The information listed on this page refers to main sapphire fields in Australia that cater well for tourists. Most locations outlined provide good vehicle access, services for tourists such as caravan parks and various forms of accommodation, water points and free and low cost camping. Various low cost tourist mining activities are also provided.
Fossicking is also well catered for with designated fossicking areas being provided by the State Governments; fossicking regulations apply for each State.
Central Queensland Gemfields
The Central Queensland Gemfields are located 307km West of Rockhamption Queensland via the Capricorn Highway. This area encompassing some 640 square kilometres of designated fossicking land, is a main drawcard for those interested in finding a precious stone or two. Many gemstones
are found each season, some extremely valuable. Most popular times for fossicking in these fields is late April to September. Anakie
are the main towns of the gemfields, with the main rural city of Emerald being 67km away.
A permit is required to fossick on the Designated Fossicking Land. Designated Fossicking Land is a State Wide Network of reserved ground to allow people access to the States vast Gemstone and Mineral Deposits. Other conditions apply for Private Land, State Forests etc. Information is readily available from Queensland Mineral and Energy Centre.
New England District of New South Whales
The New England District encompasses the main country towns of Inverell
and Glen Innes
, both are located on the Gwydir Highway. Glen Innes is located 157km West of Graphton NSW, with Inverell being a further 67km West of Glen Innes. The district has many smaller townships, such as Deep Water, Emmaville, Wellingrove, Torrington, Elsmore and Tinga
A great variety of gemstones
can be found in this district. The main Sapphire locations are centered around Inverell and Glen Innes. These areas are best fossicked in the shoulder seasons before and after winter. Sapphire found in these areas are predominately blue. Since 1992 it is no longer necessary to hold a fossickers licence in New South Whales (NSW).
The greatest concentration of Sapphire in NSW is in the New England fold belt, centred round the Glen Innes
regions. This region is well known for its wide variety of Gemstones
and Minerals; beginning in the west at Bingara, spreading out each side of the Gwydir Highway and travelling east to the foothills of the Great Dividing Range is a belt of high concentration containing Sapphire, Zircon
varieties, Cassiterite, Molybdenite, Garnet
, Aquamarine, Tourmaline to name a few.