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Bundaberg Gem and Mineral Soc. Inc.

Kendalls Rd, Bundaberg, QLD 4670 - PO Box 386, Bundaberg, QLD 4670

ph: 07 4155 1500 (club hours)

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Field Trip Diaries


Our GEMBOREE Trip by Trish Flynn

On 29th March 2010, after much planning and anticipation, a group of 23 set off for Devonport. The trip south from Bundaberg to Melbourne, where we were to board the Spirit Of Tasmania, was a direct drive down the Newell Hwy with overnight stops at Goondiwindi and West Wyalong with one night in Melbourne before our daylight crossing of Bass Strait to Devonport

We arrived at The Argosy Motel around 7.00p.m. and settled in for dinner and an early night before a very busy three days in Devonport which included not only time at the GEMBOREE but also fossicking, sightseeing and a trip to the limestone caves at Gunns plains.

Trish Flynn and Will Stratford attended meetings each afternoon as the reps for our region , The Queensland Gem Clubs Association (QGCA). The competition for our QGCA GEMBOREE in 2012, hosted by the Bundaberg club, was approved and a trophy proposal by QGCA for a new trophy for metal casting was also accepted. The new trophy will come into effect at the 2012 GEMBOREE. The J&R meeting was also very fruitful with the new judges training manual for cabachons being distributed, other manuals will follow as they are completed. A query from the Gympie club concerning wire wrapping was also discussed and a positive outcome was achieved. Our region was well represented in the competition with prizes going to Craig Maughan of Bundaberg, Dennis Doherty of Gympie and Shirley Walsh of Maryborough who also collected a trophy. Congratulations to all of you.

By the time we left Devonport on Monday April 5th, the bus was already heavier with GEMBOREE purchases, rocks and mineral specimens from our fossicking trips to Penguin and Mt Bischoff along with chocolates from Anvers Chocolate factory at Latrobe and Christmas Hills Raspberry farm (chocolate coated raspberries are to die for), cheeses from Ashgrove and various other souvenirs from the Devonport region.

The following four days were no less hectic, as we toured across to the east coast , down to Hobart and Geeveston, before turning north again and heading back to the mainland via the central roads of Tasmania. To give a full description of these days would take pages so I will briefly list the many attractions which we all enjoyed. Firstly was the scenery, absolutely magnificent with a variety of mountains, forests, agricultural and pastoral landscapes. Our “tourist” places were all just as enjoyable. Natureworld at Bicheno which features the Tasmanian Devil, The Beconsfield Mine Heritage Centre, Spiky Bridge, the historical town of Richmond, Hobart and its Botanical Gardens, Cadbury's , Moorilla Winery, Geeveston Woodworks Heritage Centre, the Tahune Forest airwalk, Chudleigh Honey Bee, the murals at Sheffield township. Our accomodation during these four days was good and the camaraderie that had developed amongst our travellers and our “Coach Captain”, Trevor was really great and helped to make the distances between stops a pleasure. We also had a daily trivia quiz and lucky passenger number draw, which ensured that everyone had at least one novelty prize to take home.

Our trip back to the mainland was a night crossing of Bass Strait, with breakfast on board before heading up the East coast towards home over the next four days. First stop was Morwell in Victoria and a tour of an open cut coal mine. The overnight stop was Lakes Entrance, a lovely seaside spot. The next day we headed to Batemans Bay via Eden, and Bega where we had a quick visit at the cheese factory. The following morning saw us heading towards Maitland for the night. We had a stop at Mystery Bay, a beautiful spot, and did a quick bit of fossicking on the beach and untold numbers of photos of the bay and its cave and rocks. A quick visit to the Motor Life Museum at Wollongong. Lunch in Sydney where we had an hour and a half to explore Circular Quay and the Rocks area (lots more pics). Our final day saw us leave Maitland with a long day of travel ahead of us to Bundaberg.

An added bonus for some of our travellers was that they wee able to have brief reunions with friends and family at some of our overnight or lunch stops, this not only made it more enjoyable for them but we were all pleased to see the joy they got from these visits, some with family members that they had not seen for several years.
We finally made it home around 11.45pm April 13th weary but with a lifetime of memories


Photos of trip