Shadwell, Morlake for Peridot by members on the weekend of the 26-27 October.

Our field trip officer Margaret put in a lot of due care, organisation and preparation for this field trip with emails out to all members to advise of the upcoming trip and reminders to all just prior and was rewarded with a good attendance of 16 members.


Specimen by Troy Hixon.

As Mt Shadwell is one of our tried and true fossicking sites most of us knew our way with blindfolds on and only a few of the newer members needed direction. Meeting at the Mortlake Caravan park on the Saturday morning, we soon gathered in a small corium around Chris and Alex’s camp fire to keep the chill out and once Alan from the Warrnambool club made an appearance and gave us all a few pointers we set off for the quarry, Erica almost missed the convoy as we were pulling out she pulled in and luckily hooked up with us quickly.


Specimen by Troy Hixon.

Members of the Ballarat, Warrnambool and Hamilton clubs also had field trips scheduled for the day and as the quarry is quite large there was plenty of room for all. A few more instructions delivered by Alan in reference to which areas were out of bounds and it wasn’t long before our fluoro vests were on and with hammers and buckets in hand we scattered to the four corners of the quarry in search of our prey.

It was a great day weather wise not too hot for swinging hammers and with just a light breeze a few very light showers in the afternoon but nothing that any one took any notice of. It was hard to pick the best rocks to attack with such a plethora on offer all around. Our members certainly stood out with the fluoro’s on and made it easy to spot any of them quickly, it was great to see.


Specimen by Troy Hixon.

Gavin had picked up a new hammer and was taking orders for several more for members of both Castlemaine and Ballarat clubs as well as our own. It is nice to share and we are always happy to help out others as we can.

As per normal the Peridot was as elusive as ever but we kept up the hunt and Troy’s daughter Bianca managed a good find that is of a cut able size. Terri Lyn and Alex scoured the driveways and came up with a few precious pieces and Gavin wandered off up a hill on his own and came back a while later with a bomb the size of his fist that looks to have a far few cutters or at least potential for them to be if he can get them out without shattering them.

Overall a great day’s find. Around the 3.30-4 o’clock mark we all started to drift off some members that only drove up for the day headed back to Melbourne (Troy, David and Erica) with our farewells and good wishes for the drive home. The rest of us returned to our relevant caravan parks to enjoy dinner and a few quiet drinks before falling into bed.


Specimen by Troy Hixon.

Sunday morning we again meet up at the Mortlake Caravan Park and a smaller group of us headed to Childers cove in search of Australites. The scenery was breathtaking along the coast and Alex our visiting pommy was in awe of our rugged costal region.

With a long drive ahead of us and the Australite not being easily located (even if we knew what we were looking for) we fossicked on the beach areas for a short while before we all headed back home.

A big thanks you to Margaret for her efforts in arranging the trip and also to Alan from the Warrnambool club for taking the time out to open up the quarry and sharing with us his vast knowledge of the area and showing us his work that is now immortalised in the pages of the latest addition of Gemstones in Victoria by Bill Birch and Dermot Henry.