Gem Tree

21 09 2014

untitled-1323My catch phrase for many a place we’ve stayed is that “it’s a gem of a place!”  Well, Gem Tree on the Plenty Highway only about 140km out of Alice is one of those… literally!

Gem Tree is a camp ground which is spacious, clean, allows fires, doesn’t charge extra for kids, has fossicking tours, bird life and is an overall friendly, fantastic place to stay!  If I was an Alice local, I’d definitely frequent this place often.

We decided to book into the garnet tour.  At 8:15am we were all ready to roll.  Filled the cars with our tools and off we set 30km from camp.  We were quick to catch onto the techniques and garnets we found…. loads of them!  But are they gem quality?  You need to take them back to camp to be sorted and graded.  In silence we watch has Aaron sorts them… wondering what each pile represents.  With happy faces we found out that we had many a garnet gem and even one that could be cut to 6mm (which I’ve had sent away to be turned into a ring!).  With just a few hours work, out in the hot sun it defiantly was a successful morning – everyone had success and fossicking fever has set in.

That night Mum & Dad treated us all to the Kate’s Camp Oven dinner at Gem Tree.  What a treat not to have to cook OR clean up!  Their camp oven cooking set up was amazing – they also shared some old family video’s of the five generations that have lived in the area.  A very interesting, delicious evening it was.

Our planned three night stay was over, but due to Mum feeling unwell on pack up day it didn’t take much consideration to stay an extra night.  What should we do with our extra day???  Fossick for Zircon!!!  Zircon is a little harder to find and requires a double wash and careful sorting, but again success was had – not quite as large as our garnets but enough of gem quality to keep us happy all the same.

We had a birthday at Gem Tree too… Dads!  We whipped up our usual favourite gluten free chocolate cake and with the fresh strawberries that we’d forgotten we had (thankfully) turned the cake into something rather special.

Mum & Dad fossicking

Mum & Dad fossicking

Mining the garnet fields

Mining the garnet fields

Dan picking away

Dan picking away

Holding it up to the light to find the red garnets

Holding it up to the light to find the red garnets

Happy Birthday Dad

Happy Birthday Dad

The Birthday Cake

The Birthday Cake

Pretty Wattle

Pretty Wattle

Love paper daisies

Love paper daisies

Blue Wren - the most vibrant of blue we've seen

Blue Wren – the most vibrant of blue we’ve seen

Ants Nest

Ants Nest

Tash trying her hand at hairdressing

Tash trying her hand at hairdressing

On the Zircon Fields

On the Zircon Fields

Carefully looking for Zircon

Carefully looking for Zircon

 

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