Let’s get fossicking

Guided fossicking
Guided fossicking

Minerama Fossicking, Gem and Jewellery Show in Glen Innes is the state’s largest annual gem and jewellery show, attracting visitors and dealers from all over Australia.

Gem bonanza: Pictured at last year's Minerama Fossicking, Gem and Jewellery Show stall are Preyas Braalman and Christie Scott from Mt Tamborine. PHOTO: Tony Grant

Gem bonanza: Pictured at last year's Minerama Fossicking, Gem and Jewellery Show stall are Preyas Braalman and Christie Scott from Mt Tamborine. PHOTO: Tony Grant

Held on March 10, 11 and 12, the 28th Minerama is set to attract gem and jewellery lovers, rockhounds and outdoor adventurers by the thousands.

Glen Innes tourism events manager Peter Teschner said Minerama had grown significantly over the years.

“It’s actually run by a small committee of six people with the assistance of Glen Innes Severn Council,” he said.

“Minerama has really grown over the years and we are expecting around 2000 people this year.

“It’s one of our major events and we expect it will be worth about $500,000 to the local economy.

“People are coming from everywhere – mainly south east Queensland, Victoria and regional NSW – but there are also visitors from Belgium and New Zealand.

“It’s one of the largest gem shows of its kind, principally because we have all these fossicking field trips where you can actually go and – hopefully – uncover your own gem.”

Visitors will have the opportunity to search for buried treasure with a three-day program of guided fossicking field trips to suit both beginner and experienced gem hunters.

“There will be nine tag-along tours,” Mr Teschner said.

“These guided tours go onto properties where fossickers usually can’t go. The three tours on each day will see about 300 people take part.”

Entry to the Gem and Jewellery Show at the Glen Innes and District Services Club and on King George Oval is free and the show flows through club and car park onto the oval. It will be open on Friday and Saturday from 10am until 6pm and Sunday, 10am to 3pm.

There will be more than 100 stalls trading in gemstones, fine jewellery, facet rough, lapidary tools and supplies, crystals, beads, fossils, mineral specimens, arts, crafts and more.

Minerama also features gem cutting and beading displays, advice from gemmologists, dealers, lapidaries and jewellers, and plenty of entertainment throughout the weekend. There will be daily demonstrations and experts on hand to answer questions and queries from visitors. On site crystal fossicking will be provided by the Glen Innes Gem and Mineral Club.