Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 24th & 25th Gemfields

Another clear, sunny day as we head south to Rubyvale. The bitumen road made its way across undulating country. The bush was much less dense with Iron bark trees, wattles and some Bimble Box trees some times called Poplar Box and correctly named 'eucalyptus populnea'. It is quite easy to spot them beside the road because they have lovely ovate shiney leaves

Many times as we have camped the beautiful clear whistle of the Butcher bird has indicated that this black and white bird must be nearby. However I rarely catch sight of one. Several times we have heard and seen a Laughing Kookaburra as well as the Blue Winged Kookaburra.

Red Gum Trees along Ruby Creek where we are camped
Ruby Vale is a mining town which produces Sapphires of a variety of colours. golden Zircons and Rubies. I always think of Sapphires as blue but this is not always the case as there are yellow. golden and green as well. The colour which really appealed to me was a deep/green stone. We saw some really beautiful pieces of jewellery made from them, showcased in the Sales Display areas we visited.

John, Geoff and Eileen went on a mine tour at Rubyvale, I chose not to do this,

There is only 7 kilometers between Rubyvale and Sapphire. Tonight we are camped on Ruby Creek at Sapphire. We will explore the area in the morning before moving further south.

Monday July 25th
We have come another short distance south today...only 60 kilometers to Emerald travelling through Anakie. All four towns are important in this Gemfields region.

Emerald is the largest of the 4 towns It is a busy place with an amazing number of outdoor sculptures including the Murri symbols on the Pathway which is another Rainbow Serpent story. A Centenary of Federation Mosaic Pathway, A Canadian artist painted a 'look-a-like' Sunflower painting by Vincent Van Gogh. This is now standing on the 'The BIG Easel'  behind the Info Centre in Emerald.
At the entrance to Emerald Town Hall there is a wonderful Bronze Plaque representing 100 years since  the Anzacs landed. Outside the Info Centre the giant sized Frilled neck Lizard stands on guard (so to speak) It is made of many items from the junk yard. His tail is constructed from a very large chain with spikes welded to it. They are all interesting pieces of art work. It is a credit to such a small town to be able to display so many spectacular pieces.
Anzac Memorial with poppies

 Sunflowere on the BIG EASEL

We are camped at the Showgrounds this evening with many other tourists/grey nomads I think!
John and I completed our activities with a walk through the Botanical Gardens which was thoroughly interesting. There were exercise stations at intervals for those who have energy for such activities.

John and Eileen chose a Restaurant for us to go to this evening..'The Capricornia'. We can thoroughly recommend it. The decor and table settings were quite sophisticated and the meal really delightful. At this point we have been away for 6 weeks. Slowly Slowly we are wending our way south to the colder weather of NE Victoria.

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